NTFS (NT file systems) is a proprietary journaling file system developed by Microsoft. That’s why we can only see Microsoft’s operating system using this file system(starting with Windows NT 3.1). As Windows is installed on more than 70% of desktop PC and laptops its important that other operating systems like Linux support it.
This becomes highly important when you are dual booting Linux and Windows. If Linux supports NTFS it will be really easy to share files from Linux to Windows.
Let’s see if Linux can read NTFS and if yes how can you mount NTFS drives in your Linux system to access NTFS(Windows) partitions.
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Can Linux read NTFS?
The answer to this question is Yes, Linux can read NTFS file system. In 2007 stable version of NTFS-3G was released and since then Linux can read as well as write on NTFS partitions. Before the release of NTFS-3G support of NTFS was read-only and kernel-based.
Now you might have questions like what is NTFS-3G?
What is NTFS-3G?
NTFS-3G is an open-source cross-platform implementation of the Microsoft Windows NTFS file system. It supports read/write and uses the FUSE file system interface. It can be run on various operating systems like Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenSolaris, macOS, OpenBSD to name a few.
NTFS-3G supports all operations like writing files, creating, modifying, and others. If you want you can read more about it here.
How to mount and read NTFS partitions in Linux?
Firstly to mount NTFS partition you need to install NTFS-3G in Linux distribution. Which is nowadays preinstalled on almost all Linux distributions. Then you can just click on the Windows NTFS partition in the file manager to mount it and access it. Or you can also mount using the command line.
If NTFS-3G is not installed, or you are facing problems you can reinstall it. To install or reinstall it run below command according to your distro.
Install NTFS-3G on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
NTFS-3G is available in official Ubuntu repositories you can install it with the command below.
sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
Install NTFS-3G on Fedora and its derivatives
Install the package with dnf command below.
dnf install ntfs-3g
NTFS-3G on RHEL/CentOS 8
Now you will have to add epel repo first before installing NTFS-3G.
sudo dnf install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-8.noarch.rpm
Now you can install NTFS-3G with the following command.
sudo yum install ntfs-3g
How to mount partition after installing NTFS-3G
As I said earlier you can mount partition by clicking(or double-clicking) on the partition in the file manager.
If that doesn’t seem to work for you, try mounting partition using the command below.
sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/ntfs
/dev/sdb2 with whichever partition you want to mount. This command will mount partition to /mnt/ntfs.
If you want to mount partition automatically at the startup, you can edit the /etc/fstab file.
sudo vim /etc/fstab
And then just add this line
/dev/sdb2 /mnt/ntfs ntfs-3g defaults 0 0 in the file. Don’t forget to replace
/dev/sdb2 with whichever partition you want to mount.
Yes Linux can read NTFS partitions and not only read but can perform almost all sorts of operations. To perform any operation on NTFS partition we require NTFS-3G installed on our system. It can be easily installed if its not pre installed on your system.