Section: Maintenance Commands (8)
Updated: April 2008
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ntfs-3g - Third Generation Read/Write NTFS Driver  


ntfs-3g volume mount_point [-o option[,...]]
mount -t ntfs-3g volume mount_point [-o option[,...]]  


ntfs-3g is an NTFS driver, which can create, remove, rename, move files, directories, hard links, and streams; it can read and write files, including streams and sparse files; it can handle special files like symbolic links, devices, and FIFOs; moreover it can also read transparently compressed files.

The volume to be mounted can be either a block device or an image file.  

Access Handling and Security

By default, files and directories are owned by the effective user and group of the mounting process and everybody has full read, write, execution and directory browsing permissions. If you want to use permissions handling then use the uid and/or the gid options together with the umask, or fmask and dmask options.

Windows users have full access to the files created by ntfs-3g.

If ntfs-3g is set setuid-root then non-root users will be also able to mount volumes.  

Windows Filename Compatibility

NTFS supports several filename namespaces: DOS, Win32 and POSIX. While the ntfs-3g driver handles all of them, it always creates new files in the POSIX namespace for maximum portability and interoperability reasons. This means that filenames are case sensitive and all characters are allowed except '/' and '\0'. This is perfectly legal on Windows, though some application may get confused. If you find so then please report it to the developer of the relevant Windows software.  

Alternate Data Streams (ADS)

NTFS stores all data in streams. Every file has exactly one unnamed data stream and can have many named data streams. The size of a file is the size of its unnamed data stream. By default, ntfs-3g will only read the unnamed data stream.

By using the options "streams_interface=windows", you will be able to read any named data streams, simply by specifying the stream's name after a colon. For example:

cat some.mp3:artist

Named data streams act like normals files, so you can read from them, write to them and even delete them (using rm). You can list all the named data streams a file has by getting the "ntfs.streams.list" extended attribute.  


Below is a summary of the options that ntfs-3g accepts.
uid=value and gid=value
Set the owner and the group of files and directories. The values are numerical. The defaults are the uid and gid of the current process.
Set the bitmask of the file and directory permissions that are not present. The value is given in octal. The default value is 0 which means full access to everybody.
Set the bitmask of the file permissions that are not present. The value is given in octal. The default value is 0 which means full access to everybody.
Set the bitmask of the directory permissions that are not present. The value is given in octal. The default value is 0 which means full access to everybody.
Mount filesystem read-only. Useful if Windows is hibernated or the NTFS journal file is unclean.
This option can be useful if your language specific locale environment variables are not set correctly or at all in your operating system. In such cases, the national characters can be made visible by using this option. Please see more information about this topic at http://ntfs-3g.org/support.html#locale
Force the mounting even if the NTFS logfile is unclean. The logfile will be unconditionally cleared. Use this option with caution and for your own responsibility.
Unlike in case of read-only mount, the read-write mount is denied if the NTFS volume is hibernated. One needs either to resume Windows and shutdown it properly, or use this option which will remove the Windows hibernation file. Please note, this means that the saved Windows session will be completely lost. Use this option for your own responsibility.
atime, noatime, relatime
The atime option updates inode access time for each access.

The noatime option disables inode access time updates which can speed up file operations and prevent sleeping (notebook) disks spinning up too often thus saving energy and disk lifetime.

The relatime option is very similar to noatime. It updates inode access times relative to modify or change time. The access time is only updated if the previous access time was earlier than the current modify or change time. Unlike noatime this option doesn't break applications that need to know if a file has been read since the last time it was modified. This is the default behaviour.

Show the system files in directory listings. Otherwise the default behaviour is to hide the system files. Please note that even when this option is specified, "$MFT" may not be visible due to a glibc bug. Furthermore, irrespectively of show_sys_files, all files are accessible by name, for example you can always do "ls -l '$UpCase'".
With this option the maximum size of read operations can be set. The default is infinite. Note that the size of read requests is limited anyway to 32 pages (which is 128kbyte on i386).
Do nothing on chmod and chown operations, but do not return error. This option is on by default.
By default ntfs-3g acts as "silent" was passed to it, this option cancel this behaviour.
This option controls how the user can access Alternate Data Streams (ADS) or in other words, named data streams. It can be set to, one of none, windows or xattr. If the option is set to none, the user will have no access to the named data streams. If it's set to windows, then the user can access them just like in Windows (eg. cat file:stream). If it's set to xattr, then the named data streams are mapped to xattrs and user can manipulate them using {get,set}fattr utilities. The default is none.
Makes ntfs-3g to not detach from terminal and print a lot of debug output from libntfs-3g and FUSE.
Same as above but with less debug output.


Mount /dev/sda1 to /mnt/windows:

ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows


mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows

Read-only mount /dev/sda5 to /home/user/mnt and make user with uid 1000 to be the owner of all files:

ntfs-3g /dev/sda5 /home/user/mnt -o ro,uid=1000

/etc/fstab entry for the above:

/dev/sda5 /home/user/mnt ntfs-3g ro,uid=1000 0 0

Unmount /mnt/windows:

umount /mnt/windows



To facilitate the use of the ntfs-3g driver in scripts, an exit code is returned to give an indication of the mountability status of a volume. Value 0 means success, and all other ones mean an error. The unique error codes are documented in the ntfs-3g.probe(8) manual page.  


Please see


for common questions and known issues. If you would find a new one in the latest release of the software then please send an email describing it in detail. You can contact the development team on the ntfs-3g-devel@lists.sf.net address.  


ntfs-3g was based on and a major improvement to ntfsmount and libntfs which were written by Yura Pakhuchiy and the Linux-NTFS team. The improvements were made, the ntfs-3g project was initiated and currently led by long time Linux-NTFS team developer Szabolcs Szakacsits (szaka@ntfs-3g.org).  


Several people made heroic efforts, often over five or more years which resulted the ntfs-3g driver. Most importantly they are Anton Altaparmakov, Richard Russon, Szabolcs Szakacsits, Yura Pakhuchiy, Yuval Fledel, and the author of the groundbreaking FUSE filesystem development framework, Miklos Szeredi.  


ntfs-3g.probe(8), ntfsprogs(8), attr(5), getfattr(1)



Access Handling and Security
Windows Filename Compatibility
Alternate Data Streams (ADS)

linux.jgfs.net manual pages