Purpose: We will learn how to mount a Windows NTFS partition as writable (and readable) under Debian Linux. As you must have noticed that under GNOME, Debian mounts your Windows NTFS partition as only “readable” using gnome-volume-manager package. However this is not very useful if you want to copy some data to your Windows partition in Linux. Let’s get started…
Step 1: Find your Windows NTFS partition
First you need to find out what is the partition number of your NTFS partition. You can use any tool like fdisk or cfdisk.
debian:~# fdisk -l | grep -i ntfs
/dev/sda1 * 1 3315 26627706 7 HPFS/NTFS
debian:~# cfdisk /dev/sda
In this example, the NTFS partition is /dev/sda1. You can substitute your own.
Step 2: Check if your kernel as FUSE support
Note: If you are using the default Debian Lenny kernel (2.6.26) that gets installed then you can skip this step and go to Step 3.
In case if you are like me using a custom compiled kernel then you need to check first if FUSE support is there in your kernel or not. Give the following command:
# cat /boot/config-2.6.26-custom | grep FUSE
You should either get:
If you don’t see any one of the above output then you will need to re-compile your kernel with FUSE support.
Step 3: Install ntfs-3g utility
To mount NTFS as read-write you will need the ntfs-3g utility from the Linux-NTFS project.
# apt-get update
# apt-get install ntfs-3g
Step 4: Mount your NTFS partition
Finally we can mount our NTFS partition as readable and writable by giving the following command:
# mkdir /mnt/windows
# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows
Check: You can see if the partition mounted correctly or not by giving following command:
AUTOEXEC.BAT pagefile.sys setup.log
boot.ini Garmin PDOXUSRS.NET Shortcut to Desktop.lnk
Config.Msi IO.SYS Program Files System Volume Information
CONFIG.SYS MSDOS.SYS Quarantine TEMP
Demo Album NTDETECT.COM RECYCLER WINDOWS
Documents and Settings ntldr SETUP YServer.txt
Step 5: Mount NTFS partition on every boot automatically
Instead of giving mount command (like above) every time we boot into Linux, we can make this mount permanent so that the NTFS partition will mount automatically every time you boot into your Linux system. Just add the following line to your ”/etc/fstab’ file:
/dev/sda1 /mnt/windows ntfs-3g defaults 0 0
Save the file and reboot your computer and the NTFS partition will be mounted automatically.
You can un-mount the partition by giving the standard command:
# umount /dev/sda1
Happy writing to your NTFS partition.
Note: There might be other solutions/ways to mount NTFS as writable but I haven’t tried those. In case if you know a different method please post here (comment).
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