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How To Mount A Windows NTFS Disk In Linux

How To Mount A Windows NTFS Disk In Linux
How To Mount A Windows NTFS Disk In Linux

The New Technology File System (NTFS) is a proprietary file system created by Microsoft and is used extensively in Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.
By default, a lot of Linux distributions will not be able to mount NTFS, though it is possible to install a driver which allows us to do this so that we are able to read and write data to an NTFS disk.
In the example below, we will attach the VMDK file from a Windows-based virtual machine to a CentOS 7 Linux virtual machine.
Once we run ‘fdisk –I’, we can see that the disk is recognized (after a system reboot), but it is not yet mounted for us to access the data. We should be able to see the primary disk for the Linux system /dev/sda, while /dev/sdb is our 1GB NTFS disk, which has the /dev/sdb1 NTFS partition.

[root@centos7 ~]# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 21.5 GB, 21474836480 bytes, 41943040 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk label type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x0004c930
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048      616447      307200   83  Linux
/dev/sda2          616448     4810751     2097152   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3         4810752    41943039    18566144   83  Linux
Disk /dev/sdb: 1073 MB, 1073741824 bytes, 2097152 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk label type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xfc757b2a
 
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1             128     2091135     1045504    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

By default, once we attempt to mount the NTFS disk, we will receive the error below:

[root@centos7 ~]# mkdir /windows
[root@centos7 ~]# mount /dev/sdb1 /windows/
mount: unknown filesystem type 'ntfs'

Install Required Packages

If you want to perform the mount, you have to install the NTFS-3G package, which is a Linux NTFS userspace driver. This package will arrive from EPEL if you are using CentOS/RHEL, so if you have not yet configured your system to use the EPEL repository, run the command below:

[root@centos7 ~]# yum install epel-release -y

Now we will be able to install the ntfs-3g package from the EPEL repository.

[root@centos7 ~]# yum install ntfs-3g -y

Otherwise, if you are using Ubuntu/Debian, you will be able to simply run ‘apt-get install ntfs-3g’ straight away. In our Debian 8 installation, it was already available, so we were able to mount NTFS without any issues.

Mount The NTFS Disk

We can now successfully perform the mount without any errors.

[root@centos7 ~]# mount /dev/sdb1 /windows/
[root@centos7 ~]# blkid /dev/sdb1
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="NTFS" UUID="CA4A1FD94A1FC0DD" TYPE="ntfs"

We can confirm that the NTFS disk is seen as mounted by the operating system.

[root@localhost ~]# df -h /windows/
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb1      1021M   11M 1011M   2% /windows

At this point, you will be able to read and write data to the mounted NTFS disk.

Automatically Mount NTFS

We may now create an entry in the /etc/fstab file, so that our NTFS disk will automatically mount on system boot. Below, you’ll see an example of the entry that I have placed in my fstab file. This will mount the disk to the /ntfs directory.

/dev/sdb1       /windows        ntfs-3g defaults        0 0

After this configuration has been added, the NTFS disk should mount automatically on system boot. Before performing a reboot, it is recommended that you first run the ‘mount –a’ command and confirm that the disk mounts without any issues. If any issues occur during boot, you will be left with a system that does not properly boot, so it’s important to test first.

Summary

We have seen that it is possible to easily mount an NTFS disk in CentOS 7 Linux once the ntfs-3g package, which provides us with the necessary drivers, has been installed.

Updated on January 9, 2019

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