How to mount NTFS partitions using Linux commands

Linux mount NTFS drives
Credit: Jérôme-Martin Langlois (Public Domain)

Conquer NTFS drives using Linux terminal commands


Last README file showed how to format NTFS drives in Windows using PowerShell and Command Prompt commands. Today's quick tip provides examples on how you can mount and unmount these same NTFS drives in Linux, using standard terminal commands.


Most Linux distributions use the ntfs-3g package with FUSE to mount NTFS partitions. And, many of these same distros use an automount service to automatically find and mount NTFS sticks and drives. If your machine doesn't automagically find NTFS filesystems, search var/log/packages to see if your system has been installed with the an NTFS package. Other problems could lie with the service, so make sure autofs is properly configured also.  

Linux NTFS NTFS-3G package Stephen Glasskeys


Before you can unmount, use the cat /etc/mtab command to list mounted drives and mount points. The screenshot below shows a NTFS formatted USB device /dev/sdc1 mounted on /media/ntfs_stick. Keep in mind, automounted drives are generally mounted with a directory matching a brand name or volume label -- not "ntfs_stick."  (For example, a lexar drive may be mounted under /media/lexar, etc.)

Linux NTFS cat mtab Stephen Glasskeys

You should also be able to see the mount point of the drive using the df command:

Linux NTFS df command Stephen Glasskeys

To unmount a drive manually, enter umount followed by its mount point:

Linux NTFS unmount Stephen Glasskeys


Mounting NTFS sticks and drives can be a little trickier, the safest way is to use the standard mount command followed by -t parameter, like so:

Linux NTFS mount command Stephen Glasskeys

The -t parameter specifies the ntfs-3g "filesystem", so in effect, the example shown above uses the ntfs-3g+Fuse combo to act as a middleman or NTFS to Linux "translator."

Lastly, because ntfs-3g is commonly aliased in many Linux distros, other commands can be used to mount NTFS devices.

To illustrate, these commands have been tested, and work in Slackware Linux:

# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /media/ntfs_stick 

# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /media/ntfs_stick -o rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=0,gid=0,dmask=0077,fmask=0177

# /sbin/mount.ntfs /dev/sdc1 /media/ntfs_stick -o rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=0,gid=0,dmask=0077,fmask=0177

# ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /media/ntfs_stick -o rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=0,gid=0,dmask=0077,fmask=0177

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