Write to NTFS partitions on Fedora

Writing to NTFS partitions under Linux has been a real pain, if possible at all, for quite a long time. With a dual-boot Linux and Windows system, you can end up not being able to exchange files without a lot of trickery and special programs.

Thankfully, things have moved on since then and with the help of a couple of bits of software, it's now really easy to install FUSE (Filesystem in User Space) and the new NTFS 3G driver and write (safely and quickly) to NTFS partitions.

I reported on this a while back when the drivers for NTFS were still in beta, and in this tutorial I'm going to show you how to get up and running on Fedora Core (but the instructions should be fairly generic). Whereas last time we used a GUI application, today I'm going to use the geekier and more difficult, but more universal, command-line way.

On my Fedora Core 6 system, installing the needed software is as simple as heading to a terminal and doing the following:

$ su -
[[enter password when prompted]]
# yum install fuse ntfs-3g

If you're not using Fedora, however, you should be able to use your distribution's package management tool to do exactly the same (with any luck, you might even be able to use a graphical tool too).

Once you've got FUSE and NTFS-3G all installed, you need to mount your partitions in a special way. Sadly, at the moment I can't see any graphical way to do this, so you'll have to be comfortable using the terminal. Still, it's not too hard.

First of all, as with any mount, we need to make ourselves a folder in which the contents of our NTFS partition will be dropped into. You can create this anywhere you want (and the advantage of FUSE is that you don't have to have administrator privileges to do it either).

$ mkdir myntfs

Now we need to actually mount the partition. You'll need to know the device string for your partition (check out Identifying Partitions in this tutorial for more info). Once you've got this (mine is sda5), then use it in the following:

$ ntfsmount /dev/sda5 myntfs

After a couple of seconds, you'll return back to the terminal. Check your folder - inside it should be the contents of that partition and you should be able to write to it!

Once you're done, you need to remember to unmount the partition:

$ fusermount -u myntfs

Now you're finished up. You can safely delete the myntfs folder if you want to, but you might want to keep it if you'll be remounting the NTFS partition again soon.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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