Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reading/Writing to NTFS in Debian

You do not have to format your existing harddrive with ext3 to use with slug. You can make Debian read it for you. By this way you can use the external drive when you disconnect from the slug in any windows machine easily.
I prefer to use ntfs-3g for this purpose. There are other packages for this purpose but I believe this is the best. To install write
apt-get install ntfs-3g

To see the list of connected drives you can use tree.
apt-get install tree

You should see your NTFS formatted drive in the list by typing
tree /dev/disk

You should mount the drive to use it. You can use
mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/hdd -o force

mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/hdd

to mount it. You will need to change sdb1 according to the screen you get with tree. Also you should have a directory created /mnt/hdd to mount. Write
mkdir /mnt/hdd

to create that directory. Good luck.


  1. I really appreciate your series of these articles. I have got most of the things working great. But I have two questions.
    How do I boot the system with an external drive attached to Disk1 (Disk 2 has the flash) and how do I automount Disk1 (ntfs-3g) on boot.

  2. Hi Sam,
    For the boot problem refer to :

    If you get it working you can add the mounting option to fstab.

    Hope it helps

  3. Thanks so much. It worked great. In fstab also I had to add the UUID and then only it did automount. Great help. Thanks once again.

  4. thanks , keep to the future Linux