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Thu, Jul 24, 2008 10:16 am

NTFS Support on CentOS

I needed to be able to access files on a USB drive formatted with the NTFS filesystem from a CentOS 5.1 Linux system. To do so I used the free open source NTFS driver for Linux, NTFS-3G.

I followed the instructions at How to Mount an NTFS Filesystem in order to be able to do so. I issued the command yum install fuse fuse-ntfs-3g dkms dkms-fuse to install the required packages (dkms and dkms-fuse install the fuse kernel module).

The system needs to be configured to use the RPMforge repository in order for the above yum install command to work. See Installing Wine on CentOS or RPMForge Packages and Yum Priorites for information on configuring yum to use the RPMforge repository.

After installing the ntfs-3g driver, I was able to mount the NTFS-formatted drive.

[root@localhost ~]# mkdir /mnt/windrive
[root@localhost ~]# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windrive

I first created a mount point, which I arbitrarily named "windrive" under /mnt. Then I needed to specify the file system type with -t ntfs-3g. This particular drive was an external USB drive, which Linux identified as /dev/sda. It had only one partition on it, so I used /dev/sda1 to mount it. If you are unsure how Linux will identify the drive, see Linux Drive Designations

If the NTFS drive contains the Windows operating system for a system and the system was put into hibernation mode when it was shut down, you can only mount it in read-only mode. You will see the following message, which I saw when I tried to mount another drive from a hibernated Windows system, if you don't specify read-only mode for mounting the drive:

# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /mnt/workdrive
Windows is hibernated, refused to mount.
Failed to mount '/dev/sdc1': Operation not permitted
The NTFS partition is hibernated. Please resume and shutdown Windows
properly, or mount the volume read-only with the 'ro' mount option, or
mount the volume read-write with the 'remove_hiberfile' mount option.
For example type on the command line:

            mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /mnt/workdrive -o remove_hiberfile

I was able to mount the drive by using the -r option for the mount command (you can also use -o ro).

mount -r -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /mnt/workdrive

fuse-ntfs-3g package information:

[root@localhost /]# rpm -qi fuse-ntfs-3g
Name        : fuse-ntfs-3g                 Relocations: (not relocatable)
Version     : 1.2712                            Vendor: Dag Apt Repository,
Release     : 1.el5.rf                      Build Date: Mon 14 Jul 2008 04:20:28 PM EDT
Install Date: Thu 24 Jul 2008 08:48:39 AM EDT      Build Host:
Group       : System Environment/Kernel     Source RPM: fuse-ntfs-3g-1.2712-1.el5.rf.src.rpm
Size        : 905700                           License: GPL
Signature   : DSA/SHA1, Mon 14 Jul 2008 05:57:27 PM EDT, Key ID a20e52146b8d79e6
Packager    : Dag Wieers <>
URL         :
Summary     : Linux NTFS userspace driver
Description :
The ntfs-3g driver is an open source, GPL licensed, third generation Linux NTFS
driver. It provides full read-write access to NTFS, excluding access to
encrypted files, writing compressed files, changing file ownership, access

Technically it’s based on and a major improvement to the third generation Linux
NTFS driver, ntfsmount. The improvements include functionality, quality and
performance enhancements.

ntfs-3g features are being merged to ntfsmount. In the meanwhile, ntfs-3g is
currently the only free, as in either speech or beer, NTFS driver for Linux
that supports unlimited file creation and deletion.

After unmounting the drive with the umount command, I removed the directory I created when mounting it.

[root@localhost /]# rmdir /mnt/windrive

[/os/unix/linux/centos] permanent link

Thu, Jul 24, 2008 10:05 am

Linux Drive Designations

If you are unsure how Linux will designate a drive, Linux identifies IDE drives as hdx, e.g. hda, hdb, hdc, or hdd, while sdx, such as sda, sdb, etc., is used to designate SATA, SCSI, and USB drives.

IDE/ATAPI device names

hdaIDE bus/connector 0 master device
hdbIDE bus/connector 0 slave device
hdcIDE bus/connector 1 master device
hddIDE bus/connector 1 slave device

To find drives on your system, type mesg | grep '^hd.:' and/or dmesg | grep 'SCSI device sd.:'

[root@localhost ~]# dmesg | grep '^hd.:'
hda: HDS722516VLAT80, ATA DISK drive
hdc: Memorex DVD16+/-DL4RWlD2, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
hdd: ST3120026A, ATA DISK drive
hda: max request size: 512KiB
hda: 321672960 sectors (164696 MB) w/7938KiB Cache, CHS=20023/255/63, UDMA(100)
hda: cache flushes supported
hdd: max request size: 512KiB
hdd: 234441648 sectors (120034 MB) w/8192KiB Cache, CHS=16383/255/63, UDMA(100)
hdd: cache flushes supported
hdc: ATAPI 48X DVD-ROM DVD-R CD-R/RW drive, 2048kB Cache, UDMA(66)
[root@localhost ~]# dmesg | grep 'SCSI device sd.:'
SCSI device sda: 398297088 512-byte hdwr sectors (203928 MB)
SCSI device sda: 398297088 512-byte hdwr sectors (203928 MB)
SCSI device sdb: 156301488 512-byte hdwr sectors (80026 MB)
SCSI device sdb: 156301488 512-byte hdwr sectors (80026 MB)
SCSI device sdc: 156301488 512-byte hdwr sectors (80026 MB)
SCSI device sdc: drive cache: write back
SCSI device sdc: 156301488 512-byte hdwr sectors (80026 MB)
SCSI device sdc: drive cache: write back

[/os/unix/linux] permanent link

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