Debian NTFS Partition

Mount It

You know the scene. Your running Debian Linux and have an old NTFS disk laying around that still has some interesting data still on it from way back when. You don't use windows anymore but still want to access the drive to pull stuff off.

If your NTFS drive was not setup at install, here's how to do it in Debian. Assuming the drive is already connected to your machine.

The steps are simple. As user root:

1. Install ntfs-3g
2. Identify the NTFS drive
3. Make directory to mount NTFS partition
4. Add user to fuse group
5. Edit /etc/fstab to automount partition at reboot
6. Add new entry for ntfs partition
7. Mount it manually for immediate access

My drive was /dev/sdb

Okay, let's do it:

1. aptitude install ntfs-3g
2. fdisk -l | grep NTFS
3. mkdir /media/ntfs
4. useradd -a -G fuse patrick
5. emacs /etc/fstab
6. /dev/sdb1 /media/ntfs ntfs-3g defaults 0 0
7. mount -a


My NTFS partition was identified as /dev/sdb. I mount it as /dev/sdb1.
Entries in /etc/fstab are separated by a single tab.
Last two entries in /etc/fstab are both zero (not oh).

As a point of interest the term mount in Unix/Linux speak meaning to connect a drive to the system historically comes from the early days of computing when large round ferric cores had to be mounted on the computer. Back then computers were bigger than washing machines or fridges. You probably seen them in old movies or photos.