Can Ubuntu Write on NTFS? A Comprehensive Guide


Ubuntu is a popular and user-friendly Linux distribution known for its versatility and robustness. Many users wonder whether Ubuntu can write on NTFS (New Technology File System) drives. NTFS is a file system commonly used by Windows operating systems. In this article, we’ll delve into the compatibility of Ubuntu with NTFS drives, explore solutions to enable writing on NTFS, and provide expert insights into this topic.

Can Ubuntu Write on NTFS?

Ubuntu’s native file system is Ext4, and it has excellent support for reading NTFS drives. However, by default, Ubuntu has limited write support for NTFS partitions. This means that while you can read files from NTFS drives, you might face restrictions when it comes to writing or modifying files on these drives.

Understanding NTFS Write Support in Ubuntu

By default, Ubuntu only provides read-only support for NTFS partitions. This is due to the differences in how the Ext4 and NTFS file systems handle data. While Ubuntu can easily read files from NTFS drives, writing to these drives might require additional steps.

Enabling Write Support for NTFS Drives

If you want to enable full write support for NTFS drives in Ubuntu, you have a few options:

  1. NTFS-3G: NTFS-3G is an open-source driver that offers full read and write support for NTFS partitions in Ubuntu. It’s a reliable solution that allows you to seamlessly access and modify files on NTFS drives.
  2. FUSE: Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) is a software interface that enables users to create file systems without modifying the kernel. Using FUSE, you can install tools like NTFS-3G to enable write support for NTFS drives.
  3. Third-party Applications: There are third-party applications like “Paragon NTFS for Linux” that provide a user-friendly interface for enabling write support on NTFS drives in Ubuntu.

Steps to Enable NTFS Write Support

To enable write support for NTFS drives in Ubuntu using NTFS-3G, follow these steps:

  1. Install NTFS-3G using the command: sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
  2. Unmount the NTFS drive: sudo umount /dev/sdXN (replace X with the drive letter and N with the partition number)
  3. Remount the drive with NTFS-3G: sudo ntfs-3g /dev/sdXN /mnt/ntfs

Remember to replace /dev/sdXN with the actual drive and partition information.

Expert Insights: Making Ubuntu NTFS-Compatible

Enabling write support for NTFS drives on Ubuntu is a valuable solution for users who need to work with both Ubuntu and Windows systems. It allows seamless sharing of files between the two platforms. While the default read-only support is suitable for accessing files, write support expands the usability of NTFS drives within the Ubuntu environment.


Can I lose data when enabling NTFS write support in Ubuntu?

No, enabling NTFS write support using reliable methods like NTFS-3G or FUSE is unlikely to cause data loss. However, it’s always a good practice to create backups of important files before making any changes.

Will enabling write support affect the performance of my NTFS drive?

Enabling write support using reputable tools should not significantly impact the performance of your NTFS drive. The tools are well-tested and designed to provide a seamless experience.

Can I write to encrypted NTFS drives in Ubuntu?

Yes, you can write to encrypted NTFS drives in Ubuntu after enabling NTFS write support using tools like NTFS-3G. The encryption should not pose a barrier to writing files.

Are there any risks to enabling NTFS write support?

Enabling NTFS write support using trusted methods carries minimal risks. However, it’s recommended to follow instructions carefully and avoid using unreliable third-party tools.

Can I revert to read-only mode after enabling write support?

Yes, if you decide to revert to read-only mode, you can unmount the NTFS drive and remount it without the write support options.

Will future versions of Ubuntu have improved NTFS support?

Ubuntu’s development community continually works on improving compatibility and support for various file systems. It’s possible that future versions may include enhanced NTFS support out of the box.

Can Linux write to NTFS?

Yes, Linux can write to NTFS drives using appropriate drivers and configurations.

Can Ubuntu write on NTFS?

Yes, Ubuntu can write to NTFS partitions by default with the help of NTFS-3G driver.

How do I make NTFS writable in Linux?

NTFS partitions are usually writable in Linux; no special configuration is needed.

Can Ubuntu detect NTFS?

Yes, Ubuntu can detect and mount NTFS partitions for both reading and writing.


In conclusion, Ubuntu can indeed write on NTFS drives, provided you take the necessary steps to enable write support using tools like NTFS-3G or FUSE. This feature opens up opportunities for users to work seamlessly between Ubuntu and Windows environments, facilitating the sharing and modification of files across platforms. While enabling write support involves some technical steps, it offers a valuable enhancement to Ubuntu’s compatibility with NTFS drives. So, if you’re looking to make the most out of your Ubuntu system in a mixed OS environment, enabling NTFS write support is a practical solution.

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