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Using and creating NTFS drives in CentOS

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by JV Roig
on October 13, 2017

Sometimes, I just have to work with NTFS-formatted drives even though I’m usually using a Linux machine 90% of the time. For one thing, the max filesize limitation of 4GB is a pain – for example the CentOS 7 “Everything” ISO is 8GB, so I can’t copy that even on 32GB or 64GB flashdrives if they’re formatted as FAT32.

I could use ext3 or ext4 on my external drives, but then I can’t use them on Windows and Mac machines that I also have to interact with infrequently.

So NTFS is really the best solution most of the time, and it’s practically plug-and-play for most machines I have to use, such as Ubuntu or Fedora.

CentOS, however, is a slightly different beast. You don’t have 100% NTFS support out-of-the-box, but it’s easy to add NTFS support:

yum install epel-release
    yum install ntfs-3g ntfsprogs

The ntfs-3g package is what is needed to read NTFS drives and use flashdisks that are NTFS-formatted. Most distros should already have this installed, but in case it isn’t, then installing it is all you have to do. Unless you have a minimal CentOS installation, you probably already have this installed.

The ntfsprogs package allows you to create NTFS drives. Without it, you can happily use and read NTFS-formatted drives, but you can’t format any of your disks to NTFS. Note that the "Disks" utility will display the option to create an NTFS partition even before you install ntfsprogs. Without actually installing ntfsprogs, Disks will simply encounter a fatal error when you attempt to create an NTFS drive.

Tags: CentOS, Linux, NTFS