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I haven't stumbled across many recent articles or websites explaining how to get Raspberry Pi with Raspbian 5/5/2015 (and presumably later) working with an NTFS volume/drive.

  • What is the default behavior of Raspbian?

  • What packages do you need?

  • Are there post-package installation scripts, actions, or commands that must be run, created, or modified?

  • Do you only get read/write in the terminal? Or do you get it in File Manager too?

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Raspbian 5/5/2015, the version I am working with, comes with read support for NTFS. Presumably earlier versions over the past year or two probably have this as well, but much past 2 years, I don't think they do.

On a default install of Raspbian, the OS will automount your NTFS drive as read-only to /media with the NTFS volume name as a folder name. This makes things easy to see, find, and understand. eEpecially if you're primarily a Windows user or new to Linux.

To get read and write access, you have to install some software, in this case, just 1 package: ntfs-3g. Some older instructions may tell you to use ntfsprogs, but there's no need for that. To find out the difference, see this page/article/question: Which package to use for NTFS? NTFS-3G, NTFSPROGS? [closed] There are no answers, but the comments are good.

Before you install ntfs-3g, you'll need to update apt-get. You can do that with this command:

sudo apt-get update

I'm not sure why, but the package links for apt-get are out of date in regards to ntfs-3g. Once you update apt-get, then you can install ntfs-3g:

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g

Then you will need to power cycle the Raspberry Pi. I'm not yet sure why there is a difference between a reboot and a power cycle, but you must power cycle the Raspberry Pi. That means turn it off, wait 5+ seconds, then turn it back on. Since my drive was powered by the same USB hub-thingey as my Pi, I used the switch to turn off the Pi and the drive, waited 5 seconds, and then turned both of them back on.

That's all you need to do!

To test, in the GUI, I opened up File Manager, saw that the drive was mounted in /media, and created a new directory somewhere. It succeeded. If you had tried to do that before all of this, then that would have failed with an error message about insufficient privileges.

  • 2
    Apparently jessie now has the NTFS 3g driver. See here – Wilf Nov 29 '15 at 22:18
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To get RW access to NTFS drives on Raspbian Buster, all you need to do is to run sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g and re-plug the drive. You don't have to reboot, let alone power cycle the RPi.

  • Buster is the latest version of the OS, and NTFS support is included and activated by default, and has been for almost 4 years, as evidenced by commentary here. – YetAnotherRandomUser Sep 13 at 18:53
  • @YetAnotherRandomUser It wasn't in the recent Buster image that I've got, and apparently I'm not alone. – Dmitry Grigoryev Oct 2 at 11:54

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