How to Change File Permissions on NTFS Partitions in Linux

Change File Permissions on NTFS Partitions in Linux

NTFS (New Technology File System) is a file system developed by Microsoft and commonly used in Windows operating systems. While Linux primarily uses different file systems like Ext4, it is still possible to mount and access NTFS partitions in Linux. However, the default file permissions on NTFS partitions may not always be suitable for Linux users. This article will guide you through the process of changing file permissions on NTFS partitions in Linux.

Understanding File Permissions

Before diving into changing file permissions on NTFS partitions, it is crucial to understand how file permissions work in Linux. In Linux, each file and directory has three types of permissions: read, write, and execute. These permissions are assigned to three different categories of users: owner, group, and others.

The owner of a file or directory has full control over it and can modify its permissions. The group refers to a collection of users who share common permissions. The “others” category includes all other users who do not fall under the owner or group.

Each category can have three types of permissions:

  1. Read (r): Allows reading or viewing the contents of a file or directory.
  2. Write (w): Permits modifying or deleting a file or directory.
  3. Execute (x): Grants permission to execute a file as a program or access a directory’s contents.

File permissions are represented by a series of letters or numbers. For example, “rw-r–r–“ represents read and write permissions for the owner, and read-only permissions for the group and others.

Mounting NTFS Partitions in Linux

To change file permissions on an NTFS partition in Linux, you first need to mount the partition. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a mount point: Choose a directory where you want to mount the NTFS partition. For example, create a directory named “ntfs” in the “/mnt” directory.
sudo mkdir /mnt/ntfs
  1. Find the NTFS partition: Use the “fdisk” or “lsblk” command to identify the NTFS partition you want to mount. Note down the partition’s device name, such as “/dev/sdb1”.
  2. Mount the partition: Execute the following command, replacing “/dev/sdb1” with your partition’s device name and “/mnt/ntfs” with your chosen mount point.
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/ntfs
  1. Access the mounted partition: You can now navigate to the “/mnt/ntfs” directory to access the files and directories on the NTFS partition.

Changing File Permissions on NTFS Partitions

Once you have successfully mounted an NTFS partition, you can proceed to change its file permissions. However, it’s important to note that Linux does not support all NTFS permission features, such as file ownership. Linux only recognizes a limited set of permissions for files on NTFS partitions.

To change file permissions on an NTFS partition, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the file or directory: Use the “ls” command to locate the file or directory for which you want to modify permissions.

ls -l /mnt/ntfs
  1. Change permissions: Use the “chmod” command followed by a numeric value or symbolic representation to change permissions. Numeric values represent combinations of read (4), write (2), and execute (1) permissions for owner, group, and others.

For example, to grant read and write permissions for the owner and read-only permissions for group and others, use:

sudo chmod 644 /mnt/ntfs/file.txt

Alternatively, you can use a symbolic representation to change permissions. The symbols include “u” for owner, “g” for group, “o” for others, and “r”, “w”, and “x” for read, write, and execute permissions, respectively.

For example, to achieve the same permission settings as above using symbolic representation, use:

sudo chmod u=rw,g=r,o=r /mnt/ntfs/file.txt
  1. Verify the changes: Use the “ls -l” command again to confirm that the file permissions have been successfully modified.


Automating Permissions on Mount

To automate the process of changing file permissions every time you mount an NTFS partition in Linux, you can make use of the “fstab” file. The “fstab” file contains information about filesystems and their corresponding mount points.

To modify the “fstab” file:

  1. Open the “fstab” file in a text editor with administrative privileges.

sudo nano /etc/fstab

  1. Add an entry for your NTFS partition at the end of the file using the following format:

UUID= /mnt/ntfs ntfs-3g defaults,permissions 0 0

Replace “” with the UUID of your NTFS partition. You can find the UUID by running the command:

sudo blkid
  1. Save and exit the text editor.

Now, whenever you reboot your Linux system or manually remount the partitions using “sudo mount -a”, the specified NTFS partition will be mounted with the desired permissions automatically.


Changing file permissions on NTFS partitions in Linux allows users to customize access rights and manage files effectively. By understanding Linux’s permission system and following the steps outlined in this article, you can confidently modify file permissions on NTFS partitions in Linux.

Marshall Anthony is a professional Linux DevOps writer with a passion for technology and innovation. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, he has become a go-to expert for anyone looking to learn more about Linux.

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