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How To Install NTFS-Config in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal ("ntfs-3g" configurator GUI)

When it comes to dealing with NTFS file systems in GNU/Linux... well if you "read" the history... unlike with the simple FAT32, with NTFS, Linux certainly had her issues. Although these days everyone says it's pretty darn safe to write (yikes) NTFS partitions in GNU/Linux yet because of a very bad memory I have, I still have my doubts.

Basically there are two main ways that you can set your NTFS partitions read-only in GNU/Linux. First way is editing your "fstab" files by hand which is not that hard but it certainly ain't that interesting either.

The second option is to find a "decent" GUI that lets you configure the settings that comes with the never ntfs-3g project. If you don't know what that is, then in the past as said before, GNU/Linux had a bad reputation of being notorious while dealing with NTFS file systems, so they created a new project called "ntfs-3g" for letting GNU/Linux users deal with NTFS file-systems better.

Was it successful?, well I for sure won't be trying it find out, because in the past I almost lost my entire HDD data, but that's a long time ago and from the things that I hear these days, ntfs-3g is really good at what it does.

Still if you want to manually/easily change read/write permissions in NTFS partitions in Ubuntu, then I highly recommend you to give a try for this excellent tool called "NTFS-Config".

As said there isn't much to talk about. Once installed it'll detect all your mounted NTFS partitions and let you enable/disable read/write permissions, graphically that is.



In Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, you can install NTFS-config by issuing the below command in your Terminal.
sudo apt-get install ntfs-config
This should install it but after installing I couldn't run it. It gave me the following error.
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/ntfs-config", line 102, in <module>
    main(args, opts)
  File "/usr/bin/ntfs-config", line 75, in main
    app = NtfsConfig()
  File "/usr/lib/pymodules/python2.7/NtfsConfig/NtfsConfig.py", line 56, in __init__
    os.mkdir(HAL_CONFIG_DIR)
OSError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/etc/hal/fdi/policy'
Now our only hope is to contact the developer and beg for a new relea... I'm just kidding, you can easily fix it :P. As you can see, I've bold the important one here. So, all we gotta do is create that missing directory, manually.

Again open your Terminal and enter the below commands.
sudo mkdir /etc/hal

sudo mkdir /etc/hal/fdi

sudo mkdir /etc/hal/fdi/policy
Now you should be able to run NTFS-config in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty without any issues whatsoever. Oh, btw, after installing you can run it from the main menu: "System" -> "Administration" -> "NFTS Configuration Tool" or

Simply open your Terminal and enter the below command.
sudo ntfs-config
Enjoy it. And I'd really like give some extra credit to the developer, who ever you are, this is bloody useful :).  

21 comments:

Ivex said...

Like it. Very Very Useful thanks fro this tutorial.

;)

Gayan said...

@Ivex,

I'm glad you found it useful :)...

Elphaba said...

Would this work on my ChromeOS computer with Ubuntu installed? It boots to Ubuntu 11.04 [until I move the switch for booting ChromeOS] but does not 'see' the 3G option.

Gayan said...

@Elphaba,

Although I'm no expert on Chrome OS but I don't think Chrome OS uses NTFS... So unless you have a partition with NTFS file system ... the app is pretty much useless.

And don't worry about "3G" options since this is a front-end for the NTFS-3G project thus won't show any "3G" options but lets you configure read/write ability on NTFS partitions.

(or have I got your question all wrong? :/).

Elphaba said...

My Chrome computer [running Ubuntu 11.04] now has everything above installed, down to NTFS-config. I 'checked' the box for enabling write support for external device since the other [internal] device box was grayed out. But nothing happens to let me use 3G. Did I miss something?

Gayan said...

@Elphaba,

It did ask you for the "sudo password" right??. If you haven't just put the below command in your Terminal window (I can change external devices read/write just fine as you can see from the sceenshot).

sudo ntfs-config

Elphaba said...

since Ubuntu 11.04 was installed on a CR-48 as a dual boot with the mandated password as 'user' I assume that 'user' is also the sudo password.....right?

Gayan said...

@Elphaba,

Did you remember that when you were installing Ubuntu 11.04 the first user account that you created (while or at the near end of the installation process) and then you also had to put a password, well, that's the password that you should be using for "sudo" privileges.

And you can actually make sure whether the password you entered for the "sudo" is correct or not easily by ...

If after entering the commend (sudo ntfs-config) in the command-line then it should ask for a password and when you enter it if your password for "sudo" is wrong, then the command-line would ask for it again (three times).

And after entering the password the GUI came up then it should be running in the administrative privileges.

Mantse said...

Thanks for this tutorial. Very useful, and thanks to the developer as well.

Gayan said...

@Mantse,

You are welcome :D.

Eddie said...

Fantastic! Just what I've been trying to figure out. Thank you!

Gayan said...

@Eddie,

You are welcome :D.

Denver Dave said...

I would like format a USB flash drive to store data to that will be accessible to both ubuntu and windows XP and windows 7. What is the best format to use? I thought it was NTFS, but I'm not sure now.

Gayan said...

@Dave,

Well NTFS is much more robust efficient when compared with Fat32 (needs less disk checking after disrupted booting troubles, better suited against errors, etc).

And perhaps newer versions of NTFS-3g is not bad at all handling those partitions anyway.

But that being said the best thing to do is to use your disk in NTFS under Ubuntu (with read/write) for a little while and do a disk check now and then to make sure the file system work fine with NTFS-3G (make sure you have backups, just in case).

If everything works without issues, then perhaps you'd be okay using it write/read mode in Ubuntu.

OR, the best way is, you can use it in read-only mode in GNU/Linux and use only Windows for writing/changing files.

Bakelite said...

Hi, After installing ntfs-config on my Debian Mint system my NFS stopped working :-(
When I try to mount a remote NFS partition using
mount -t nfs 192.168.1.137:/nfs/Public /home/storage
I get
mount.nfs: requested NFS version or transport protocol is not supported.

Has anyone seen a similar problem ? Or better still know of a fix ?

Gayan said...

@Bakelite

Make sure that the NFS mount point actually exists.

Because sometimes while trying to mount a device/mount-point that doesn't exist (mistakenly typing capital or simple letters in names etc), you receive this error.

As in with your above error, is it "nfs/Public" or "nfs/public" for instance.

(I'm pretty sure you know that already but just in case ;-)). Or it could also mean something else in which case I actually don't know :/... sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

Hureka!!!!

Thank you!!!!
GreaT!

It would be even better if the NTFS config tool had an option only to select and read files instead of all rights. But besides that, SUPER!

Gayan said...

@Anonymous,

You are welcome :D.

Mike said...

Thanks! This was a big help.

Igor said...

Thanks....

Gayan said...

@Mike and @Igor,

No problemo! ;-).

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