This is the Blog for Thomas Lai

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

NTFS drives and Unicodes

I have 3 NTFS drives which are auto-mounted by Ubuntu. However, I encountered 2 problems. One issue is that I do not have the priledges to use Nautilus to view the contents of the NTFS drives. I found this script which can launch Nautilus as 'root'.

The second issue is that I have some files which has Chinese Unicode filenames. The files are 'missing' from the Nautilus or Terminal if I view the directory listing. The way to resolve it is to mount the NTFS drive by specifying the mount options as 'nls=utf8,umask=0222' in /etc/fstab. The umask means that it is set as read-only. But make sure backup a copy of fstab before modifying it.

Btw, reboot the system to make the fstab take effect. Although in many websites it says I can issue the command 'sudo mount -a' to remount all the disks in fstab, mine only take effect after reboot.


Blogger Harold Nicolson said...


Hope you are doing well. I'm a beginner with Ubuntu as well. I have noticed that the best that NTFS drives can be are '555'. But a funny thing is that SMBFS-NTFS shares are writable. Linux has just as many 'features' as XP!

Also I had to play with

sudo mount -t NTFS -o umask=222 /dev/sdaX (sda or hda, X being the partition number)
sudo umount /dev/sdaX

just to get around rebooting all the time. Try it.

ps. I boot off a USB enclosure.

11:36 AM

Blogger Thomas said...


Thanks! I think mounting NTFS drive as writable is risky, as it is not really supported.

Anyway, have u tried WINE?

11:03 PM

Blogger Harold Nicolson said...


Yeah, not supported but almost critical don't u think. They say it's because of MS... but Samba-NTFS are writable? I like to go back and forth (for now) between OSs because nothing beats XP for downloading and organizing. I've tried WINE but wasn't too thrilled. I've got a copy of *** that I'll email a link to you. Haven't tried it as of yet though, too busy trying to load up CentOS. See ya

3:07 AM


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