I have an NTFS backup hard drive and I want to perform incremental backups that utilize hard links to save storage space.

When I try to link 2 files on the hard drive via a Linux OS (I'm currently using Mac OSX) an error appears the operation is not supported.

Is it possible to create a hard link on an NTFS filesystem using Linux/Unix tools?

Note: The hard links are to other files one the same NTFS drive.

  • 2
    Hard links can't cross file systems.
    – n8te
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 7:32
  • This link has a good explanation as to why: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/290525/…
    – Sc00T
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 15:14
  • 2
    I don't want to create hard links across file systems. Let me reword the question. I've edited the original post. Commented May 13, 2017 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


According to its man page, NTFS-3G supports hard links and symbolic links.

NTFS-3G is an open source cross-platform implementation of the Microsoft Windows NTFS file system with read-write support. NTFS-3G often uses the FUSE file system interface, so it can run unmodified on many different operating systems. It is runnable on Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenSolaris, BeOS, QNX, WinCE, Nucleus, VxWorks, Haiku, MorphOS, Minix, Mac OS X and OpenBSD

NTFS-3G supports all operations for writing files: files of any size can be created, modified, renamed, moved, or deleted on NTFS partitions. Transparent compression is supported, but there is no support for encryption. Support to modify access control lists and permissions is available. NTFS partitions are mounted using the Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) interface.

NTFS-3G supports partial NTFS journaling, so if an unexpected computer failure leaves the file system in an inconsistent state, the volume can be repaired. As of 2009, a volume having an unclean journal file is recovered and mounted by default. The ‘norecover’ mount option can be used to disable this behavior.


see here also:

https://serverfault.com/questions/165389/create-ntfs-symbolic-links-from-within-linux https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4685207/is-creating-hardlinks-from-linux-on-a-ntfs-partition-viable

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .