The official documentation of NTFS-3G states that you need to create a mapping for drive-spanning NTFS symlinks because it obviously can't map Windows drives to Linux mount points:

Another option is to let the user define what a drive letter should be mapped to in Linux. Such definitions should be located in the .NTFS-3G directory of the current file system, as symbolic links to the matching moint point. C:\Users will be converted to ./.NTFS-3G/C:/Users with C: being defined as a symbolic link to some mount point.

This is the case, as this ls -lisah shows:

224031    0 lrwxrwxrwx 2 root root   40 Aug  5  2010 creations -> /media/Daten/.NTFS-3G/W:/

So basically I need to create a symlink named "W:" in /media/Daten/.NTFS-3G that enables file lookups to the correct mount point. But the problem is... how am I supposed to create a colon in a filename on a NTFS partition?

It simply does not work:

strayer@layer:/media/Daten/.NTFS-3G$ ls -lisah
insgesamt 13K
105347   0 drwxrwxrwx 1 root root   0 Dez  5 21:38 .
     5 12K drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 12K Dez  6 09:47 ..
105348 512 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  42 Dez  5 21:38 W -> /media/truecrypt1
strayer@layer:/media/Daten/.NTFS-3G$ LANG="" sudo ln -s /media/truecrypt1/ "./W:"
ln: failed to create symbolic link `./W:': Invalid argument

Not surprising, since a colon is forbidden in NTFS file names... how am I supposed to make this work?

My first hope was that NTFS-3G would ignore the colon in the filename and just use the already existing "W" symlink, but it does not.

1 Answer 1


As explained by the NTFS-3G lead developer in their support forums:

Actually NTFS allows colons in name, only Windows does not. Your symlink creation is probably rejected because you mounted the partition with option windows_names. If so, you can probably temporarily mount without the option while creating the symlink, and set the option back afterwards. The special characters are only checked when creating a file (whether regular or special).

After mounting the volume without windows_names I was able to create the symlink with a colon in its name.

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