so I know that my primary ext SSD doesn't need to be defragmented, but I have a storage HDD that is formatted as NTFS. Does this drive still need to be defragged? If so, what programs would you recommend?

Also; would it be worth reformatting that drive to a different filesystem?

3 Answers 3


Obviously if you do not plan on ever booting that would-be-NTFS HDD under any Win OS, then backup/reformat it as ext3 o ext4 and restore its contents. That is your best functionality and performance hope for journalling under Linux.

If at a later time you discover that you need to access the contents of your ext3 or ext4 fs under Windows, then know that it's possible to r/w on ext3/4 volumes from Windows XP up, with flaws and unpredictable large surges in CPU usage, in my experience. Just use the the windows extension Ext2Fsd at your own risk for your data and with some limitations for ext4 compared to ext3.

Yes, ntfs is foreign to Linux (already pointed out by everybody here), however I don't see why you could not use it if you ever plan to hook that HDD onto a Win OS at one point or another.

1) To make sure r/w, hard and symbolic links as well as partial journalling are correctly handled by Lx, install ntfs-3g from the Canonical repo, before rebooting and mounting your ntfs volume. It is perfectly safe in my experience. Your fstab line for that mount should read something like:

UUID=____________ /mnt/[volume-name] ntfs-3g rw,user,auto,nofail,umask=0002,uid=1000,locale=en_US.UTF-8,x-gvfs-show,x-gvfs-name=[volume-name] 0 0

change umask and uid to will.

One drawback though: you might run in some difficulties with setting user permissions for anything saved on that volume. NTFS is rather simplistic about user permissions in general.

2) Defragmenting; Way back in 2011 "shake" was rumored to do defrags on NTFS fs mounted on Lx. Not true, apparently as pointed by this AU set of answers: Defragging NTFS Partitions from Linux).

Other possibilities are either use a Win OS to defrag your volume before mounting it on yr Lx OS (not very satisfactory) or use "ultradefrag". Yet another is to go for a TRIM ready SSD for your NTFS file system. In that latter case you will have zero need for defragmentation. Ever.


Whether it should be defragmented depends on how often did you read/write from it.

Not a good idea to defragment NTFS from ubuntu though: not a native file system. So it is a good idea to reformat to, for example, ext4 file-system.

I can reference you to this answer: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1335537#p1335537

But there aftereffects.


It is really not good to have a NTFS partition, if you do not have Windows.

There is no good way to maintain it.

The best way is to backup all data and format it to something well supported by linux (ext4 or xfs).

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