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Is there a Linux utility that can create NTFS symbolic links? That is, a link on an NTFS partition that points to another NTFS folder - one that will work within Windows 7, specifically.

I wish to relocate a folder that is normally in-use while Windows is running. This machine can already dual-boot into Ubuntu, so I'd like to leverage that.

EDIT: To keep this from potentially turning into "which Windows Live CD is best", I will limit this question to "Is it possible with Linux, yes or no?"

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Create the symbolic link on the drive slaved up in another Windows machine? –  user3914 Jul 29 '10 at 19:17
That's definitely an alternative, but I'm more likely to go with a boot CD than to pull the drive in this case. –  rymo Jul 29 '10 at 20:16

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

By using NTFS-3G Advanced, it appears possible to treat existing junctions/NTFS links as if they were Linux symlinks, but my actual goal of creating new ones that work within Windows is a no-go:

Dereferencing junction points and symbolic links created by Windows is thus made possible, so are hard linking, renaming and deleting, but creating new ones is not.

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How to make a symbolic link (aka: junction point or reparse point) on an NTFS drive from Linux. Taken from: http://www.tuxera.com/community/ntfs-3g-advanced/extended-attributes/

# Display the reparse data of the file source-file
getfattr -h -e hex -n system.ntfs_reparse_data source-file

# Copy the reparse data of the file source-file
# to the file target-file
REPARSE=`getfattr -h -e hex -n system.ntfs_reparse_data source-file | \
         grep '=' | sed -e 's/^.*=//'`
setfattr -h -v $REPARSE -n system.ntfs_reparse_data target-file
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Could you improve this anwser? You have not mentioned it requires sudo apt-get attr first. What is the source-file and target-file? If I want to create a link from /home/xxx/Music to /media/Storage/Music which one is the source and which is the target? –  loostro Jun 24 at 13:36
Also, the first part (getfattr) returns "No such attribute" no matter in I run it on /home/xxx/Music or /media/Storage/Music –  loostro Jun 24 at 13:38

Just mounting the partition under Linux and creating the link with ln -s should work. This doesn't give you access to the full complexity of NTFS links, but should be enough for your purpose.

There are two different implementations of NTFS for Linux: NTFS-3g (filesystem name ntfs-3g, Ubuntu package ntfs-3g) and Linux-NTFS (filesystem name fuse.ntfs, Ubuntu package ntfsprogs). If one of them doesn't do what you want, try the other one.

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I'm already mounting the partition with ntfs-3g, and it neither follows existing links/junctions, nor creates Windows-compatible links with ln –  rymo Jul 29 '10 at 21:16

It appears that the documentation for NTFS-3G is outdated, I'm using the Ubuntu version 2011.4.12AR.4-2ubuntu3 and I was successfully able to create symbolic links inside of a virtual partition. Here's the procedure I used to test this:

dd if=/dev/zero of=ntfs.image bs=1024 count=20480
mkfs.ntfs -F ntfs.image
mkdir ntfs
sudo mount ntfs.image ntfs
cd ntfs
mkdir target
ln -s ./target symlink
ls -alF
cd -
rmdir ntfs
sudo umount ntfs
rm ntfs.image
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The question is, would your symlink function properly if that ntfs.image were mounted under an actual Windows installation? The whole point was that I wanted to use Linux to rearrange a physical Windows partition's directory structure. –  rymo Jun 20 '12 at 4:49
I don't know for sure, but I would guess that NTFS-3G would not have added this feature of Windows did not recognize the link. It's important to note that you would need to load the "ntfs-3g" package if you booted to a live disk to try this, no distribution that I'm aware of includes NTFS-3G on the disk. –  Compholio Jun 21 '12 at 14:32
ln -s "worked" for me in that it didn't fail, but the resulting link was not usable when mounted under Windows. If you can actually test this, let us know what happens. –  rymo Jun 21 '12 at 16:14
Yeah, I tried at work and these links are not recognized. It also doesn't recognize the Junction Points made on Windows though, so it's possible that I just need to upgrade my OS (currently using 11.10). –  Compholio Jun 22 '12 at 17:14

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