Here’s a guide for myself on how to format and mount an NTFS partition on FreeBSD. These examples were run on FreeBSD 12.2-RELEASE.

List disks:

# geom disk list
Geom name: da1
1. Name: da1
   Mediasize: 1000204886016 (932G)
   Sectorsize: 512
   Stripesize: 4096
   Stripeoffset: 0
   Mode: r0w0e0
   descr: HGST TOURO S
   lunid: 5000000000000001
   ident: 21001410170002100173
   rotationrate: unknown
   fwsectors: 63
   fwheads: 255

This guide will create a single giant NTFS partition taking up the entirety of da1.

Destroy the existing partition table if necessary:

# gpart destroy -F da1
da1 destroyed

Create the (GPT) partition table if you don’t already have one.

# gpart create -s GPT da1
da1 created

Create a partition:

# gpart add -t ms-basic-data da1
da1p1 added

A common mistake when trying to create an NTFS partition is to run:

# gpart add -t ntfs da1
gpart: Invalid argument

This is one of the least helpful error messages I can imagine. gpart doesn’t let you create a partition with type “ntfs” on a disk with a GPT partition table. You’d need to make a MBR partition table instead.

Format the partition:

# NTFS_USE_UBLIO=0 mkntfs -vf /dev/da1p1

The mkntfs command is part of the sysutils/fusefs-ntfs package. -v prints verbose output, -f skips zeroing out the partition and elides some checks to speed up creating the partition. Setting NTFS_USE_UBLIO is a workaround for a bug in mkntfs which causes the command to hang.

Mount the partition:

# ntfs-3g /dev/da1p1 /mnt/

The ntfs-3g program is also part of the sysutils/fusefs-ntfs package.

Should this fail with the error fuse: failed to open fuse device: No such file or directory, the fuse kernel module is likely not loaded. Load it with:

# kldload fuse

Set it to load on boot by adding the following to /boot/loader.conf:


To unmount the partition:

# umount /mnt