My Laptops internal 640 GB HDD ,WD Scorpio blue(WD6400BPVT). It has 5 partitions.

  • 120 GB NTFS partition, primary, sda1
  • 250 GB NTFS, extended, sda5
  • 20 GB / (root), sda6
  • 4 GB /swap, sda7
  • ~ 202 GB /home, sda8

Those two NTFS partitions due to previous windows installation, but read/write speed on NTFS partitions is only around 42 MB/s, while read/write speed on ext4 partitions are over 85 MB/s. I'm am geting such slow speed since installed Ubuntu 14.04 .

What is the Problem ?


  • I had defragmented both NTFS partitions before Installing Ubuntu
  • I also tried to defragment with this command, but no luck.

fsck -t ntfs --kerneldefrag /dev/sda

  • fsck -t ntfs --kerneldefrag /dev/sda does defrag on the whole disk where a valid NTFS structure doesn't even exist (well, you can't find the proper offsets for NTFS stuffs then), not on your partitition /dev/sda<num>. Also try raw reading speed testing like dd if=/dev/sda<num> of=/dev/null bs=128M count=16 so you can confirm it's not a problem with the disk and there's really something to do with ntfs-3g. Many hard drives get slower as the physical location of the data on the disk gets to the inner tracks. Not-that-native filesystems are quite likely to be slow, so don't be surprised. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 18:46
  • I did raw read speed test with dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/null bs=128M count=16 , it is showing speed around 112 MB/s , surprising ! why ?
    – Suvas
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 2:08
  • So NTFS is the one to blame now. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 2:19
  • Is slow speed normal for NTFS partitions on linux ? as written on the 1st answer by petry. Is there any workaround for this problem other than backup the data and format NTFS partitions to ext4 ? It will b great if you write your comment as an answer.
    – Suvas
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 2:42
  • @MingyeWang no, the thing to blame is the FUSE ntfs-3g driver, which is obviously slow, being a userspace driver. The new NTFS kernel driver is very fast
    – phuclv
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 17:26

2 Answers 2


Found this thread on ubuntuforums where the OP found mounting their NTFS partition with the sync option in their fstab was causing the slowness. Sure enough, after removing sync from my NTFS partition entry in /etc/fstab, I observed a dramatic speedup on all file access.


NTFS is a proprietary file system (MS). Everything ntfs-3g is able to do was achieved by reverse engineering. Considering the above, I would not expect a proprietary file system to be as fast as an open file system (under linux).

Now, if NTFS should be only 20% slower than ext4 (instead of 50%) in your case, i do not know, but i'm sure you can have a clean NTFS partition to do some tests (if you're not using swap frequently, you can format it as NTFS and do some testing).

  • @ petry , as you mentioned , soon I will do a test with cleanly formated NTFS partition, by formating the swap partition.
    – Suvas
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 2:14

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