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Cross-platform filesystem

What is a file system which has r/w on all OSes like windows, linux and Mac.

Windows comes with FAT and NTFS support and EXT3 support can be added. Never heard about Mac OS Extended on Windows .

Linux comes with EXT3/4 support and FAT and NTFS support can be added. Mac OS Extended w/o journaled has support according to the documentation, but only works as root user.

Mac comes with FAT and Mac OS Extended Support. and experimental NTFS support can be added (which does not work quite well. Knew it first hand) . There is no ext4 support for Mac. Unsure about ext3 .

I would like to know the best file system I could use my external hard disks, so that it works with r/w capabilities on Windows, Linux and Mac or at least Linux and Mac.

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marked as duplicate by quack quixote, Troggy Feb 6 '10 at 19:24

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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

FAT32 would probably be your best bet, compatibility-wise. The only restriction is the ~4GB file size limit. With that aside, NTFS would be the best option if you planned on using file sizes > ~4GB, as r/w support is easily achievable on each of these operating systems and removes the low file size limitation.

  • With Windows, you're already in the clear
  • With Linux, most newer distributions come with the ntfs-3g driver as it is included in kernels 2.6 and above
  • With Mac, you can install ntfs-3g
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I would want to write files more than 10 Gigs and should also be secure/encryptable. For example: CoreDump's of my application –  Sairam Feb 6 '10 at 7:24
    
Added a few more details. –  John T Feb 6 '10 at 7:28
6  
and I want a million bucks. :) –  Dan McGrath Feb 6 '10 at 7:28
    
You could use truecrypt on the volume: truecrypt.org –  John T Feb 6 '10 at 7:33
    
Catacombe is just the combination of NTFS 3G and Mac Fuse. The combination already failed for me helping me clean wipe 2 backup disks –  Sairam Feb 6 '10 at 7:35

FAT32 is a terrible choice due to its lack of security control and file system limitations

ntfs is generally r/w compliant by default in most linux distros these days im not 100% sure on mac but i know there is a tool called ntfs-3g you can download to do it which also fits the security requirements you were looking for

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