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Cross-platform filesystem

I want to reformat a my 2 Gb flash drive for cross-platform compatibility, but I don't know the difference between all the file systems. I know that FAT32 is compatible with Windows and Linux, but I believe NTFS is, as well.

  • Which file system has the widest compatibility?
  • Which file system is least likely to damage my files if the drive is removed unsafely?
  • If I want to secure my drive with a password, must I use a specific file system?

My knowledge of file systems is sorely lacking; I would appreciate an explanation.

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marked as duplicate by quack quixote, Troggy Feb 14 '10 at 4:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
this question has been asked a few times before. best duplicate may be: superuser.com/questions/45130/cross-platform-filesystem .. others: superuser.com/questions/72546/… superuser.com/questions/12102/… –  quack quixote Feb 13 '10 at 17:33

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would go with FAT32. If there was a need for large files, maybe I would opt for something else. But on a 2 Gb USB, there is really no problems in that view. Pretty much everything can read from it, and write to it, it being a rather old nowadays system.

I've never experienced any loss of files, but if you really wish to be sure just safely remove/unmount regularly. File corruption is not so much related to the filesystem itself, but rather to the operations pending in the moment of the forced removal (so to speak).

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+1 FAT32 is just fine, the 4GB file size limit doesn't matter on a 2GB stick :) –  Molly7244 Feb 13 '10 at 17:53
    
Doesn't NTFS have some certain flags, though? As I remember, one time my NTFS external didn't get removed safely in Windows and when I tried to mount it in Ubuntu I had to force it with mount (and some parameter)—it wouldn't mount automatically or manually via GNOME, I think; some NTFS flag hadn't been set correctly since it wasn't removed safely. –  Nathaniel Feb 13 '10 at 18:53
    
@Nathaniel - Could be ... I haven't had any problems with the above, but I'm not disregarding anything. It's just that I haven't encountered it. –  ldigas Feb 13 '10 at 20:10

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