Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible, using Ubuntu 9.04, to mount a USB HDD that's been formatted on a Mac (HFS+?)

How about under windows?

share|improve this question

Linux has read-only support for journaled HFS+ volumes and read/write support for unjournaled volumes. a quick Google search finds MacDrive for Windows.

share|improve this answer

If you want to read a flash drive cross-platform I would recommend formatting FAT32, which will allow you to read/write in all platforms without installing new file system drivers.

Although, FAT32 only supports files up to 4GB, I believe. Microsoft has introduced exFAT to help users who have large flash drives, ie >4GB, and still want to use a FAT file system (for compatibility reasons). I do not know if Mac can read/write exFAT.

share|improve this answer

I recommend cross-platform Mac users format their portable drives (flash or otherwise) using the GUID Partition Table format at the low level, and have one HFS+J (Mac OS Extended, Journaled) volume, and one FAT32 (MS-DOS, Windows) volume. Any modern OS can work with the FAT partition, but Mac files do better with the HFS+ partition. Journaling is important for flash drives since it's all to common that you'll unplug it without properly ejecting it sometime.

share|improve this answer

It's best to simply use Fat32, since it's the only file system that is RELIABLY cross-compatible. NTFS works on non-Windows systems but the implementations are usually buggy and require 3rd party software.

As for exFat, it works well on Windows (I think it's what the Xbox 360 uses for file storage as well) but it does not work with OS X. I just plugged an exFat formatted drive into my Macbook Pro and it did not recognize the drive or the partition in Disk Utility. FYI, I am running Snow Leopard 10.6.3.

share|improve this answer
The xbox 360 does not use exFAT as a file system it uses FAT32 as a File system and it is compatible with NTFS, NTFC (for media i.e. music, and video), exFAT, HFS, and HFS+ – user61463 Jan 4 '11 at 22:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.