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I am using disk utility to partition an external hard disk. My intention is to boot linux off of the partition. However, I am unsure of which format to make the partition. Disk Utility in OS X only allows Mac OS X Journaled, Mac OS X, FAT, exFAT, and free space.

Which one should I use?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 19 '11 at 19:24

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

You can keep it unformatted for now (or as you call 'free space' as your disk utility can not format it into ext2/3/4 which is typically used for Linux).

While you are installing Linux from a Live CD/DVD, it can be taken care by Installer (eg ubuntu Live CD can format the partition in one of many choices)

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When installing, I'd recommend ext4. – Rob Sep 19 '11 at 19:30
    
+1 for ext4, am using it on my SSD (with journaling disabled) as well as regular HDD – kunal Sep 19 '11 at 19:32

Both the supported partition types (Superfloppy, DOS Primary, GPT) and bootable filesystems depend on your bootloader.

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