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I have a 64 GB thumbdrive that I would like to use on a CentOS 5.4 Linux machine that does not seem to support NTFS. What file system should I format it as? I want to be able to use this thumbdrive in Windows as well.

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CentOS 5.4 is 3.5 years old but you can install the ntfs-3g package to gain NTFS read and write support. The ntfs-3g driver is very good despite being FUSE.

yum install fuse fuse-ntfs-3g

Alternatively you could partition the thumbdrive with both a NTFS and a EXT4 partition. I would not recommend any FAT filesystem (lack of journal, file size limitations, etc.).

There is also ext2fs for Windows which has very buggy support for EXT2 and EXT3 file-systems.

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Try using Gparted, this frontend will allow you to format the USB with the FAT filesystem.

edit: or other fs if you prefer, I recommend having a look at the features and characteristics of each on wikipedia if your not familiar with them.

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Which linux distro are you using? Most new ones handle ntfs just fine. If it is exclusively for linux, then you can just use a native linux fs such as ext3 or ext4. If you also wants to read it in other platforms such as Windows and Mac, then NTFS would be a better choice.

If you really do not like to use NTFS and still want to share files between different OSes, then you can try vfat32.

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CentOS 5.4 is what I'm using. (Updated my question with those details). I do want to use it cross-platform so I will give vfat32 a try. – THE DOCTOR Aug 14 '13 at 17:46
ntfs should work fine with centos 5.4 if you install fuse-ntfs-3g, though vfat32 might be safer as the centos 5 kernel is quite old and I am not sure how good the kernel module supports ntfs. – johnshen64 Aug 14 '13 at 17:55

I believe the best choice would be to use ntfs file system (as already mentioned).

To mount any NTFS based filesystem, you need to install a tool called NTFS3g.

Make sure you have the rpmforge repo installed. If not, refer to Repositories. Install the following packages.

yum install fuse fuse-ntfs-3g 

If the rpmforge repo is disabled by default:

yum --enablerepo=rpmforge install fuse fuse-ntfs-3g 

See reference.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I ended up formatting my drive as FAT32 with EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition.

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