Which filesystem is compatible with GNU/Linux and Mac OS? I want to be able to read/write from both GNU/Linux and Mac OS. For example I want to copy a file to my external hard-drive from GNU/Linux and then copy it from the external hard-drive to Mac OS.

I know FAT works but I want it to support files bigger than 4GB. Can anyone help?

Thank you

  • 3
    Are you sure you don't just want to use scp to copy via the network? Would be much easier, I would have thought. – Mats Petersson Dec 24 '12 at 0:18
  • never considered that. didn't even hear about scp :-/ i'll do some research – user160135 Dec 24 '12 at 0:20
  • It's a relative to ssh (secure shell - secure remote login), and is very useful to copy files from one linux/unix type machine to another. scp uses the same infrastructure as ssh, to log in to the other machine and then copy the file content over. It's fairly efficient as long as machines are connected with a goog (gigabit) network, and with a long piece of wet string... :) – Mats Petersson Dec 24 '12 at 0:24

You probably want the ExFAT filesystem. Works on OSX, Linux and Windows. Supports large volume and file sizes. Here is some information on exFAT support in Linux.

  • I have read on wiki about ExFAT that "As of 2009, an experimental, open-source Linux kernel module that supports the reading of exFAT files is currently under development. A FUSE-based implementation with read/write support is available for Linux as well. None of the solutions can become an official part of Linux due to the patent encumbered status of the exFAT filesystem." Is it ok to use exfat? – user160135 Dec 24 '12 at 0:15
  • Yes, it is... They reverse-engineered the exFAT driver. I just edited the answer to provide a useful link – marcus erronius Dec 24 '12 at 0:39
  • if you have lots of small files on your ExFAT... they are taking lots of space.. to much! – Dariusz Filipiak May 3 '16 at 10:42
  • @DariuszFilipiak not really true. FAT16 and FAT32 had certain limits that made files on very large volumes take up too much space. exFAT changed those limits enough that it'll be decades before we even get close to that. – marcus erronius Jun 20 '16 at 21:36
  • I actually solved problem with big size of files on exFAT by setting small allocation unit size. – Dariusz Filipiak Jun 21 '16 at 10:23

The default OS X filesystem, HFS+, works in Linux. But first, see:


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