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Thread: What file system should I use

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    What file system should I use

    Hi,

    I want to format a USB hard drive to be used by Ubuntu, Windows and Mac OS X.
    What file system should I use?

    Ubuntu version is 12.04 and later, Windows is XP and later (possibly 7) and Mac OS is 10.7.5 and later.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: What file system should I use

    If you want to be able to use the drive with all 3 machines without having to install any software then you're stuck with FAT32, as it's the only one with native support from all 3 OS's.

    If installing software isn't a problem then I'd go for NTFS which works natively with Windows and Ubuntu, and will work with OS X once you have installed the correct software.
    http://ntfsonmac.com/
    Cheesemill

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: What file system should I use

    See here.

    It says that if you install ntfs-3g on the Mac ntfs is OK, else you can use the good old FAT32.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Re: What file system should I use

    Thanks a lot guys. I think I'll go with NTFS, seems to be the correct choise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Courtenay, BC, Canada
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    1,661

    Re: What file system should I use

    you can install ext drivers on Windows and OSX, but if you wantbto ensure compatibility with all versions of Windows, OSX, etc, then use a FAT file system. ext3 is preferable, but FAT is the most compatible (it will even work on Win95)

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