What filesystem should I use to share between windows mac and linux?
August 2, 2012 3:34 AM Subscribe
I have a 1TB external hard drive that I want to use with Linux, Mac & Windows 7. What filesystem should I format it with?
posted by metaBugs to computers & internet (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My SO has a Mac which is her primary tool for work. It's set up the way she likes and needs it, and introducing any bugs or other screwups that impede her work would be pretty disastrous at the moment. So we're very reluctant to install or modify any software on that machine. I have a kubuntu Linux machine which I'm happy to install new stuff on and, on the same machine, I have a Windows 7 install that I can fiddle with.
The drive itself will mostly be used to store media and backups, but with a couple of large files (e.g. some very large data sets and a 50gb truecrypt vault).
From reading around, it looks like my best options are:
NTFS -- Might require installing something to the Mac?
HFS -- I need commercial software to let Windows see it, and have no idea how well that'll work
exFAT -- The linux support I've seen tends to be labelled "experimental" or "beta", which makes me a bit twitchy when talking about a drive that'll be holding my backups. Perhaps importantly, it seems to be designed for flash drives; my HDD is not a flash drive.
What filesystem(s) would you suggest for Linux, Mac and Windows? What pros/cons of the filesystems am I missing? Should we just give it all up and go back to wax tablets?