Use exFAT for Windows, OSX and ubuntu

By November 7, 2012 February 18th, 2015 IT Stuffs

If you have operating system in varies platforms, file transfer can be a headache.  So far I found formatting your USB flash drive in exFAT format is the most compatible filesystem format with varies operating system platforms.  In addition, exFat support file that’s larger than 4GB in size.

  • Microsoft Windows Vista or above: Support exFAT, read/write
  • MAC OSX 10.6 or above: support exFAT, read/write
  • ubuntu: need to install a package to support exFAT, read/write

Since FAT is a Microsoft thing, you should format your USB flash drive with a Windows system and choose “exFAT” as your filesystem.

Mac OSX can read/write exFAT right out of the box, you don’t need to do anything special.

For ubuntu, you need to open a terminal screen and type the following commands to install the exFat package

sudo su -
apt-get-repository ppa:relan/exfat
apt-get update
ape-get install fuse-exfat

Unfortunately, ubuntu does not auto mount the exfat.  You need to insert the USB flash drive and mount the drive by yourself.

mount -t exfat /dev/sdb1 /media/usbdrive

where /dev/sdb1 is your USB flash drive.  If you don’t know what partition your USB flash drive is, you can do “cat /proc/partitions” to list out all your partitions in your system.  Usually the last one is your USB flash drive.  You can also confirm by noting the partition size.  And, /media/usbdrive is where you want to mount your USB flash drive to.  If you don’t have that folder, you need to create it first.

That’s it, pretty straight forward isn’t it?

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