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Which Filesystem Do You Use On Portable Media For Linux Systems?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the hell-is-other-people's-file-permissions dept.

569

An anonymous reader writes "Most people use MS filesystems on Disk-On-Keys, and portable hard drives, as these are readable from most machines. But this way you lose the files' permission information, which many times is very inconvenient (you must agree that having Ubuntu asking you whether to execute or display every text file or image you open from a DOK is annoying). Using 'regular' Linux filesystems like ext keeps the permissions, but may require using the superuser when switching machines (as the UIDs are different). So do any of you have a creative solution for this problem?"

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ext3 (3, Insightful)

Dice (109560) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383403)

I don't use OSes other than Linux, so the choice is simple. If I did have to interact with Windows or OS X I'd probably use FAT32.

Re:ext3 (1)

bluelip (123578) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383709)

All of the files on the thumb drive are mine, so I don't care about permissions. Nearly of the tools I use are CLI based and don't ask whether to "open or run". Are you carrying around programs on your drive?

Have you tried mounting the device w/ the `noexec` option? Might as well use `noatime` also to save some wear and tear on the drive if it's supported by your filesystem.

Re:ext3 (3, Insightful)

bluelip (123578) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383757)

Or possibly get a stick that supports U3 on it. Put the windows drivers for reiser on the CD portion of the drive and format the storage are as reiser. Self-contained, multi-platform, permission preserving solution.

One such example of reiser drivers for windows.
http://rfsd.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:ext3 (1, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383721)

How do you handle the uid issue raised in the summary? I'm thinking a different passwd file for each system might work. You'd probably need an /etc/shadow for each, at least.

Re:ext3 (0)

Dice (109560) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383921)

I don't normally run into it since I have the same UID for my user account on all of my systems, excluding client systems for work. If I did run into a permissions problem I would just use sudo to do whatever I needed with root privs.

Re:ext3 (0, Flamebait)

Kwiik (655591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383949)

was your post meant to be modded funny or assclown?

Seriously.. your solution makes no sense.

Re:ext3 (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383825)

Well, make it FAT32 for me. The default. I don't know about Ext3, I never really liked it for it's ability to forget my files' existence. but It seems to me that ReiserFS probably thrashes drives which could not be that good on flash media.

Maybe JFS could be "soft" enough and has been pretty stable on other drives for me.

Re:ext3 (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383883)

I don't know about Ext3, I never really liked it for it's ability to forget my files' existence.

That's rather unusual. I've always known Ext3 as an absolutely rock-solid filesystem. If I had files mysteriously disappear on an Ext3 volume, the first thing I would suspect is a hardware problem.

Re:ext3 (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383925)

Actually, it happened to me quite a lot, on several different systems and.. well... it happened. So I never again used Ext3. Was quite happy with ReiserFS for a while, but then, while ReiserFS might be nice for normal hard drives, seems to me it's a bit rough on flash media. And then, Reiser decided to go rough no his wife and it lost support, which meant I could no more rely on it on a long term. So I turned to JFS which is very light both on the drive and on the CPU and has been running fault free and smoothly for a long time, flawless years even.

Re:ext3 (-1, Flamebait)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384015)

Threads like this remind me of why Linux will never make it as a mainstream OS.

Well, now ... (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383407)

So do any of you have a creative solution for this problem?

Isn't the whole point of this "problem" that there shouldn't be a solution to the problem?

Re:Well, now ... (0, Redundant)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383585)

So do any of you have a creative solution for this problem?

Isn't the whole point of this "problem" that there shouldn't be a solution to the problem?

That was my thoughts exactly, I don't think the guy understands how security works. If you remove the qualifications to access a file to perseve only -- say -- the need for user name to match, then what the hell kind of nonsense security is that?

Re:Well, now ... (3, Insightful)

rale, the (659351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383645)

How does requiring the UID to match prove any more secure than requiring a username match, for a portable drive?  If I have the drive in my hand, I can plug it into any computer I want and access it as root anyway.

Re:Well, now ... (0, Redundant)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383969)

How does requiring the UID to match prove any more secure than requiring a username match, for a portable drive? If I have the drive in my hand, I can plug it into any computer I want and access it as root anyway.

Well you are right and I completely agree, I was only trying to figure out how the guy was thinking. Is the sole purpose to transfer the permissions from one source to another? If so tar will do that.

Re:Well, now ... (2, Informative)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383797)

So do any of you have a creative solution for this problem?

Isn't the whole point of this "problem" that there shouldn't be a solution to the problem?

That was my thoughts exactly, I don't think the guy understands how security works. If you remove the qualifications to access a file to perseve only -- say -- the need for user name to match, then what the hell kind of nonsense security is that?

This may be a case where the physical security (possession of the portable media) is much more important than the filesystem permissions. Generally speaking, the portable media itself is a storage-only device and does not have the mechanisms in place to enforce file permissions, relying entirely on the machine to which it is connected for such tasks. Therefore, if you are not using encryption, then you should always assume that anyone with physical control of the media is going to be able to obtain the files on it. If nothing else, they can plug it into a machine that they own/control and copy the files as the superuser. If you are using encryption, then the filesystem permissions should be moot when talking about portable media.

Re:Well, now ... (2)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383987)

If you remove the qualifications to access a file to perseve only -- say -- the need for user name to match, then what the hell kind of nonsense security is that?

True. However, there are other systems that use user name and key. NFSv4 uses user name and kerberos. Does a similar cross-platform solution exist for removable media?

Personally, I just mount vfat with my UID. Granted, that means no security for my files. However, there isn't anything currently on the key that I care about. If I were to put something sensitive on it, I'd encrypt the drive.

I have thought about using ext2, as it has a driver for Windows. However, you do get into the UID matching problem.

easy.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383409)

use DVD's, you'll still lose all of the security on the files, but they can be read by everything.

Re:easy.. (1)

mrcaseyj (902945) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383483)

Maybe we should have something like Rock Ridge for permissions on FAT32.

Re:easy.. (0, Troll)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383485)

use DVD's, you'll still lose all of the security on the files, but they can be read by everything.

So your solution to a problem is to give up? How does that tend to work out for you?

Re:easy.. (2, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383917)

0% of the time, it works every time.

Poratibility (4, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383421)

Since we're talking about portable media, I want it portable and use fat32. That way I know I'll be able to use it pretty much everywhere.

All my systems at home are Linux-based, ext3. NONE of my neighbors, family, or work associates have that, so it's a no-brainer.

Jesus... (0, Offtopic)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383549)

Rosry 'bout teh lysdexia.

Re:Poratibility (2, Interesting)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383629)

Since we're talking about portable media, I want it portable and use fat32.

I use FAT32 even on the HDD partition shared between Linux and Windows on my office machine. Other file systems have just caused me headaches with permissions in the past, though I suppose that's just because I wasn't managing them properly. I suppose I could change my ways, but it's easier just to use FAT. If that's ill-advised of me, maybe someone will tell me so :-)

I'm not sure what I'm going to switch to when >4 GB files become more prevalent ...

Re:Poratibility (4, Insightful)

eapache (1239018) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383719)

The Linux NTFS drivers are working well now. That's what I use on my shared partition.

Re:Poratibility (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383813)

Seconded. As long as you "safely remove" (AKA, unmount) the drive in Windows, you can use NTFS with impunity.

Re:Poratibility (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383731)

I'm not sure what I'm going to switch to when >4 GB files become more prevalent ...

There has only been one situation where I've had to move or copy a file over FAT32's filesize limit: Moving either a VMWare or VirtualBox image from one machine to another. It those cases, I upgraded disks and kept the same OS (some form of Linux), so it's not been a problem, since I had both the old and new disks connected to the same system. I would imagine it would be the same with any WinXP/Vista/7 box. You have both disks, same OS.

I've never had to copy or move that large of a file between different OSes. Most users wouldn't either, but I imagine admins might have the need to do so, but enterprise backups solutions would have that covered.

Re:Poratibility (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383777)

If you have needs for large files why wouldn't someone just stick it on a server, plug in the box to the server and download the file over a local network? Yeah, it might be slower but it sure would be cheaper (anything above 16 GB in a USB flash drive is -expensive- ) and would work on any OS.

Re:Poratibility (1)

shimage (954282) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383775)

As someone already mentioned NTFS is better. I'd feel naked using a non-journaling filesystem ... On the other hand, I've never had any permissions problems using ext under Windows, but I don't share this computer with anyone else.

Re:Poratibility (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383817)

I used to do that but it became a nuisance. Now I use NTFS, since there are stable read/write tools for OS X, Linux, and Windows.

Re:Poratibility (1)

BlueBlade (123303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383727)

Of course, the problem with FAT32 is that it cannot accommodate file sizes larger than 4GB. In this day and age, carrying a few DVD ISOs around is quite common, so FAT32 doesn't quite cut it. What is needed is some kind of file system that doesn't use any permission, but is a bit more modern than FAT32.

I just use (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383427)

I just use FAT32 because the main point of my USB drive is to transfer data between computers and provide a backup of my most important documents. To be perfectly honest I don't know why anyone would need permissions on a USB drive. Most programs on Linux are easy enough that with your .whatever directory in your home folder simply just copy that to your drive and paste it on the new machine. With APT and such most software is easily accessible (making portable binaries like on Windows needless). So why would you even need it?

NTFS (5, Funny)

mrcaseyj (902945) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383431)

Use NTFS?

Re:NTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383495)

No write support on OSX for NTFS... OSX sure likes to lag behing Linux, eh? :)

ntfs-3g for mac (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383625)

Sure it does.

http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/

Re:ntfs-3g for mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383693)

Not by default; 3rd party software doesn't really help in most situations.

For example, at my University where users do not have admin access there is no way to write to a NTFS drive...

Re:ntfs-3g for mac (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383759)

Does this have the same issue Linux' ntfs-3g has?
-not to be able to mount a partition that hasn't been cleanly dismounted, except by forcing it
-extremely slow performance with large files or fragmented filesystems
-slow performance generally

If so, I wouldn't say OSX has NTFS support. Neither does Linux. Just some experimental hack that works "well enough".

HFS+ (3, Informative)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383445)

For the most part, I still use FAT32 since everything can read it. Simple as that.

However, Linux has no issue reading HFS+ and my main machine is a Mac so it does the trick too.

Re:HFS+ (1)

Tangential (266113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383911)

If you don't need to interoperate with M$ boxes and you use Macs, hfs+ is the ideal solution. (Of course not having to interoperate with M$ boxes is pretty close to ideal too.)

FAT32 - Occasionally NTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383447)

I use FAT32 almost exclusively. The universal compatibility is far more important, to me, than permission on a flash drive. With FAT32 I can easily move from various Windows flavors to various Linux and OSX flavors without a second thought.

The only time that I deviate from FAT32 is when I need to move files larger than 4GB. In those cases, I typically use NTFS because it is also more portable than EXT2 or 3.

I've not have Ubuntu ask me what to do with files from flash drives. Usually, the file type association in Gnome handles that for me. Perhaps there is an abnormality in your setup?

Re:FAT32 - Occasionally NTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383729)

I've not have Ubuntu ask me what to do with files from flash drives. Usually, the file type association in Gnome handles that for me. Perhaps there is an abnormality in your setup?

Neither Debian, FreeBSD, nor OS X has ever given me a problem over permissions on a flash drive. Perhaos the submitter is just inept or could be simple trolling...

FAT (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383465)

I like to live dangerously.

uid issue (3, Insightful)

james_shoemaker (12459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383469)

Ever think of just making the uid's on your various machines match?

James

Re:uid issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383491)

Ever think of just making the uid's on your various machines match?

James

Not always possible...
many times I plug my USB into a machine which is not mine..

Re:uid issue (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383741)

And if you were plugging into a different machine, why wouldn't you make your flash drive be FAT32? Lets see here the choices are FAT32, basic but everything can read it. HTFS+ But Macs can't read it, NTFS which I think has some problems with OS X, or EXT3 or another obscure Linux system that may be superior tech wise, it simply won't work on any non-Linux system.

Mount noexec (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383477)

If you don't want things to look executable, mount it with the noexec option (which you could put in fstab). That way nothing on the device, even with FAT, will appear executable.

Since you are moving the files between computers, is the permissions loss really a problem? Aren't you just going to copy things off anyway?

If you need to limit access to certain users, you could use encrypted loopback file systems. But really, why not just use separate USB keys for different sets of permissions.

FAT is a lowest common denominator for a reason. If you want to interact with Windows, your only other real choice is NTFS, which isn't a bad option.

Sure you could use Ext3, or Reiser, or BTFS, or something else, but then you can't use your flash drive on any machine, thus defeating it's purpose.

Re:Mount noexec (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383615)

If you don't want things to look executable, mount it with the noexec option (which you could put in fstab). That way nothing on the device, even with FAT, will appear executable.

An excellent solution, and probably not a bad idea anyways, for security reasons.

And if you do want to preserve permissions, well, there's always tar or zip, both of which can make archives that preserve ownership and rights.

Re:Mount noexec (1)

guitaristx (791223) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383905)

I find that password-protected zip files work marvelously well on portable media.

UID's (4, Interesting)

aashenfe (558026) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383487)

One of the annoying things about User ID's is that most Distros user utilities start at some number and count up. Then when you use nfs or removable media you find that the files are now owned by another user.

It would be nice if the default was to pick a random arbitrary and large UID so the chance of UID clashes would be remote.

Re:UID's (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383935)

I was wondering what the largest possible UID is, and some superficial googling suggests it's either 2^31 (signed 32 bit), effectively 2^31/2 as UIDs have to be positive, or 2^32 (unsigned 32 bit). But, it seems the maximun UID used to be 2^16, and that's still the recommended maximum. That number is way to small to avoid collisions - well, actually both numbers are, but this one especially.
I wouldn't be surprised when a large amount of open source software would have issues with UIDs > 2^16 anyways.

I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (5, Informative)

C3ntaur (642283) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383497)

Then, if I need to preserve Linux file settings I'll zip, tar, or cpio and store them on the stick that way.

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (4, Insightful)

mrcaseyj (902945) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383667)

C3ntaur wrote:

I invite anyone who claims CO2 is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes.

I invite anyone who claims pure water is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes.

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383787)

The test of a pollutant at a specific concentration is such that two identical Earths have distinct and measurable projections for average lifespan across species and number of surviving species after several lifespans of all species.

When there are spare Earths to go around, we'll be in business... or, when there are sufficiently detailed computer models.

It doesn't matter what CO2 or H2O does to humans when breathed in excess. What does matter is whether something has a long-term effect on the whole environment...

So, both your and the grandparent's points are moot and unhelpful.

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (1, Offtopic)

sofar (317980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383809)

mrcaseyj wrote:
>
>> C3ntaur wrote:
>> I invite anyone who claims CO2 is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes.
>
> I invite anyone who claims pure water is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes.

I invite anyone who claims pure oxygen is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (3, Insightful)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384001)

sofar wrote:

>mrcaseyj wrote:
>>
>>> C3ntaur wrote:
>>> I invite anyone who claims CO2 is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes.
>>
>> I invite anyone who claims pure water is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes.
>
> I invite anyone who claims pure oxygen is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes

I invite anyone who claims pure vacuum is not a pollutant to sit in a room full of it for 10 minutes.

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383957)

I invite anyone who claims pudding is a pollutant to sit in $240 of it [youtube.com] for 10 minutes. Aaawww yeah.

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384017)

wat?

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383771)

That doesn't help if you want to access the file on different systems with appropriate permissions though. One way or another, there has to be a mapping between different IDs on different systems.

Re:I use the FAT filesystem most sticks come with (1)

bluelip (123578) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383829)

Guess oxygen, argon, nitrogen, etc are pollutants than as well if we are to follow the logic of your signature.

DOK (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383503)

What? Who on earth calls it a Disk on Key?

Re:DOK (2, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383591)

I have a red one. What would the acronym for that be?

Re:DOK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383733)

What? Who on earth calls it a Disk on Key?

Nobody in the last five years or so.

It's kind of old-timey, like a "solid state" label on a radio.

Re:DOK (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383767)

Even five years ago, I don't recall this term being remotely popular.

Re:DOK (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383873)

In Norwegian [google.com] and Swedish [google.com] you can call it "minne pinne".

Re:DOK (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383879)

What? Who on earth calls it a Disk on Key?

You don't and probably everyone you know doesn't, but you had no trouble understanding what was meant.

Give the anonymous guy/girl a break. We don't know if English is or isn't their first language.

Don't use file system directly (1)

I_Wrote_This (858682) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383505)

Your biggest problem isn't filesystem compatibility, but id compatibility. For transfer between system I don't control I use tar files onto fat32, then extract at the other end. Or zip files if I think a non-standard based system such as MS Windows might be involved. For ones I do control, they are all Linux, so ext3. And I have the same uid/gid across them (so I use the same one at home (and teh same account name) as I have been allocated at work.

File permissions are useless on portable media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383509)

When you mount media on a different Linux machine that you don't have control of, the uid numbers are different. You won't be able to access your files. Permissions won't stop anyone with root access on a machine from accessing files on the media.

I use a FAT filesystem since it works anywhere. If I want to share files with someone who has a Windows machine, it works. If I want to transfer files that I don't want to give anyone else access to, I simply don't hand out and don't lose the media.

Re:File permissions are useless on portable media (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383837)

This is not exactly true.

When you create the media, if you assign o+r permissions to all files and directories non root users on the destination machine will be able to read and copy files onto their other nix box.

If they have to write give them o+w as well.

This inability to read ext2/3/4 files if you have different uids isn't a bug, its a feature.

tar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383519)

use tar on fat32

tarballs (4, Interesting)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383541)

I use tarballs. I have Macs and Linux boxes, and I occasionally need to share with windows users, so I use Fat32 as my flash drive FS. But when switching files between two of my boxes, or another Unix-like box, I use tar jcvf foo.tbz <files>, then tar jxvf foo.tbz on the other side. It works great. I suppose now that I have a 32gb flash drive, I could drop the j and avoid the slight time delay of the compression, but it's an old habit.

Re:tarballs (1)

naturaverl (628952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383635)

Probably still faster keeping the j (bzip2 compression) because there's less data to transfer over USB.

Re:tarballs (3, Informative)

josath (460165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383871)

Maybe if he used z instead of j...bzip2 is a notoriously slow compression algo.

Re:tarballs (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383975)

Yeah, pretty sure the compression is faster than USB transfer.

Re:tarballs (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383735)

I'm having some trouble - would you explain how tarballs help side-step the issue of the file system? I know you can split them to avoid the 4GB issue with FAT32, but I still have to use HFS+ on my external disk with the HD movies on: I don't want to have to extract something every time I want to watch it after all. If you have a set of tarballs on an ext3 volume then I don't see how that would help you read/write them on anything that doesn't support it. Obviously if you use *nix exclusively then this won't be a problem for you, or indeed anyone for whom the original question applies. I may have missed your point but I just don't understand how tarballs have anything to do with the choice of file system besides what I mentioned earlier about the limitations of FAT.

Re:tarballs (1)

oe1kenobi (601951) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383919)

I'm guessing the tarball gets around the "permissions are whiped-out" issue, and as the GP mentions, this is only for moving files from one *nix machine to another (not playing files off of the external drive). Seem pretty straight-forward to me. It just doesn't address the permissions problem when playing files directly off of the drive.

FAT32 out the window (4, Interesting)

jamyskis (958091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383543)

Until very recently, I had a 32GB USB flash card formatted with FAT32. Not that I find FAT32 particularly nice, but it was practical, as it enabled me to easily swap my stuff between my home Windows game PC, my Linux PC, my work Linux laptop and my work Windows PC. The problem was never Linux - the problem was Windows and a lack of ext3 support (I develop under Linux and need the chmod permissions, which all turns to crap when I copy it over to FAT32, which doesn't retain them)

Focus on the WAS. It WAS practical, until I was faced with the rather interesting prospect of copying an 7.5GB dual-layer DVD master image onto the stick. As we know, FAT32 has a file size limit of 6GB which causes all kinds of interesting problems.

Re:FAT32 out the window (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383633)

FAT32 has a file size limit of 6GB

Didn't you mean 4GB?

Re:FAT32 out the window (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383685)

man split

(I didn't find out about this one until a few months back, and I've been using *looks at RMS* GNU for years.)

Re:FAT32 out the window (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384023)

You can split files you know?
Also, as many pointed out, you can retain those permissions on FAT32 by using tar or cpio, and allegedly even zip.

AES256 encrypted NTFS (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383553)

NTFS with LUKS and FreeOTFE does the trick for me.

Portable Encryption Please (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383977)

NTFS with LUKS and FreeOTFE does the trick for me.

Unfortunately it doesn't for me, as FreeOFTE requires admin access on the workstation you're using, which isn't always available.

Choosing a filesystem is the easy part, compared to finding a decent cross-platform encrypted FS solution.

Portable Media? What's that? (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383557)

I use git or tortoisegit for my file transfer needs. There is also a samba share for my xbox to access movies and music. If that doesn't cover it, I have my flash drive somewhere with a portable copy of winscp.

Re:Portable Media? What's that? (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383657)

Whoops, I guess I forgot to answer the actual question. I use ext3 with fat32 on that random flash drive :)

Archiving is the way (1)

TsukiKage (708580) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383563)

FAT here; when I care about permissions, I make tarballs - which incidentally also make resolving the UID problem much easier.

fat32 + man mount (1)

iusty (104688) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383571)

Look at the fmask and dmask mount options for the fat/ntfs family.

regards,
iustin

Re:fat32 + man mount (1)

naturaverl (628952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383651)

man mount.... Someone mod parent hilarious!!

tar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383599)

machine 1)
tar zcf /dev/sdb /music/mp3/*.mp3
machine 2)
cd newmusicdir
tar xf /dev/sdb

VOILA!

ext2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383605)

For flash stuff at least. Journal is just wasted there. All my boxen are nix, so I don't need fat.

ext2 (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383611)

Really? FAT32. Because it works on everything.

But it's possible to use ext2 and not lose cross-machine function ; there are filesystem drivers for Windows that are able to mount ext2. Of course, you have to pre-plan which machines you're going to use, and have administrator rights on them to install the driver, and it's not nearly as mature as the FAT32 driver is for both Linux and Windows.

So, FAT32. Shame about the filesize limits, but there you go.

Hardly a Linux-only problem. (5, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383621)

This is hardly a problem unique to Linux, although as you point out Linux does have its own special requirements that may make using FAT32 a bit problematic.

My home network is a combination of Mac OS X clients and Linux servers (Debian is so easily made so Mac friendly...). I have a USB key that I don't tend to use too often (online storage has removed much of that need), but I did decide at one point that easy interoperability between OS's was important, while at the same time needing OS-specific support from time-to-time, for specific applications and data.

My solution? I formatted my key for FAT32, and then created some disk images on the key formatted them to whatever OS-specific format was suitable (HFS+, ext3, etc.). By leaving sufficient room on the main FAT32 volume, I can readily store platform-neutral data, and inside the images I can store whatever OS-specific data (such as applications) that don't need to be accessible on every system I encounter.

This does require an extra mounting steps. In OS X, it entails plugging in the key, and then double-clicking on the DMG file to mount it. In Linux, I have to mount the ext3 image using the loop pseudo-device. Of course, this is only necessary if attempting to access data in one of the OS-specific formatted images: accessing shared data merely requires mounting the key itself (generally automatically handled by the OS).

It's hardly perfect, but it does mean you can have one key that can have both shared and OS-specific data on it for as many OS's as you'd like to have at your disposal.

Yaz.

Re:Hardly a Linux-only problem. (1)

ComputerDruid (1499317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383699)

Don't you then generally run into the filesize limits of fat32 with the disk images rather quickly?

Explore2fs (4, Informative)

Pow.R Toc.H (12470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383643)

If you don't want much hassle, just use explore2fs (http://www.chrysocome.net/explore2fs [chrysocome.net] ). It's an userland application which does not install any drivers or the like on Windows, and as such will execute as any user. However, you'll still need to transport it to the machines you'll want to use, and thus you'll need a tiny space of FAT32 for doing the trick.

If you have rights to install drivers on the windows machines you use, you can try the EXT2 driver available on www.fs-driver.org [fs-driver.org] . It will mount your EXT2/EXT3 volume as a drive letter so you can transfer files between partitions.

fat32 and tarballs or loopback ext3 (1)

frooddude (148993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383653)

fat32 works well enough for storing tarballs should I need to go Linux->Linux with permissions and all that. Most of the time though the UID/GID clashing isn't worth going so far as a tarball unless I need permissions preserved. I rarely transfer mixed permissions files, it's usually some form of document or media so again... fat32.

I'd use a loopback ext3 if I really needed to not use tar for some weird reason.

native filesystem (5, Interesting)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383663)

I prefer to just dd my data to the raw device. If there's more than one file, I might pipe it through tar first. This process makes it much more portable and universal.

Re:native filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383801)

Brilliant. And you save on file system overhead too.

ext3 (2, Interesting)

mukund (163654) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383831)

I have 3 Seagate FreeAgent 1 GB USB disks. They come with NTFS by default on them. Per disk:

1. I make a LUKS dm_crypt volume on it (for which support is well integrated into GNOME and hal in Fedora and Ubuntu.. just plug in and it pops up a dialog asking for the password).

2. I mkfs an ext3 filesystem on the encrypted volume.

I use this encrypted setup out of experience, having dropped an older 750GB USB disk from a height. It works from time to time and I have to physically destroy it because contents on it are not encrypted and otherwise anyone who finds this disk in the trash can mount and browse it.

Re:ext3 (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384021)

A common danger: those 750GB USB disks are notoriously heavy!

ext2 (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383897)

Because if it gets put in a Mac or Windows machine... that means I don't have the disk.

And, it will most likely look "empty" and get formatted.

Which is exactly what I want to happen when I lose that puppy!

(And my UID is 1000 on all my boxes)

Interesting Discussion (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383909)

I have various usb keys and use them among my various systems - win2k, Vista, XP, Ubuntu 9.x, openSUSE 11.x - and have not had an issue with "moutning." In fact, I'd say the last time I had an issue was with SUSE 9.1. I guess the filesystem of choice is FAT32, which is older but mostly works. I have yet to been given a "do you want to open this?" on Nautilus or Konqueror. Come to think of it, my cameras memory cards (xD and SD) are all FAT32 and so are my sons' R4DS cards.

Forget FAT/VFAT, make your own. (2, Informative)

strredwolf (532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383913)

First of all, FAT is patent encumbered and Microsoft's willing to go to court to protect it; so that's out. That includes the old UMSDOS file system Linux had at one time.

Someone needs to make a good file system that matches FAT, but is more extensible. A good choice is ext2 now... if we dropped a few things that wouldn't work nicely. Like device nodes, pipes, and Unix sockets. Like ownership, since it's assumed that the person mounting the system would own the files on it, along with groups. Simply access restrictions; they wouldn't apply.

This will simplify the structure a bit, which is a nice bonus and could let it be put on floppies. In other words, it's a light, anonymous, extended file system. LAEFS.

I got an .h file. Anyone want to help develop it as a FUSE driver?

NTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383929)

To have the possibility to share very large multimedia files NTFS on USB HD, otherwise on usb sticks fat32.

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