Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cross-OS File System That Sucks Less?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-mount-it dept.

Data Storage 449

An anonymous reader writes "I recently got an external hard disk with USB 2.0/Firewire/Firewire 800/eSATA to be used for backup and file exchange — my desktop runs Linux (with a Windows partition for games but no data worth saving), and the laptop is a MacBook Pro. So the question popped up: what kind of filesystem is best for this kind of situation? Is there a filesystem that works well under Linux, MacOS X, and Windows? Linux has HFS+ support but apparently doesn't support journaling and there's also an issue with the case-insensitivity of HFS+. Are we stuck with crummy VFAT forever or are there efforts underway to bring a modern filesystem (I'm thinking something like ZFS, BeFS, or XFS) to all platforms? Or are there other clever solutions like storing ISO images and loop-mounting those?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Network it, or NTFS (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024061)

NTFS-3G [ntfs-3g.org]

Re:Network it, or NTFS (1)

frogger3d (980041) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024081)

When will ntfs-3g hit the mainline kernel tree (or ubuntu..)?

Re:Network it, or NTFS (5, Informative)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024133)

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g

Re:Network it, or NTFS (3, Informative)

m95lah (55920) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024141)

It runs in userspace, so it should never hit the kernel.
I'd be surprised if it wasn't in Ubuntu already.

Re:Network it, or NTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024157)

It is a userspace implementation, so it will not go into the mainline kernel unless someone makes a valid argument about how it could be improved if included in the kernel.

Doesn't work with a Macbook. (0)

reaktor (949798) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024193)

Not an option with OS X. NTFS is read-only for Mac users.

Re:Doesn't work with a Macbook. (5, Informative)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024249)

See above.

The NTFS-3G [ntfs-3g.org] driver is an open source, freely available read/write NTFS driver for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, NetBSD, and Haiku. It provides safe and fast handling of the Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 and Windows Vista file systems. Most POSIX file system operations are supported, with the exception of full file ownership and access right support.

Re:Doesn't work with a Macbook. (1)

fsiefken (912606) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024283)

Not true, check http://forum.ntfs-3g.org/ [ntfs-3g.org] for ntfs-3g parameters to mount rw.

The irony (-1, Flamebait)

aliquis (678370) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024773)

Oh the irony that it's the proprietarian filesystem instead of an open which is the best cross platform one.

All hail GPL.. or wait, don't.

Quick answer: No (1, Troll)

WebHikerOriginal (605852) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024075)

Since you have to find the lowest common denominator supported by all your platforms, your weak link is obviously (and as usual) Microsoft Windows.
So the most "modern" fs you'll be able to use is unfortunately NTFS.

Re:Quick answer: No (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024125)

There are ext2 [sourceforge.net] drivers available for windows. ext2 is just ext3 without journaling. It should be a viable option.

Re:Quick answer: No (1, Redundant)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024171)

There is also an EXT2 driver for MAC-OS, so this makes ext2/3 look like the most portable option after FAT.

One problem with the Windows ext2 driver, though -- if the filesystem is not clean when you attempt to open in in Windows, Windows helpfully offers to re-format it.

Re:Quick answer: No (0)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024175)

I've run ext2 between two installs of linux and it sucks! there's a bit somewhere that gets flipped stating that the file system needs to be checked for integrity, it seems like it gets flipped every time you boot a different OS, so it takes a looong time verifying the integrity of the data whenever you boot to the other OS.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024235)

though, journaling in ext3 fixes this and ext3 drivers can't be far behind ext2.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024369)

Yes, yes it can.

That driver has been around for literally years now. I asked the author about journalling, and he basically said it was too much of a pain to port, so it wouldn't be happening. :(

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024425)

Wait, I just googled up info on this because I have an EXT3 harddrive that I will need to access in Windows soon, and don't want to reformat it to NTFS as it would be a hassle. From what I read, I was under the impression the windows driver already supports ext3. Is that wrong? Crap.

Re:Quick answer: No (2, Informative)

Teun (17872) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024519)

ext2 is ext3 without the journaling.
There is no problem what so ever accessing an ext2/3 partition or disk from XP, it's just not journaling when writing.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024557)

I don't know, the EXT2IFS FAQ seems to imply you can mount an ext3 partition as ext3, keeping the journaling, under windows. I guess I'll have to try to see if that's true.

Re:Quick answer: No (2, Interesting)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024815)

You read that wrong. The last paragraph of the FAQ question clearly states that EXT2IFS cannot acceess an ext3 partition that's not cleanly unmounted and will operate on an ext3 partition as if it were ext2 just like old Linux kernels without ext3 support did.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024537)

first off, I was just informed that my issue was specific to my situation. second I read elsewhere here that ext3 is backwards compatible treating your ext3 partition like it was an ext2, of course this does not include journaling so it is not much (any?) better than vfat, but it should work.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024627)

Well, vfat doesn't support files bigger than 4 gigs... Like DVD images.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024293)

The dirty bit is set on mount and unset on clean unmount. If it was always set for you whenever you flipped operating systems, that indicates an issue specific to your situation; perhaps one of the operating systems wasn't shutting itself down cleanly?

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024479)

It's been a while, but I was dual booting between LFS 6.0 and Suse Linux 10.0, it happened on switching between either operating system, so booting to Suse was slow as well as booting to LFS, about the only thing I can think of that might interrupt things would be chrooting into the LFS partition from Suse, which I did almost every time. I'd be interested in any other ideas though, thanks for the info.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024723)

Ooh, just remembered something, if I reboot from LFS to LFS it wouldn't happen, same with rebooting from Suse to Suse, it was a weird problem, I just assumed that each OS was corrupting the dirty bit of the other OS. The error was always "file system hasn't been checked in 90+ days...", so maybe it wasn't corrupting the dirty bit so much as each OS was using a different date format(?) for the last time the fs was checked.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024189)

I looked a little and found ext2 drivers [sourceforge.net] for OS X too. Of course the real problem is whether any random computer you want to plug your portable hard drive into may not have these drivers.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024755)

for windows, you can do autorun from usb sticks - just have it install the ext drivers on a small vfat thumb drive

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024821)

You don't always have admin (and therefore driver installation) access

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

fangorious (1024903) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024783)

put two partitions on the drive, a small vfat partition with all the driver installers, and the main ext2/3 partition with the data.

Re:Quick answer: No (1)

LuSiDe (755770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024217)

There are even Ext3 implementations available for Windows.

There are read-only implementations for ReiserFS (v3) available for Windows and FreeBSD.

A small NAS might be suffice too. Everyone speaks CIFS/NFS these days.

wait for ZFS (0)

netdur (816698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024077)

fuse implement on both mac os x and linux

Re:wait for ZFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024105)

I recall FreeBSD's ZFS isn't compatible with Solaris' ZFS.

Re:wait for ZFS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024305)

That doesn't make any sense. FreeBSD is using sun's ZFS code with only a few changes (for stuff like jails).

Re:wait for ZFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024137)

I'm a big fan of ZFS. But a lot of the things that make it neat (raid, nfs, iscsi, etc) aren't relevant with a single external USB drive. Plus, FUSE sucks. (The next OS X release (this fall) might have native ZFS support, though).

File systems that suck less? (0, Flamebait)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024083)

I don't know. Right now I'm a Windows user so all I know is a file system that blows - nothing about systems that suck.

Re:File systems that suck less? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024463)

call me when you find one that swallows?

actually - that would probably be worthy of a slashdot article...

Forget hard drive (4, Funny)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024085)

Just get a USB card punch and reader. I think 029 punch code is pretty much standard.

Re:Forget hard drive (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024615)

Just get a USB card punch and reader. I think 029 punch code is pretty much standard.

Sid, Is that you?

Refrence; Userfriendly.org Jan 07 2002

"hief, Smiling Man, Sid
-
Chief: This quibbling about who the decision-maker is stops now. Do you two have any idea how power struggles invariably end?

ZZZZOOOOOWWWW

Darkeness

Chief: So did you not do the finance guy thing this week and neglect to pay electricity bill?

Smiling Man: Look, I can't get that stupid punchcard reader to work!

Sid: All you gotta do is ask man. That, and kneel."

Oblig. Obvious Solution (0)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024091)

FAT32 works natively on all three, but of course it's showing its age. I use Windows mostly, and compared to NTFS, FAT32 is more susceptible to data loss than NTFS and also doesn't have security controls like NTFS. Plus that whole 4gb-per-file limit thing.

Re:Oblig. Obvious Solution (2, Insightful)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024131)

I'm not so sure you even read the summary. Course it's 10am on saturday so I don't blame you.

Ext3 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024099)

http://www.fs-driver.org/ [fs-driver.org]

I just use a external drive formatted in EXT3, and for windows files i just install the Ext3 driver.

Re:Ext3^H2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024187)

the driver only implements ext2

Re:Ext3^H2 (2, Informative)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024239)

...which is perfectly fine, because Ext3 is backwards compatible and Windows wouldn't make use of the journaling feature, anyway.

Re:Ext3^H2 (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024581)

...Windows wouldn't make use of the journaling feature, anyway.

Huh? What's that supposed to mean? Why wouldn't it?

Re:Ext3^H2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024663)

...which is perfectly fine, because Ext3 is backwards compatible
Um, no. The lack of journaling is exactly why it's NOT fine. Sure, you can access your files, but you also can do a lot of damage when Windows crashes before unmounting cleanly.

and Windows wouldn't make use of the journaling feature, anyway.
??? Ever heard of NTFS? Or do you still run FAT32 on your system? WindowsNT products have been using journaling for many, many years now. The Windows Extensionable Filesystem API provides full support for it to third party developers, as well. I have no idea why you would make that statement...

Ext2 not Ext3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024231)

No journaling.

There are many ext2 solutions.

Re:Ext3 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024273)

and http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsx/ [sourceforge.net] for max os x.

Re:Ext3 (1)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024499)

I second this motion. I've been using this driver for the dual-boot configurations of both of my systems, and it's worked flawlessly.

I use a separate /home partition, and used TweakUI to re-map the My Documents folder in windows to match. (Well, mydocs is actually /home/l4m3r/Documents, so I don't have to look at all those hidden folders in my home directory when using Windoze.) ...This is assuming you're using XP. If you've got Vista, I think you're pretty much SOL as far as ext2 goes.

Re:Ext3 (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024689)

I just use a external drive formatted in EXT3, and for windows files i just install the Ext3 driver.

I use an external NAS. It uses an encrypted Reiser filesystem. The NAS takes care of offering to the network NFS or SMB shares. In an outage, the shares unmount and require the encryption key to remount. This provides protection in case of theft of the drive. Per share I can provide either NFS and/or SMB services so it plays nice to Windows, Linux, and Mac. Putting stuff on it is as easy as posting on Slashdot except the whoa cowboy error messages.

Moving Target (3, Insightful)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024111)

Not really, right? Even if there was, Microsoft doesn't seem to be interested in keeping it that way. With the "advent" of Vista and whatever relational-style FS they might try to forcably upgrade us to in the future, what are the odds of the prototypical modern journaling, etc FS being shared across the two? My guess is you're stuck with ext on linux and NTFS or whatever else on Windows. Of course, you could run NTFS on Linux if you've got two big brass ones.

Re:Moving Target (1, Redundant)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024517)

Of course, you could run NTFS on Linux if you've got two big brass ones.

You could do it if you had a pair of sub-atomic soap bubbles. ntfs-3g [ntfs-3g.org] has been stable for a while now.

Re:Moving Target (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024551)

It really doesn't take big brass ones to run ntfs on linux. The linux driver ntfs-3g has long been in version 1.0 which is a stable release. I've been using ntfs-3g for a while now and it actually fixed a couple problems on my windows partition that windows couldn't fix.

ext2 supported everywhere (5, Informative)

markybob (802458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024123)

ext2 is supported everywhere and it's far better than fat32 or ntfs. for windows, http://www.fs-driver.org/ [fs-driver.org] and for osx http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsx/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:ext2 supported everywhere (1)

fsiefken (912606) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024209)

i got ext2 filesystem corruption as osx disk utility wanted to repair the partition.

Re:ext2 supported everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024317)

EXT2FSX is less than optimal currently. Only the beta version works under OS X 10.4 and it has serious issues currently (1.4d4): deleting files, renaming directories cause a blue screen and leave a corrupt filesystem; fsck crashes when trying to repair the partition (need to take it to a linux computer for repair). These are all bugs I have personally run across, and are all reported on the tracker. It's OK for read-only. As I understand, the whole project is maintained by a single developer.

Re:ext2 supported everywhere (2, Informative)

klazek (1134141) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024445)

This is the *ONLY* bit of software I have ever used that gives me a consistent kernel panic. Granted, it is a kext, they can be risky. I don't know of another solution for using ext2 or ext3 on a mac.

Re:ext2 supported everywhere (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024643)

"far" better than NTFS? Umm, no. I know anything from MS automatically sucks in some bizarro world, and ext2 is a fine OS and in some ways better than NTFS, and in some ways inferior. It is by no demented, fanboy stretch "far better" than NTFS.

Re:ext2 supported everywhere (0)

markybob (802458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024691)

yes...from someone who thinks ext2 is an "OS"...uh-huh

Re:ext2 supported everywhere (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024709)

You like totally answered the point of my post. In other words, I was right (sans typing OS instead of FS) and you are unarguably wrong.

Maybe ext2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024143)

I have an ext2 partition in windows using http://www.fs-driver.org/ [fs-driver.org]

However ä,å and ö characters in filenames get screwed up.

Re:Maybe ext2? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024725)

However ä,å and ö characters in filenames get screwed up.
Those letters aren't used in American English. You must be a terrorist. Why do you hate America and our freedom?

Partitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024151)

You know, you can partition your hard drive and put a different filesystem on each partition. Your comment about "storing ISO images and loop-mounting those" seems to indicate that you don't know about partitions (they do the same thing but avoid one level of indirection).

Re:Partitions (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024285)

Don't know about you, but when I multi/dual boot I typically have a partition in vfat that I like to call "mailbox" and I make sure everything can see it. I'm pretty sure he is talking about having a mailbox that doesn't suck.

Re:Partitions (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024833)

Or perhaps they do know about partitions (who knows about loop-mounting ISOs but not about partitions?!) and you missed the fact that they want to use the drive for "file exchange", which I read as "exchanging files between operating systems".

Ext2 can do it. (1)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024153)

everything reads NTFS and if you have Parallels you can install a windows partition and write to it as well.

If you want full read/write on everything, the only I know of that has drivers for all three systems besides fat32 is ext2 . The mac one is hard to get at and is a bit primitive, but it is in the kernel.

Why not just use ext2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024155)

No matter what the OS, you are going to have to install a driver/patch on at least one of them to get support for some filesystem unless you use something like FAT.

http://www.fs-driver.org/ [fs-driver.org] ext2 for windows
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsx/ [sourceforge.net] for osx /shrug

Have any of you read the post you are replying to? (1, Insightful)

danbeck (5706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024159)

Have any of you read the post you are replying to? He's asking for a solution for multiple platforms, not just windows and linux. If you read his question, he uses Linux, Mac OS X and uses a Windows partition for games. Solutions that only work on windows and linux or linux and bsd are USELESS. Stop answering with your favorite non-portable file system and answer the question, or STFU please.

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (1)

hobbesmaster (592205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024215)

ntfs-3g will run under osx, and there exist ext2/3 drivers for osx. Darwin is just another unix-like - windows is the real problem in the question.

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (2, Insightful)

danbeck (5706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024257)

nfts-3g was the only good answer. I should have mentioned that, but the problem is a whole, not just a windows issue. Assuming that something works because OS X is posix is wrong as we are talking about data here, often un-recoverable and damned important. Stability and maturity is too important to leave up to chance.

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024383)

You sir, are a stupid cocksucker. There are many more options available besides NTFS-3G. You're just too much a Microsoftie to admit such.

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (1)

danbeck (5706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024467)

"You sir, are a stupid cocksucker. There are many more options available besides NTFS-3G. You're just too much a Microsoftie to admit such."

Ah, but at least I have the balls not to post my opinion as a dirty AC. Actually, I work with OS X on the desktop and Linux on the server side and I have a XP box at home. I'm interested in a solution that fits all three, not some bigoted and fascist selection that pointedly excludes one or the other.

What exactly makes me a "Microsoftie"? If you read my post you replied to (for the first time) you'll notice that I was specifically bitching about the OP assuming something would work on OS X, when in fact, it can't. OS X currently only officially supports userspace drivers.

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024297)

> Stop answering with your favorite non-portable file system and answer the question, or STFU please.

The answer is ext3. After what MS tried with FAT, all storage manufacturers should be using ext2/ext3.

HTH!

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (1)

danbeck (5706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024525)

Are you trying to be funny? If you want to just be an asshole and throw out a filesystem that is guaranteed to never be ported to the majority of all platforms, why don't we pick ZFS, a *CLEAR* and obvious winner over Ext3. ZFS is more technically capable, more powerful and I'll even venture to say more righteous than Ext3 will ever be.

Get your funnies right next time, kthxbye

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024679)

Ext3 is available on Linux, Windows, OSX and FreeBSD. NTFS, the only other contender relies on unstable reverse engineered drivers.

What kind of fuckwad trusts data to a file system that isn't even documented?

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024439)

The original post said that HFS+ was case insensitive, and if that's the reason to reject it, then I think it's a bad reason, unless there is no Linux or Windows support for case sensitivity. Mac OS X Disc Utility offers case sensitivity, but it looks like you have to set it when you do the partitioning.

Personally, I just set up a "server" that shares drives by SAMBA. Then there's not as many problems sharing the actual files between platforms.

Re:Have any of you read the post you are replying (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024547)

Well, if he was really smart he's use XFS as that works on BSD and Linux.

Ohh... sorry, I didn't read the question. What the HELL was I thinking. OMG, Pink ponies! Look at the purty colors!

Useful Link? (1)

thesupermikey (220055) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024183)

i came across this [lifehacker.com] on lifehacher.com but i have not have a chance to try it out. I don't think this is going to fix your linux problem..but it might be useful for all the other mac/win people out there

Ext 3 Works on Windows! (1)

romUdog (979249) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024185)

I have a Linux and a Windows Hard Drive with another drive for data ive found that using the Windows Ext2/3 driver works fabulously but im not sure about Mac OSX, IMO it should work because its freeBSD - Hope this helps

Windows is the limitation (5, Informative)

halfloaded (932071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024195)

The biggest problem here is the lack of file system support in Windows. On a linux box, it is trivial to add support for virtually any file system type: NTFS [linux-ntfs.org] , HFS [sourceforge.net] , FAT [berkeley.edu] , etc... The list goes on.

Since MacOSX is BSD based, I would be willing to bet that similar projects and support can be found (but, I Am Not A Mac Fanboy).

On Windows, you are pretty much stuck using either NTFS or FAT. FAT volumes can not be created in windows larger than 32GB [microsoft.com] . Although, you could create the partition using 3rd party tools to get beyond that limitation. I have had some success mounting ext3 partitions using Ext2 Installable File System For Windows [fs-driver.org] or Ext2 File System Driver for Windows [sourceforge.net] .

Personally, from my experience, VFAT or NTFS are about your only options.

Been there, Done that (5, Informative)

dfn_deux (535506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024203)

Having been in the exact same situation I've tried all sorts of different solutions and I'd say the best current solution is NTFS, which is out of the box natively supported on both OSX and Windows (natch) and also available R/O in the default linux kernel as well as having strong R/W support now via ntfs-3g. Of course fat32 still works just fine for this application, but it's getting a little long in the tooth as far as advanced features and modern storage needs go (c'mon what is up with those weak filesize limits)!?!? And I've had some limited success with using ext2/3 on windows and linux but found that the windows kernel driver for ext2 was not very stable in my config and the userspace tools to read/write ext3 in windows was far too kludgy for my tastes; I haven't had a chance to try ext2/3 on OSX.

Re:Been there, Done that (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024607)

Caution! NTFS read only is the default on Mac since 10.3.1 (Panther). You can get limited out of the box write support by using mount_ntfs from the command line, and can get much better write support from the stable-since-Feb 07 ntfs-3g project by using their FUSE/ntfs-3g installer. (This is the project you want to use on GNU/Linux, too.)

If you go from lab computer to lab computer, and the terminal is restricted on Macs, you can try writing an AppleScript wrapper for the a Bash session that runs mount_ntfs. I have not tested this limited write capability and do not know if it works (or is disabled in the default binary).

One could create ISO (image) files, but those often need special permissions to mount in GNU/Linux and a mount program in Windows; this is a difficulty in restricted environments.

From the mount_ntfs man page:

WRITING
There is limited writing ability. Limitations: file must be nonresident
and must not contain any sparces (uninitialized areas); compressed files
are also not supported.

SEE ALSO
mount(2), unmount(2), fstab(5), mount(8), mount_msdosfs(8)

CAVEATS
This utility is primarily used for read access to an NTFS volume. See
the WRITING section for details about writing to an NTFS volume.

HISTORY
The mount_ntfs utility first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.

AUTHORS
The NTFS kernel implementation, mount_ntfs utility, and manual were writ-
ten by Semen Ustimenko .

BSD November 11, 2004 BSD

Re:Been there, Done that (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024825)

One could create ISO (image) files, but those often need special permissions to mount in GNU/Linux and a mount program in Windows; this is a difficulty in restricted environments.
Plus an ISO would have the same (or worse) restriction as FAT32, namely the limits on file size.

FAT32 appears to be 4 GB [wikipedia.org] , while ISO 9660 is 2 GB or 4.2 GB [wikipedia.org] .

Perhaps another option along those lines would be to mount a UDF [wikipedia.org] ISO image? Or does it matter?

HFS+ can be case-sensitive (2, Informative)

Jimithing DMB (29796) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024221)

For quite some time now (10.3 Panther I think) there has been a case-sensitive variant of HFS+. The Linux kernel has supported mounting it for some time now since I contributed a patch after realizing I couldn't access my filesystem. Unfortunately, it does not support HFS+ journaling so you have to make sure OS X gets shut down properly. Also, the last time I looked, the open source HFS+ utilities like fsck did not handle case-sensitive HFS+. I looked into fixing it but it was such a god-awful mess of code I decided I didn't trust it anyway.

On Windows you should be able to use MacDrive but you may want to check with them to make sure that case-sensitive HFS+ is supported. I only say this because for instance Alsoft's DiskWarrior product didn't support case-sensitive HFS+ until very recently. Why, I don't know since case-sensitive HFS+ simply omits the case-folding step before determining b-tree position. It's all documented in TN1150.

Re:HFS+ can be case-sensitive (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024513)

' For quite some time now (10.3 Panther I think) there has been a case-sensitive variant of HFS+. '

You won't be too happy with it if you run MacOS X. There is too much code out there that doesn't expect case sensitivity (and too many users as well), and very very few applications are ever tested on a case sensitive file system.

ext2 (1)

Racher (34432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024233)

On my Debian NAS I use ext2. For windows it is shared via samba, and shared via netatalk to my macs. Simple solution.

Re:ext2 (1)

eugenewithanaxe (938865) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024387)

There is a pretty nice Ubuntu Server edition that has a very easy Samba setup as well. I agree, simple solution that works quite well.

Re:ext2 (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024487)

that was my thought but for the NAS, he could get an old Buffalo LinkStation to act as that NAS host. By plugging in his USB drive into the NAS, he can format the USB drive ext2/ext3 and everybody sees it as an SMB filesystem device. All those hardware devices he mentioned have a network interface so this makes the best solution IMO.

LoB

what a loser (0, Troll)

fletchzip (914523) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024307)

get a life spoontang, there are plenty of solutions. jesus get of slashdot and get ya e-orgasm somewhere else.

FAT is being re-acronymed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024313)

To Forever And Terrible, because it will never go away as the cross-platform standard.

I bet 1000 years from now, your 10-billion-trillion-Exabyte, house-sized, semi-conscious, holographic storage device will have a 2 gig fat partition up front.

MacFUSE (1)

Jerm (58306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024319)

I would think any filesystem supported by MacFUSE [google.com] would be the best place to start. Their is a NTFS-3G [ntfs-3g.org] module for MacFUSE, and it works under linux, too.

Use network sharing (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024333)

I use Ubuntu with Samba and maybe NFS. My gaming computer use Vista, for storage I have a Ubuntu with EXT3 shared folder which uses samba. I can write/delete/execute software easily. All I do is mount a new network disc in Vista. I belive this also work for NFS which is filesharing(SMB://) for unix.

FAT is it for now (5, Interesting)

jonadab (583620) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024399)

There are two "extensions" I would like to see for vfat, that could be implemented right on top in a reasonably backwards-compatible way (just as LFNs were on top of traditional FAT fs).

The easier and more important one is symbolic links. (Indeed, it ought to be possible to devise a "virtual symlink" system that would work pretty much independent of the underlying filesystem, by simply using hidden pointer files containing the paths to the target files -- similar to .LNK files that the Windows GUI uses, but you'd want them to be supported by the OS at the filesystem layer, just like regular symlinks are on filesystems that have them; also you'd want the design of the pointer files themselves to be cleaner and more platform-agnostic.)

The harder, but ultimately just as important, is journaling (similar to what ext3 does for ext2).

The advantage of extending FAT32 in this way should be obvious: just like with ext2/3, systems that don't support the extension can at least still access the data (although doing so may invalidate the journal). So you don't *lose* any compatibility, you only *gain* the added features. In situations where you *mostly* use the disk with a particular system (e.g., my data drive that spends basically 100% of its time mounted in FreeBSD, but is FAT32 so I can get to my data from a non-BSD system in case of an unforseen emergency), you'd get a lot of benefit from the improved features. (I'd be particularly pleased to have symlinks on my data drive, for instance.) Then you only lose the new features if you need to mount the disk under a system that doesn't support them, e.g., if some piece of hardware on my FreeBSD workstation dies and I need to get my files, I could take the drive and hook it up to just about any computer anywhere and mount it as plain old FAT32 and my files would all be there.

This still doesn't turn FAT into BeFS or ZFS or whatnot, but it would be a welcome improvement.

Re:FAT is it for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024737)

There are two "extensions" I would like to see for vfat, that could be implemented right on top in a reasonably backwards-compatible way (just as LFNs were on top of traditional FAT fs).

Just a few quibbling points. One, LFNs were not implemented right on top of FAT in a "reasonably backwards-compatible way". Thanks to the fact that LFN->8.3 conversion is not a 1:1 mapping (an impossibility, admittedly), Windows had to be written to include an extra layer of protection to prevent weird problems with older applications as their actions on the 8.3 name or variants of it (like the 8.3 name with a different extension) can cause either a pairing mismatch or frequently destroyed LFNs. Add to this that the method of actually storing the names (shoving them into the directory tree) caused problems with filling up the root directory too quickly (it's limited to something like 512 entries on a fat16 drive, a lot less on a fat12) and leaves unaware OSs to overwrite LFNs because they see them as invalid entries. In short, LFNs could almost certainly have been implemented better and even then there's no way to resolve the fundamental problems with the design.

Having said all that, if you think there should be more extensions implemented for vfat, might I have a suggestion? Implement it yourself*. There's no reason why MS should be the only one left to "embrace and extend" a standard. Given the fact that VFSs/IFSs can be created for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux it further extends that most modern OSs could be made to support this extended FAT, regardless of MS or anyone else offering support. Given that Microsoft seems to have no interest on working on updating FAT, such an approach seems the most viable option.

*I don't say this to be crass or to be overbearing. I'm just trying to point out that the maker of FAT, MS, isn't likely to work on the problem, and the Linux/Open Source group isn't likely to work on FAT either. It's just not something they seem interested in.

An alternative (1)

Spookticus (985296) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024459)

I have encountered this predicament before and my solution was to get a mini-atx case and put some hard drives in it and then load FreeNAS [freenas.org] on it. With FreeNAS there are plenty of options to work with the different file sharing protocols supported by each of the operating systems over the network. Just an idea, may not be practical for everyone but it is just another solution to be added in to the nine-million already out there.

HFS+ and MacDrive (1)

punka (81040) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024481)

While it's not free or open source, you can format it HFS+ and use it under Mac/Linux natively, and get excellent HFS+ support under Windows by purchasing MacDrive ($50) [mediafour.com] . I've used it for a while now, and has worked flawlessly.

Your Problem doesnt have a solution buddy (2, Insightful)

pcontezini (583243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024495)

Hi, I have exactly the same problem, One MacbookPro, One PC, and another Linux. The fact is, there isnt a portable filesystem, if you are planning on ext2/3, the mac os x driver is unstable like the hell, and will make you loose your data and crash your system, as it happens to mine. Fat and fat32 will work but with small disks only, and NTFS your linux/macos will damage it within time. I Have a 400 GB Sata external disk and currently using HFS, because its the only one that doesnt corrupt the data from time to time, and you have drivers for windows/linux. I know it isnt the best choice but if you plan to keep your data, its my advice.

Re:Your Problem doesnt have a solution buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024827)

read First post silly face

UDF (2, Informative)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024593)

It's not just for 12cm frisbees.

Shared storage, not shared drive (5, Insightful)

zzatz (965857) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024645)

Trying to use a filesystem across multiple platforms is painful. That's a clue that you're tackling the wrong problem. You don't need to share filesystems, you need to share files. Different problem with different solutions.

I set up an old PC with Linux to solve many needs. NFS and Samba provide a common pool of storage for every OS that I use. Since setting that up, I haven't ever though about shared partitions. They aren't needed.

Linux and Samba worked for me, but that's not the only solution. A NAS box might work better for you. The point is that you need shared storage, not a shared drive. Every OS supports network storage. Every OS supports backups across the network.

you better ask Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024667)

Linux (and other free operating systems) can adapt very quickly to changes such as a new file system. The problem comes, as always, from companies that don't support out of the box anything else than their products.
A FS that isn't supported by Windows out of the box, without any user intervention (read: installing 3rd party ext2 or whatever drivers isn't an option) and opens even the smallest alert to the user telling it's not a native way of doing things will have no chance of estabilishing itself as a common filesystem for data exchange between systems.

Note that Microsoft doesn't want users to be free to exchange data in both directions, as reading and writing. A quick look at the number of file formats supported by Open Office and MS Office should explain it all.
Being up to those who lead the market to let those changes to occur, I'm not holding my breath.

None of the above! (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024749)

After a lot of thought I went with a Kurobox [slashdot.org] running Debian and Samba. It has a gigabit ethernet port which, of course, can plug in over cat6 with no crossover, which is faster than USB. This is easily accessible by my Windows, Linux, and Mac installations and it's running ext3 - but who cares, it's over Samba, or SSH, or NFS.

It also happens only a little bigger than most drive enclosures, and you get a cheap, quiet NAS. This or any similar Linux-capable system is well worth your time.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?