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Old 09-24-2015, 04:02 PM   #1
dgoddard
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Virtues and Vices of various file systems.


Recently while screwing up a new flash drive by trying to reformat it and get rid of the windows installed software it came with. I was using Linux Mint 17.1 's utility available at <Menu> <Control Center> <disks>,<more actions> <format>. This utility offered to reformat the disk to file systems of FAT, NTFS, and at least two more which were specific to Linux and one of which was encrypted. (Alas I do not remember the names)

After screwing up the disk in this process I obtained and used Gparted to get the disk partitioned and formatted to FAT 32. However a return to the Mint Utility now did not offer the full list of optional file systems. But Gparted offered the attached list.

I am unfamiliar with most of these but do recognize FAT and NTFS!

Unfortunately all those categories in the table header mean nothing to me other than the first column, Of special interest is the last column "Required Software" as I do not know exactly what they are referring to there or if I have to download and install it.

But what I really want to know is what are the virtues and vices of the various file systems offered? If I correctly understood Gparted's instructions They represent file systems I could have chosen for the disk I was formatting but without knowing the vices and virtues of the various file systems I have no idea which is the best or worst to choose.

I chose Fat 32
-- mostly out of the knowledge that it is fairly ubiquitous
and
-- out of ignorance because I had no idea what the others would do for/to me.

Could anybody(s) here give me (and others) a thumbnail enlightenment as to what some or all of these file systems are for and perhaps why to consider them?

I hate being ignorant!

Some professor once said "Ignorance we can fix, but stupidity goes all the way to the bone!"
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Old 09-24-2015, 04:13 PM   #2
/dev/random
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compar...f_file_systems


This should answer you questions.
 
Old 09-24-2015, 10:52 PM   #3
jefro
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To save time I suggest your best bests right now may be ext4 and ntfs.

Almost every common modern distro can support ext4 and ntfs fully or with a small download but usually fully supported.
 
Old 09-24-2015, 10:57 PM   #4
Rinndalir
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What will you do on this filesystem? What is the use case or cases?
 
Old 09-25-2015, 05:35 PM   #5
dgoddard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinndalir
What will you do on this filesystem? What is the use case or cases?
That is an excellent question after reviewing the Wikipedia Link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compar...f_file_systems posted by /dev/random, I realized the naive nature of the query I posed. I had no idea that there were so many file systems and so many combinations of features.
I think I have two high priority concerns:
-- I would not want anything about the file system to inhibit or complicate manipulating it for maintenance or file interchange reasons.
-- I have a high interest in encryption in order to put my personal and private information beyond the reach of snoops but I do not want my life unnecessarily complicated or inconvenienced.

As to this latter issue I do not that jefro's recommendations of ext 14 and ntfs both show a "yes" in the column headed: "Filesystem-Level Encryption"but I admit ignorance of how that level of encryption differs from any other encryption.
 
Old 09-25-2015, 06:21 PM   #6
Rinndalir
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You will also want to think about any need you might have to mount the drive (USB stick for example) on other OSs. Like osx or windows.
 
Old 09-25-2015, 10:29 PM   #7
dgoddard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinndalir View Post
You will also want to think about any need you might have to mount the drive (USB stick for example) on other OSs. Like osx or windows.
Which was what I was referring to when I mentioned "file interchange" Bit I did not remember seeing anything that indicated which OS's the various file systems were compatible with. Or perhaps more efficient would be a list of OS's and which formats they could interface with.

Perhaps people here could give their reasons for how they would care to format their Flash Drives. Some might choose something that is widely recognized by various OS's while others may find use for one of the more arcane file systems just to keep their stuff less available.
 
Old 09-26-2015, 02:47 PM   #8
Rinndalir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgoddard View Post
Bit I did not remember seeing anything that indicated which OS's the various file systems were compatible with. Or perhaps more efficient would be a list of OS's and which formats they could interface with.
I think FAT32 is mountable everywhere. What do you think will happen if you plug in an encrypted ext4 usb drive to OSX or Windows?


No doubt a list that you describe exists. Don't search using interchange because that sounds like a freeway connector.

Maybe try filesystem compatibility matrix???
 
  


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