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Old 01-13-2020, 11:30 AM   #1
echidnagirl
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Question Portable hdd - which format?


I have just bought a WD 2TB portable hdd - Windows compatible, formatting required for Mac.
I want to back data up from BOTH my linux and my Win machines. The final master copy of the data will be placed on the big linux box.
My question is this: should I just use the default formatting the hdd came with or should I reformat to something else?
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Echidnagirl
 
Old 01-13-2020, 11:46 AM   #2
berndbausch
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If you plan to back up your data by connecting the HDD directly to each machine, use NTFS, which both Linux and Windows can write to. Or create one partition for Windows (NTFS) and one for Linux (ext4, xfs, zfs, ...). The latter is less flexible.

If you plan to connect the HDD to the big Linux box and back up your data over the network, use ext4, xfs, zfs etc.
 
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:39 PM   #3
Tonus
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Portable hdd - which format?

Back up from both : I would go with ext4
Connect directly to both : 2 partitions or ntfs

Honestly, just sync data from Windows with a cloud and use rsync for the Linux system.

Then you'll be ready to trash the windows box :-p
 
Old 01-13-2020, 04:44 PM   #4
jefro
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I might consider making the first partition a NTFS and use windows shadow copy / virtual hard drive method.
Then second partition make it your distro's default file system.

However I just make it NTFS and use it for both. The backup method you use in both may need to be known in order to save the full information associated with the file.
 
Old 01-13-2020, 08:30 PM   #5
frankbell
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I usually leave my external USB drives NTFS unless I have a compelling reason to reformat them.
 
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:36 PM   #6
rtmistler
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I usually re-partition them and format them to be entirely ext2/3/4 one of them, typically 4. I find it clears away all the marketing items they've placed on the disk. That's just me.
 
Old 01-14-2020, 05:36 AM   #7
fatmac
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A suitable sized NTFS partition for your Windows machine to back up to, the rest ext4.
 
Old 01-14-2020, 06:42 AM   #8
dc.901
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As some others have mentioned, NTFS...
Depending on which Linux distribution you have, you should have "ntfs-3g.x86_64 : Linux NTFS userspace driver" in your repo.
 
Old 01-14-2020, 06:52 AM   #9
jsbjsb001
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And now this thread has come full circle... the bikeshedding on this forum is unreal...

What's wrong with berndbausch's answer ?

At the end of the day, the job of any filesystem is to organize files, rather than the data on the drive being just one big glob of meaningless data. I don't honestly see the need to complicate what should be a straightforward question. As long as the operating system's concerned can read whatever filesystem the drive is formatted with, who cares ?

I have an external hard drive that come pre-formatted with NTFS; you think I'm going to waste my time creating god only knows how many partitions on it ? Let alone one for each OS concerned ? Nope, what's the point ? I only have Linux on my own machine, but I might want to plug it into a Windows machine, who knows? The point: both Linux (through the NTFS-3G driver) and Windows can read it perfectly fine. What more do you want ? To cuddle up with the drive at night, and marvel at the filesystem it's formatted with ?

...and now I contributed to it
 
Old 01-14-2020, 09:48 PM   #10
jefro
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berndbausch is good. I just tried to add in a few more ideas and that files on different filesystems may need special handling to preserve extra metadata. Others added their point of views and opinions. All good information I thought.
 
Old 01-14-2020, 11:11 PM   #11
Geist
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I went with NTFS and never looked back. The evil windows scourge is not yet dead, and this particular decision is not very likely to kill it.

That said, my 'portable' thing is just for non essential data, movies, pictures, etc.
 
Old 01-15-2020, 01:28 AM   #12
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berndbausch View Post
If you plan to back up your data by connecting the HDD directly to each machine, use NTFS, which both Linux and Windows can write to. Or create one partition for Windows (NTFS) and one for Linux (ext4, xfs, zfs, ...). The latter is less flexible.
But making an ext4 (or similar Linux) partition/filesystem means that things that an NTFS filesystem might not understand will get backed up properly. Does NTFS recognize a symbolic link? A Linux/Posix ACL? Some valid Linux filenames would be illegal on an NTFS filesystem.
 
Old 01-15-2020, 05:47 AM   #13
jsbjsb001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnturn View Post
But making an ext4 (or similar Linux) partition/filesystem means that things that an NTFS filesystem might not understand will get backed up properly. Does NTFS recognize a symbolic link? A Linux/Posix ACL? Some valid Linux filenames would be illegal on an NTFS filesystem.
In all fairness to berndbausch; he did also suggest a Linux partition, formatted with a Linux-based filesystem in addition to an NTFS formatted partition (you even quoted it) - which would cover things like symlinks and filenames that would be invalid on a NTFS formatted partition. So it doesn't really add any value to the thread when people want to basically just repeat what's already been said anyway...

Almost forgot, I remember when I forgot about the fact some filenames while valid in Linux, aren't for NTFS, and I run "check disk" in Windows; it created a folder in the root of the drive concerned from my research (as I don't remember off the top of my head what the folder was called) called "FOUND.000", and the file with the invalid filename was there completely intact.

Also, it seems NTFS does support ACL's to at least some degree from what I've read of the link below.

https://jp-andre.pagesperso-orange.fr/ntfssecaudit.html

Last edited by jsbjsb001; 01-15-2020 at 06:34 AM. Reason: additions
 
Old 01-15-2020, 12:09 PM   #14
echidnagirl
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Smile NTFS format it is + dedicated Linux usb

Thank you everyone for your advice. I have decided to go with an NTFS format for the 2TB external drive and create a dedicated ext4 usb stick for critial data from my linux box (manuscript materials - I'm a writer - and personal financials). As the family custodian of photos and home videos all of that will be fine on NTFS.
I wasn't aware of the metadata issue - obviously suspected it - but with the extra drive for really important stuff (not sure family would agree) I am ok with shedding metadata for the rest. But thanks for the heads-up, if I need to maintain forensic standards I'll consider partitioning a drive as per your suggestions. Just to be safe. And sure. And I don't trust Windows. It doesn's show does it?
A special note to jsbjsb001: I might curl up with the drive - seems a reasonable thing to do - but only to marvel at the content ( when I started with computers as a kid we used a data disk and program disk 5.25 inch things and had to take out the prog disk and swap with the data one every time I wanted to save something). I'm old enough to truly appreciate a 2 TB! portable disc.
Till next time, I'll just lurk and learn in the background,
echidnagirl
 
  


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