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Old 02-07-2009, 01:07 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
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usb drive is type xfs and I can't access

I formated a usb drive to xfs, and now the only way I have access to it is via root. I transfer files from computer to computer, and want the user I'm logged in as to have access to it when I insert it.

Should I reformat? I want to preserve case sensitivity. I don't care about windows compatibility.

Thank you
Old 02-07-2009, 02:06 AM   #2
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The problem (as you may realize) is that the xfs filesystem maintains *nix style permissions which are applied regardless which machine it is plugged into or which user is running a desktop on that machine. Normally I would just suggest you use a FAT filesystem, but you have the requirement for case sensitivity. So I think you want a filesystem that doesn't maintain *nix style permissions but yet is case sensitive.

TMK, the mount man page will (in effect) identify the filesystems that don't maintain *nix style permissions by showing options like umask=, fmask=, and dmask=. So if you can identify such a filesystem which also maintains case sensitivity, try installing that. (I don't know which filesystem that might be off the top of my head.)


I wrote the above under the assumption that different users needed to access this. If only one user on each system needs access and if that user has the same (numerical) user ID on each system then all you need to do is change the owner for the device's root directory and for any existing files and directories you have on the device. If the device is (for example) mounted at /media/usb_stick, then, as root:

chown -R username /media/usb_stick
You should only have to do this once.


There is yet another option. You can format the device with the FAT filesystem and then transfer your files as tarballs using the tar command. The names of the tarballs will not be case sensitive, but the names of the file(s) in each tarball will be. To create a tarball:

cd dir_containing_files
tar -cf /media/usb_stick/tarball_name.tar filename(s)
To extract the file(s):

cd destination_dir_for_files
tar -xf /media/usb_stick/tarball_name.tar
There is a lot more versatility to the tar command than my simple examples show. See the tar man page for more info.

EDIT: You can probably create/extract tarballs (and other types of archives) graphically through your file manager, but I don't have experience with that.

Last edited by blackhole54; 02-07-2009 at 02:10 AM.


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