Linux and mac shared Data partition. (paragon extFS-mac, ntfs-mac, ntfs-3G ?)

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by HiDeHo, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. HiDeHo, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013

    HiDeHo macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    I am looking for a good cross platform file system for a Shared Data between Mountain Lion and Linux and Windows. I have a 500gb external hdd i can use for this.

    it looks that the only true cross platform file system that is native, cross platform to all os is Fat32 with limits to 4gb max file size. this is ok for quick small file transfer on a flashdrive but .... what about larger files.

    Mac support for such could be
    Ext3, ext4: (windows does not support ext). paragon software's extfs-mac application click here
    Has anyone purchased extfs-mac between linux and mac.

    NTFS: this could be a better option paragon software's ntfs-mac software click here Has anyone purchased this.

    NTFS: what about ntfs-3G, which is free, is this an ok option click here

    are these or any other commercial or free apps a valid solution.

    these days, you would think, a better file system with more than 4gb ability would exist as the standard cross platform, not the outdated limited fat32. why is it still around.

    i thank you all, in advance, for any ideas tips, tricks, or solutions you would have to help resolve this issue, not only for me, but the community at large.

    it seems that gone are the days when mac was small and would support other platforms.

    if this has already be discussed in the forums, feel free to share the post the links to any information would be helpful.

    edit: After some research it looks like for true cross platform backups the best option(s) are to pay for
    1. paragon ntfs-mac click here: works with linux and mac (the linux app may need to be configured for ntfs first)
    2. if you just need to share to ext2, 3, 4 parttions (linux only) then get paragon ExtFS click here
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you need cross platform support, then why not exFAT? Seems easier to me.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    There are a lot of Macs and Windows computers in the installed base that do not support exFAT. For my cross-platform needs, I have the free NTFS-3G installed for NTFS support. If I had a critical need for NTFS support, then I would go with Paragon. FAT32 uses an alternating pair of FAT tables to ensure data integrity. exFAT uses only one FAT table. I do not see how this ends well.
  4. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Isn't it way overdue that all the mayor operating systems would support other formats, so native HFS+ support on Linux and Windows and NTFS and Ext.x on Mac?
  5. HiDeHo thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    oh brother fat32 is limited to 4gb file size. that is why its not a valid option ok.


    most do support them in some form but they are not guaranteed to be secure viable options. they are there but not working. maybe paragon professional payed solutions are the way to go. at least you are paying them for support and thus get a guarantee your data should be safe.

    its more about decent storage for more than 4gb file sizes. it seems that cross platform is becoming increasingly hard to do these days. especially in regards to shared data. when the opposing platform has a solution to use the other platform file system etc then the owner of the platform decides to create a new updates one to be exclusive. its so ridicules and annoying.
  6. HiDeHo thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    is exFAT the same as/similar to fat16 single layer fat partition.
  7. sysfu macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2011
    I'm trying to solve a similar problem. I have an external hard drive that I need to share across mac, windows and linux.

    So far I've been using the ext3 filesystem along with the free ext2fs driver for Windows and that's worked well. Even though OS X is BSD derived, surprisingly there is no native ext2/3/4 fs support.

    Since there's only one Mac to worry about, I'm probably going to cough up the $40 and purchase Paragon's ExtFS software if the trial works well enough.
  8. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Isn't there also a much lower limit on path lengths compared to *nix/Mac filesystems? As I recall, with FAT it's 256 characters including the file name & extension. Exfat has several disadvantages compared to FAT listed here:

    I use exfat for a shared drive with media like videos & mp3s on it and have had no trouble there. I also work on a webapp running on Linux. Sometimes Windows users export something they cannot open due to the path length of the exported file.
  9. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    Both Windows 7/8 and OS X 10.8 support exFAT read/write OOB.

    If the OP is running Ubuntu there is a PPA that give Ubuntu read/write support for exFAT.

    Do the following in a terminal in Ubuntu:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:relan/exfat
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install fuse-exfat exfat-utils
    After that reboot the workspace. You will now be able to read/write to exFAT partitions. The only limitation is that you will not able to create exFAT partitions, but you can create them on either OS X or Windows 7/8.

    I've been using this method for some time with no problems.
  10. nlynch77 macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
    For my Bootcamp needs I have always used exFAT, although it does have it's quirks. If the computer stops without ejecting the disk (such as low battery, freeze) the downfalls of a single FAT show themselves.

    All you need to do is (in OSx of course) repair the disk twice with Disk Utility. The first time it will say the disk isn't repairable, but the second time will repair and re-mount it.

    Just don't crash your computer and exFAT works fine.
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    It never ceased to amaze me the crap that Windows user willingly heap upon themselves.
  12. nlynch77, Apr 18, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013

    nlynch77 macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
    Mac user through and through bro :p i just like my games.

    In my Macbook Pro 2011 I have an SSD with 10.8 and my home directory on it, plus the original hard drive that I use for large files like torrenting, music (50+ gb, too big for ssd!) pictures etc. I chose exFAT because it works well. My iTunes (for a good example) works well on both bootcamp and OSx, without needing to set up complicated filesharing programs or duplicating tho library.

    I install all windows software alongside my Mac software, since both can use the partition.

    Even more importantly, if Windows has an error (which happens all too frequently) I can just nuke and reinstall the 20gb partition and get back right where I was: everything still installed safely on my trusty exFAT partition.

    Just because you don't like the idea of native cross-platform compatibility at the expense of minor maintenance, doesn't mean the OP won't like the idea.

    That's right, don't all hate at once now.

    p.s. HiDeHo, exFAT can support filesizes FAR in excess of what anybody can reasonably store (measured in exbibytes, thousands of thousands of gigabytes). It only has a single file table, but OSx has fixed any issues every time.
  13. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    I've never had any problem using exFAT on any of my machines(Windows, OS X, Ubuntu). I always properly eject my disks when done.

    Does your Mac crash THAT many times? I have Windows 7 installed on one of my computers(not a Mac) and it has never crashed. I don't know HOW people crash their computers all the time, must be a gift.
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Nobody is hating anyone. Don't ASSuME that they are. My position is that exFAT is the answer to a question that no one asked. Microsoft had a far more reliable solution to the issue of cross-platform compatibility than exFAT can ever hope to be. Its name is NTFS. It works and has done so for more than a decade. All that Microsoft had to do was to open NTFS like it has opened its various FAT-based file systems.
  15. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Pretty much any reliability issue that can be attributed to exFAT is due to the fact that it was designed with a completely different use in mind than NTFS was.

    Its lack of journalling is a good example of this but this is offset by the fact that it was designed for use on removable drives and on Windows at least, writes to removable drives are not cached.

    exFAT has various advantages over NTFS, the most important being that it is significantly faster.

    Firstly, NTFS is a core part of their operating system and historically they have been very protective of it, they haven't even licensed the technology to third parties all that often so you can pretty much rule out them opening it up.

    Which FAT FS has been 'opened' by Microsoft? The licenses are still proprietary (at least FAT32 is) and they are still suing people for using implementations of it (Motorola's use of it in Android phones is a recent example).

    The FAT32 driver found in Linux and other OS was reverse engineered.
  16. nlynch77 macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
    The fact that my Mac can read/write/format drives with exFAT makes it as good as free to me, and easily smothers small issues like a single FAT table, regardless of any licensing **** that Apple and Microsoft are arguing about.

    NTFS may-or-may-not be capable of eradicating world hunger, curing cancer, and revolutionizing the digital storage world, but I can barely read from NTFS drives, let alone write to or format drives with it, making it almost useless for my cross-platform needs.

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