View Full Version : formatting in linux
Aug 19th 2007, 07:55 PM
Ok, someone advised me to format an external harddrive in a linux format and said it is better then ntfs or fat32, but he didn't say why nor what that format is, please explain what and why then, thanks
Aug 19th 2007, 07:59 PM
If this HD is not being used for a Linux installation, but rather for storage, then formating it as FAT32 means that it can be read and written to by both, Linux and Windoze. If you format it NTFS, then you need to have ntfs-3g installed in your Linux distro in order to have both read and write capability with Linux.
Aug 19th 2007, 09:58 PM
thanks, but it was neither ntfs nor far32 that he suggested, it was for storing linux files only without sharing with windows, have I missunderstood about using a linux format for storage
Aug 19th 2007, 10:06 PM
Then most likely, it's ext3.
Aug 19th 2007, 10:11 PM
yes that was it, was he right in saying that it is better than ntfs or fat32, for storage, how does it compare and is it a good idea to format an external harddrive in it, thanks
Aug 19th 2007, 10:24 PM
If you format the drive as ext3, it can't be read or written to by Windoze. If you don't have Windoze on you PC, ext3 is just fine.
ntfs format is used by Windoze XP and higher. Without the ntfs-3g package installed, your Linux OS can't read/write to the drive. If you don't have Windoze installed on your PC, this is not a good choice.
FAT32 formating is useable by both Linux and Windoze. If you intend to have the drive accessable by both Windoze and Linux 'natively' then that is a good option.
Aug 19th 2007, 10:42 PM
Aug 19th 2007, 10:45 PM
Happy formatting! ;D
Aug 20th 2007, 02:03 PM
curiosity, is there any advantage performancewise in formatting in ext3 when dealing only with linux machines
Aug 20th 2007, 02:32 PM
Off the top of my head, ext3 and reiserfs (and the lesser-used xfs, jfs, and reiser4) are "journalling" file systems -- they run a transaction accounting process that provides a much more robust capability to recover from a crash, and also are very quick to discover and report data corruption.
NTFS is also a journalling type filesystem, but FAT32 is not. So with FAT32, you can have a slow degradation of your filesystem and/or hard disk drive performance, and not know about it, and if you lose power and the system crashes, you're unlikely to recover except through restoration from a data backup. :)
EDIT: Lots more ... http://www.yolinux.com/TUTORIALS/LinuxClustersAndFileSystems.html
Aug 20th 2007, 07:04 PM
cool link, thanks everyone and glad I asked
Aug 21st 2007, 09:31 AM
I use EXT3 on both my hard-drives, except for the XP partition. I used a freeware program that allows read/ write capabilities from Windows the the Linux drives.
Aug 22nd 2007, 04:02 PM
anachronism, spill beans please, which program then and link if pos, thanks
actually formating in ext3 sounds interesting because if someone steals my external harddrive he is probably going to think that the drive is corrupted rather than it is formated like this
Aug 23rd 2007, 03:43 AM
I've found that if I move files around on the EXT3 drives, when I boot Kubuntu, the drive gets checked for errors. It doesn't seem to do any harm though as I've moved GB of files around from inside Windows.
Aug 23rd 2007, 06:04 AM
can one format an external drive to half/half ext3 and ntfs, in that I am thinking of having my private stuff on ext3 while having the stuff I need for the Internet cafe's windows system on ntfs
Aug 23rd 2007, 01:56 PM
I have a external hard disk partitioned in a similar way (70% reiserfs, 30% FAT32). No problem at all. When I plug it to a linux machine, two pop-up windows appear, one for each partition. When plugging it to Windows, only the FAT32 is recogniced.
BTW, the fastest filesystem of all that bunch is the old, unreliable, completely lacking on metadata, prone to fragment, well-known FAT32. Usually the lack of features means faster operation.
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