Jump to content

FAT 32 for USB key. Why?


Recommended Posts

The most important difference is that FAT16 can hold files up to 2 GB, and FAT32 up to 4 GB. More than that, symbolic links do not work in either of them- if you want to use them, you are stuk with ext2.

But, in the case of a backup medium, none of the above is of any importance- I would go with FAT(32), for the sake of windoze compliance.


you could go for ext4 w/o the journal option but that would be quite hard to use even on linux because you would need a very recent kernel;

Edited by ffi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not just journaling in ext4, it's also barriers (now on by default) which can make a pendrive to behave sluggishly. And of course there's no driver for ext4 under windoze (not even a read-only one), plus that several rather serious bugs were found, which will be fixed upstream in kernel 2.6.29

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For MS-DOS, but Windows 2000 and higher don't use DOS (even Windows NT also), so this limit may not apply.


Normally, FAT16 was good enough for 2GB partitions and no higher, FAT32 if you had higher than this.


with Win98 (and I believe with Linux, haven't tried it) you can actually create 4GB FAT16 partitions, which can be read/written by any OS, in XP they don't allow you to CREATE 4GB FAT partitions anymore, but if you have one created by for example Win98, you can still read and write to it.


And of course I know that FAT is not a good filesystem ofr large partitions, but it's still the most compatible one, almost any device can read and write to it.

If you only care about Linux compatibility then ext2 is the best choice for flash devices.

Edited by tux99
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...