t_fischer: (jump)
Thomas Fischer ([personal profile] t_fischer) wrote in [community profile] linux4all2013-05-30 10:44 am
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Filesystem for large USB storage devices?

Recently I purchased an external USB harddrive as a replacement for a failing old one. This device came with NTFS preconfigured, but as I plan to use the drive under Linux, I am looking for alternatives.

The external harddrive will be plugged into different computers and used by different users who have no consistent UIDs across machines. Access control (rwx) for different users is not required in my case, instead encryption is used to protect private data. Indeed, access control only causes problems when switching between machines due to restrictive permissions and umask and setgid do not mitigate this sufficiently.

So far, I have been considering the following filesystems, but none of them is perfectly suited:

ext3 or ext4
Linux default filesystem. I would consider it for a "normal" storage, but the access control (users, permissions) make it difficult to handle (see discussion above).
FAT/vFAT
No access control means no problems in my case. However, this filesystem is said to be inefficient for large filesystems (≥ 1 TB) plus is has a file size limitation that would make it impossible to store large DVD ISO images (≥ 4 GB) in this filesystem.
NTFS
AFAIK write support is still experimental under Linux, so I would not trust my data on this filesystem.

In summary, the filesystem I am looking for should have the following features:

  • First-class citizen in the Linux kernel with reliable read/write support.
  • File ownership or permissions should not be enforced. Exotic switches to mount are not good enough, has to work when mounting the storage within a desktop environment through udev, udisk or alike.
  • Has to support large files (≥ 4 GB).

Any ideas or suggestions?


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