Best file format to use for external drive? (exFAT vs EXT4)

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TOMillr
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Best file format to use for external drive? (exFAT vs EXT4)

Post by TOMillr » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:24 pm

I'm about to use DietPi to setup a mini pc that is primarily intend to work as a Plex Media Server.

While the database and OS is going to run from the internal storage of the mini pc, all the media files will be stored on an external 5tb USB 3.0 hard drive.

Is there any argument for NOT using exFAT to format the drive? I'm working in a mixed environment of Macs, Windows and Linux devices and exFAT would allow me to manually add media files to the drive from any device I might need to use.

Alternatively, I'd go with EXT4 when there are advantages in terms of power consumption or monitoring the drives health through DietPi.

Any recommendations for with file format to choose?

luzifia
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:48 am

Re: Best file format to use for external drive? (exFAT vs EXT4)

Post by luzifia » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:47 pm

if you want to connect this device to a windowssystem for transfering videos, maybe your friend has found on his system, ext4 is not usefull. if the device runs only on linux based systems ext4 is the better filesystem.

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WarHawk
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Re: Best file format to use for external drive? (exFAT vs EXT4)

Post by WarHawk » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:09 am

You can read EXT4 on windows but not natively...need to use an application

https://superuser.com/questions/37512/h ... on-windows
https://www.diskinternals.com/linux-reader/

If it's ONLY going to be used with Linux...then EXT3 or 4 will be fine

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MichaIng
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Re: Best file format to use for external drive? (exFAT vs EXT4)

Post by MichaIng » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:45 pm

Jep, if you don't require to access it from a Windows system directly, use ext4.

If direct access from Windows is required, I would go with NTFS.

The problem with exFAT is that it does not support POSIX permissions at all. So chmod/chown does not work. The whole 777 permissions, so every UNIX user has full R/W permissions which is not optimal from security point of view. However at least Plex has R/W access as well.
Additionally exFAT is no full journaling file system, so in case of corruption is is more difficult to repair/recover data.

NTFS natively does not support POSIX permissions as well, but we install and enable a background service (when mounted via dietpi-drive_manager) that enables emulated permissions, which works quite well. And NTFS is a journaling file system, so you can better recover/repair corruption from Linux and as well from Windows.

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