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how to use a USB drive across Linux computers?

asked 2018-09-13 21:08:47 -0500

horizonbrave gravatar image

updated 2018-09-16 20:27:27 -0500

Hi, I want to use my USB drive for sharing files across multiple Linux installations (Fedora, Manjaro, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE). I thought ext4 could be the file system of choice but there's too much drama about permission and I'm not able to access across my computer systems except where I created the partition.

PLEASE, which could be a possible solution so that every Linux system and EVERY user will be able to read/write and create directories on such USB drive? Should I ditch ext4 all together and go with NTFS?

I'm surprised by how this "problem" hasn't been addressed yet with all the people that try to abandon Windows and Linux distros trying so hard to make the year of the Linux desktop happen :) Thanks

PS: I need a filesystem able to manage files over 4 GB size, so I guess FAT is not an option...

EDIT: I'm liking this but there's a big but:

The only problem I might expect is that copying files to the USB stick will by default attempt to duplicate the file permissions of the original, which you don't want in this case.

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Are your Linux installations all on the same network? Maybe it's worth setting up a shared directory on the network (using NFS).(the actual data can still reside on your ext4- formatted USB, but you circumvent the problems with permissions...)

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2018-09-13 22:13:38 -0500 )edit

@florian, that sounds great.. you should post it as an answer! Thanks

horizonbrave gravatar imagehorizonbrave ( 2018-09-16 20:25:56 -0500 )edit

Can do so...

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2018-09-17 09:20:57 -0500 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2018-09-13 23:10:04 -0500

sideburns gravatar image

Flash drives come already formatted with FAT32, which every OS I'm familiar with can read and write. Unless you need to have the Linux file attributes carry over, there's no need to reformat.

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Sorry but I forgot to mention in my first post that I need to get over the 4GB size limit!

horizonbrave gravatar imagehorizonbrave ( 2018-09-16 20:26:35 -0500 )edit

Just get a drive that's at least 32 GB and it will come formatted with exFAT that can handle files that big.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2018-09-16 20:34:48 -0500 )edit
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answered 2018-09-13 22:23:20 -0500

florian gravatar image

updated 2018-09-13 22:26:37 -0500

You just set the file permissions to

-rwxrwxrwx, or numerical 777, see [1].

cd into your usb drive, then

sudo chmod -R 777 *

(-R is for recursive).

Check man chmod and maybe [2] and [3] for more information

LInks: [1], [2], [3]

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1

Better:

chmod -R a+rwX  .

Don't set execute permission on regular files.

villykruse gravatar imagevillykruse ( 2018-09-14 01:47:24 -0500 )edit

So I'll have to do it every time I move my drive across computers right? In those computers User might be different! Cheers!

horizonbrave gravatar imagehorizonbrave ( 2018-09-16 20:29:24 -0500 )edit
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answered 2018-09-14 08:00:42 -0500

updated 2018-09-14 08:06:24 -0500

leave it as it is comes ( usually Flash drives with FATxx filesystem (max 4GB file size / max 2TB Volume )for below 32Gb and exFAT for above 32 GB )

This is best for Flash drives when you use it as just a storage to transfer files or store data for purpose ... You may occasionally want to copy a file over 4GB in size to the drive than may be you need some other file system rather than FAT32

Please note : FAT32 is not Journal filesystem so file system corruption can happen much more easily , So scond default file system for all OS support is NTFS ( which is Journal filesystem supported )

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answered 2018-09-17 09:21:16 -0500

florian gravatar image

Are your Linux installations all on the same network? Maybe it's worth setting up a shared directory on the network (using NFS).(the actual data can still reside on your ext4- formatted USB, but you circumvent the problems with permissions...)

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Asked: 2018-09-13 21:08:47 -0500

Seen: 88 times

Last updated: Sep 17