Originally Posted by Sean Webster
Use NTFS for the OS installation disk of windows and exFAT for a USB drive for compatibility b/w MAC, Windows, and Linux.
If you were talking about FAT32, then you'd have a point but exFAT isn't that well supported. MS haven't fully documented it and there's a whole issue surrounding the legality of it due to MS patents. Further more, the few exFAT drivers out there are all user space drivers (via FUSE) so there's literally nothing to be gained in using exFAT on removable storage aside saving a few KB of storage due to a lower fs foot print.
In fact I'd go further than that and say there's no real benefit of in using any revision of FAT - let alone one that's half documented, poorly supported and patent encumbered as exFAT is - as Linux and OS X support read/write access to NTFS volumes via ntfs-3g drivers.
In an ideal world I'd be formatting all my removable storage in something like ext4 or one of the many purpose built flash file systems, but sadly the only 'exotic' file system drivers for Windows that I've found only supported up to ext3 (and even then, that's only via ext2 drivers) so we're stuck with crappy MS technology, which NTFS is the less of the evils. It really is about time MS put *FAT* to bed and opened up Windows to other file systems
Just to clarify, that lass paragraph is my personal preference based on my own usage. I'm not about to suggest that average Windows users should be using non-standard file systems. However I still maintain the 1st two paragraphs apply, even to Windows-only users.Edited by Plan9 - 12/25/11 at 7:05pm