ntfs-3g vs. ext2ifs

Lennart Sorensen lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at public.gmane.org
Tue Jul 28 21:23:04 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 02:00:16PM -0700, Tyler Aviss wrote:
> "I suppose you could learn to use split and cat"

Well back before linux we used to do that on DOS when we wanted to move
a file bigger than one floppy.  The copy command in dos has a /b option
for sticking the parts back together again although I can't remember
what we used to split them in the first place.

cat part1 part2 part3 > whole
is the same as
copy /b part1 + part2 + part3 whole (in dos)

multipart zip and rar didn't always exist.

> Lennart, this is the type of response I've pretty much grown used  to
> seeing from you, but I really wish that you would take a moment to
> consider that not everybody has your particular goals, nor is it
> respectful or reflects well upon the list when you make comments in
> this manner.

It was intended as good advice.  If you thought it was not respectful
then you should adjust your meter somewhere because it was really intended
as a very useful thing to use.  Probably the best solution in fact.

The fact is that out of all the filesystems in the world, FAT12, FAT16
and FAT32 are the only ones likely to be read and written correctly
by every OS out there.  NTFS won't, exFAT certainly won't and ext2/3/4
certainly won't.  You can take your changes on some OSs with one of them,
but it just might not work.  Sticking with the simplest and most reliable
for data exchange makes sense.

Unfortunately FAT32 has a 4GB filesize limit.  You can live with it
(I do) and for almost all your files it will work.  When you encounter
a file that is too big then you use a tool to split it for transport,
such as 'split' or rar or zip or whatever you like.

If you don't think that's convinient enough, well then you will have to
take your chances with either the ext2 driver for windows or the NTFS
driver for linux.  Either way they are not as likely to work as using
FAT is.

Either way 4GB filesize limits is not often a problem, and the one example
given so far is not in fact a problem if you backup DVD images in what
is probably the prefered format (which is the files only as dvdbackup
does it.  Plays very well with most DVD player programs in linux).
Having elliminated DVD images as a 4GB problem, that must not leave very
many things, and using a splitting tool for transport in those few cases
is probably worth it for most people rather than taking chances with
corrupting the filesystem by using a more complex filesystem between
different OSs.

exFAT could someday be a great solution if microsoft didn't purposely try
to prevent people from using it without paying a fortunet to microsoft
for a license.  They just have no interest in a universal filesystem
for data exchange.  They don't want to share their filesystems with
anyone and they don't want to support anyone elses filesystems either.

> Frankly, it makes the group in general look like the sarcastic
> elitists that many have tried to help remove from the reputation of
> Linux users or even computer-enthusiasts in general. Can you PLEASE
> tone it down a bit.

I would suggest the same back at you.

> Many of your opinions are insightful and intelligent. The delivery,
> however, could use a bit more tact.

TLUG is much much better than it used to be.  People are actually being
rather nice to each other.  In general people are showing way more
patience than they used to (and way more than you are likely to see on
most IRC channels and probably a lot of other mailing lists).

Len Sorensen
The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings: http://gtalug.org/
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