I am installing a 2TB drive on an Ubuntu server that will be accessible on a network of Windows and Ubuntu machines. Should I format it using FAT32 or EXT3/4?


David C

  • Unless you have a specific reason, go with the default, ext4. – Panther Apr 24 '14 at 16:10
  • Were any of the answers helpful? – jobin May 12 '14 at 18:52

The / folder of Ubuntu should be ext, it can be ext, ext2, ext3, or ext4, but better off stick with ext4.

However, you will be able to read and write data to FAT32 or NTFS or ext partitions, so you just need your / partitions(analogous to the C: drive for windows) to be ext.


Ext4 is preferred. It has better performance than ext3, and FAT32 is not a journaled filesystem, so is at higher risk of data loss.

The way you share it (i.e. NFS, Samba/CIFS) should abstract the filesystem itself, allowing a Windows system to interact with it, even though Windows doesn't natively handle ext4.

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