I've got about 3GB of stuff on my Ubuntu machine that is also synced to a cloud account because it's stuff I'd rather not lose in a disaster. I'd also like to do a periodic copy to a USB stick 'just to be sure'.

What's best? I only use Windows for gaming and do everything else in Linux (not just Ubuntu, but other Debian based distros and also Fedora).

I'm not too worried about what's fastest between FAT32, ext2, ext3 or ext4. I'd only be refreshing the backup about once a month and want something that's reliable from a file system point of view.

  • 1
    ext formats are not natively read in Windows. exFat is not native to Linux. FAT32 is universal, but has a single filesize limit of 2GB to 4GB depending. NTFS can be read in both as well as Linux now comes with NTFS file support.
    – Terrance
    Jan 5, 2017 at 18:06
  • 2
    If file permissions are important you should use a linux file system. Otherwise NTFS is good as long as you have a working Windows system, because you should repair NTFS with Windows. As described already, FAT32 is the most general file system, also readable in Mac OS. But there is the file size limit, and there is no journaling, so it is more difficult to repair, if it is damaged.
    – sudodus
    Jan 5, 2017 at 18:13
  • A USB stick is not very reliable. It can 'die' without warning. A USB hard disk drive or USB SSD is much more reliable (but more expensive).
    – sudodus
    Jan 5, 2017 at 18:16


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