Is there a filesystem and encryption combination that works across the 3 operating systems? Assume OSX High Sierra, Windows 10, 16.04. Bonus round if you have successfully done this before (please state in reply). Read / Write access is required.

It would be best if I could encrypt the flash drive so that it is not easily accessed if it were lost. That being said it makes sense to select a combination of filesystem and encryption that works across the three platforms in my environment (if possible)

marked as duplicate by muru, karel, Charles Green, David Foerster, Eric Carvalho Jan 17 '18 at 10:46

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HFS+ (Journaled) or JHFS+ has been used as a great encrypted file system on macOS since ages and it's one of the best file systems available. I would recommend you to go with JHFS+ formatted drives. But, there's one problem, the filesystem is not supported on Ubuntu and Windows, but there is a small fix to get this working on both the Operating Systems.

On Ubuntu:

Install hfsprogs:

sudo apt-get install hfsprogs

Next, mount or remount the HFS+ drive; commands need to be as follows:

sudo mount -t hfsplus -o force,rw /dev/sdXY /media/mntpoint


sudo mount -t hfsplus -o remount,force,rw /mount/point

Finally, if the drive was improperly unmounted or has otherwise become partially corrupted run fsck.hfsplus ... as such:

sudo fsck.hfsplus -f /dev/sdXY

On Windows:

It's as easy as installing a driver. Driver download and instructions here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-hfs-windows-driver-download.1368010/

  • That leaves out many more viable file system options and doesn't even address the encryption issue. -1 – David Foerster Jan 17 '18 at 9:44
  • I know there are loopholes in this answer. But, for now, you gotta stick to it as ex3/ext4/btrfs are only supported on Linux and however, you can get ext4 to work on Windows via a Paid program, but there are no options for other file systems and MacOS. – Lucifer Conrad Reeves Jan 23 '18 at 5:01
  • There's free open-source ext* support on Windows and free open-source NTFS support on Linux and OS X. There's free open-source support for FAT32 and ExFAT on Linux and out-of-the box support in Windows and OS X. HFS+ is arguably the worst of all since the Linux drivers are in a pretty bad shape and I'm not even aware of Windows drivers. – David Foerster Jan 23 '18 at 18:40

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