Native exFAT Support Finally Arrives on Linux

Arch Linux is the first distro to have support for exFAT

By on July 4th, 2013 19:45 GMT

If you've watched the news lately, you know that last week a Linux developer has released the first ever native Linux kernel module for Microsoft's exFAT filesystem.

Well, that's not great news... that's wonderful news, for all Linux users, as previous implementations of the exFAT filesystem in the Linux kernel were done via FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace).

Originally ported from Android's Linux kernel 3.0, this is the first Linux "non-FUSE" kernel driver that supports both reading and writing for the exFAT filesystem developed by the Microsoft Corporation. In other words, you will be able to read from and write on exFAT partitions inside your Linux-powered box.

At the moment, the exFAT Linux kernel module lives in GitHub and it's updated on a regular basis. It was tested and works against Linux kernel versions 3.8 and 3.9. As Linux kernel 3.10 was just released at the beginning of this month, we strongly believe that the developers will update the exFAT module to support it as well.

Thanks to Patryk Kowalczyk, Arch Linux users can already install this native Linux kernel module for the exFAT filesystem, starting today, in their current installations, using an AUR helper. For more details go here.

To manually install it in any other distro, you need to clone the Git source, enter the directory and execute the make and sudo make install commands, followed by the modprobe exfat_fs command, to manually load the driver, as root.

As an ending note, we would like to remind everyone reading this piece of news that the exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) file system created by Microsoft is optimized for flash drives. It has a file size limit of 16 EiB (Exbibyte) and a cluster size up to 32 MiB (Mebibyte).
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