Lingua franca file system Linux-NetBSD-FreeBSD?

Andy Ruhl acruhl at
Wed Aug 25 12:42:10 UTC 2010

2010/8/25 Thomas Mueller <mueller6727 at>:
> From "Andy Ruhl" <acruhl at>:
>> I thought UDF was supposed to be the solution to all of this. A friend
>> of mine had a USB external hard disk formatted with UDF and it worked
>> fine with both Linux and Windows. I think it's not as common for
>> formatting magnetic disk based filesystems as it probably should be
>> though. It's mostly used for DVDs.
> I've heard of UDF, recognized it as a file system for DVDs, can't find it specifically on my system but find two DVD-related packages.
> /var/log/packages/dvd+rw-tools-7.1-i486-1
> /var/log/packages/libdvdread-4.1.3-i486-1

$ uname
$ which newfs_udf

It appears that NetBSD, Mac OSX, Linux (later 2.6) and Windows (later
versions) support it the best. FreeBSD and OpenBSD, AIX and Solaris
claim some level of support for it as well.

Unless you're using FAT32 or a network CIFS, it appears to be the best
supported filesystem to me, given that you are using the proper
version of UDF.

I'm guessing a Windows partition layout would be most compatible as
well on a magnetic disk. Also note that UDF claims to be able to write
and rewrite files directly to RW optical media.

I've never used it much in practice though.


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