A while back I started moving all my video media to digital.  It didn’t take me very long to fill up my 1 terabyte drive on my desktop, since it already had 2 operating systems and a lifetime of music.

I recently got a 2 terabyte external USB3 drive with the intention of putting all my media files on it.  I intended to serve them over the network with Plex from my Linux machine, so I thought pretty hard about formatting it to ext4. As a fall back however, I also wanted to be able to take the drive with me and plug it into a Windows or OS X machine.

Long story short, I chose ExFAT.  It’s a filesystem created by Microsoft, and is supported in Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Linux support is pretty new, so it took me a while to figure out what I needed to do.  I did NOT end up using fuse, which is nice.

In Arch Linux I needed to install from the AUR the packages exfat-utils and exfat-git. Once that was done I needed to figure out how to mount it properly.  I’ve been using udiskie to automount drives, which worked, but the permissions were wrong, and I couldn’t reset them, even with sudo.

Here’s what I ended up using:

UUID=548A-34A8 /media/terra2    exfat auto,user,rw,async 0 0

I got the UUID from /dev/disk/by-uuid and manually created /media/terra2.  The mount options include the auto flag, so simply plugging it in makes it mount by itself.  The user flag makes it so it mounts as my user, and rw means I can both read and write.

This has worked perfectly for me.  The only issue I’ve found with this arrangement is about once an hour my music will pause for about a half second.  I think this is probably because my motherboard doesn’t support USB3, so my bandwidth is a little limited.

I hope this post helps out other people with the same issue.  I don’t know how to install ExFAT on the lesser Linux distros, that part you’ll have to figure out on your own.

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