Mac – What filesystem for shared (read/write) PC/Mac external drive?


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Cross-platform file system

Is there a recommended filesystem to use when sharing an external drive between the Mac and PC? I understand there are options for Macs to read/write NTFS filesystems and also for PCs to read/write HFS+ filesystems. Is there a preferred filesystem or perhaps a different filesystem that both Mac and PC and read/write?

I know I could use FAT32 but some of the files I use are larger than 4 GB (i.e. Virtual Machine images)

Best Answer

If the hard drive is going to remain plugged into one computer or the other and shared over the network for the other computer's use, then use whichever the best filesystem for that computer is (NTFS for Windows, HFS+ for Mac).

If you're going to switch which computer the drive is plugged into, use NTFS. The NTFS-3G driver for MacFUSE is fairly mature, and without Boot Camp you are going to have a tough time getting Windows to recognize HFS+ filesystems.

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