How to transfer data between Linux and FreeBSD?


New Member

Messages: 2

Hello. Probably the title is a bit confusing so let me explain: At the moment I am a Linux user (unsupported Fedora version) but will migrate to FreeBSD in the near future, so I would like to backup my data in an external hard drive to use it in the future system.

However, being a non-technical user, I am a bit confused as to how I should format the external hard drive to be able to retrieve my data in the FreeBSD system.

If you can help me with this issue I would be very grateful. Thanks.


New Member

Reaction score: 1
Messages: 9

You can mount the ext2 file system within FreeBSD and it's pretty simple. Format a USB stick with ext2 and use rsync to transfer your data on to it.
Good luck and welcome to FreeBSD!



Reaction score: 401
Messages: 1,255

Like aaron said, but are you going to have two computers with an external drive used between them, or are you planning to reformat the Linux box? I'm a fan of multiple computers for home use and would simply us FTP to transfer files between them.

Welcome to FreeBSD!



Reaction score: 21
Messages: 85

Depending on the amount of data one could create a gzip/bzip tar file, then copy that to a standard flash drive. FreeBSD can mount a standard format flash drive as well as the lesser systems. ;) Then uncompress and extract the data onto one's FreeBSD system.

Of course since you want to use an external hard drive then you would probably want an ext3/4 format. See


Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 171
Messages: 542

exFAT if you want as much compatibility as possible between OS(es).


Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 391
Messages: 702

ZFS would also be a viable solution, with the benefit that you could just zfs send|recv the datasets to FreeBSD. With ZFS you'll also catch bitrot from a dying USB-Stick very early and can dump it before it corrupts any data.
I'm using ZFS on almost all my USB Sticks nowadays exactly because of this. exFAT is just a master recipe for corrupted data, especially with the flashdrive sizes we have today.


Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 159
Messages: 413

use ZFS! I have tested it with FreeBSD 13 RC3 and the current Ubuntu 20.04 openzfs version and it works if you stick to non-encrypted datasets.