Moving files to/from macOS to FreeBSD using USB flash disk

ikevin8me

Active Member

Reaction score: 12
Messages: 198

I need to use a USB flash disk to move files to/from macOS to FreeBSD.

What is the best or recommended common filesystem between the two operating systems?
Should I first format the USD disk using macOS Disk Utility? What filesystem (APFS, FAT, exFAT, etc. should I choose)?
Or, should I format it using from within FreeBSD first? What filesystem/format?

The preferred way is not to use MacFUSE and use FreeBSD in its default installation (ie. not to install any additional packages).

Thanks!
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Reaction score: 12,267
Messages: 38,773

and use FreeBSD in its default installation (ie. not to install any additional packages).
Then FAT32 is probably the one you want to use as it's the only "external" filesystem that's readable by a "stock" FreeBSD install (msdosfs(5)) and MacOS. I'm actually not sure if MacOS can read/write to FreeBSD's UFS, if it can that would be the best option. Should be easy enough to test, just create the stick with a UFS filesystem on it on FreeBSD and see if the Mac can read or write to it.
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Reaction score: 12,267
Messages: 38,773

You'd think by 2021 the world would be past this shit eh.
Aye. It was much worse back in the olden days though, when we we're still using floppy disks. Ever tried to read a variable speed formatted disk in a constant speed drive or vice versa?
 

tux2bsd

Active Member

Reaction score: 50
Messages: 176

Aye. It was much worse back in the olden days though, when we we're still using floppy disks. Ever tried to read a variable speed formatted disk in a constant speed drive or vice versa?
Ever put a punch card in a vacuum tube while flying a kite with a key on it?
 

ralphbsz

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,335
Messages: 3,233

Matter-of-fact, up to the 1980s, punching data out on decks of cards was the most portable way of transferring it between OSes. Even better than tapes, because that has massive incompatibilities (standard label versus no label, 7 versus 9 track, block sizes, and so on).

The reality is that using file systems as a transit format is not well supported by the people who write disk file systems. And that's why I second SirDice's advice of using FAT: It is old enough, most OSes these days have mature and bug-free support for it. The same can't be said for other imported file systems; for example UFS on Linux or ext2/3/4 on *BSD is likely to be buggy, and let's not even get started on NTFS support.

From an architectural elegance point of view, there is actually a pair of file systems that are intentionally designed for transporting data across OS boundaries, are fully specified in public specifications (not word-of-mouth or by inspecting greybox code), and are well designed: iso9660 and UDF (the DVD file system). But the problem with them is that generating them on portable media is quite painful.
 

bsduck

Active Member

Reaction score: 194
Messages: 241

If you really want to stick to the default capabilities, your only choice is indeed FAT, but this antique filesystem comes with limitations, most notably a file cannot be bigger than 4GiB. I usually rather use sysutils/fusefs-exfat for data exchange with MacOS or Windows computers.
 

tux2bsd

Active Member

Reaction score: 50
Messages: 176

If you really want to stick to the default capabilities, your only choice is indeed FAT, but this antique filesystem comes with limitations, most notably a file cannot be bigger than 4GiB. I usually rather use sysutils/fusefs-exfat for data exchange with MacOS or Windows computers.
iirc file name length is another limitation
 
Top