exFAT on Linux

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FAT is one of the most popular file systems for all. This file system is mostly used for USB flash drives. There are a number of FAT file systems – FAT16, FAT32 and exFAT etc. If you didn’t know, exFAT is the ultimate FAT file system that offers the best file transferring capability while overcoming all the barriers of other FAT file systems.

However, exFAT isn’t supported in most of the Linux systems by default. Today, we’ll have a look at enabling the file system and formatting your favorite USB flash drive for the ultimate data mobility.

Installing exFAT

Depending on your Linux distro, run the following commands.

  • Ubuntu
sudo apt install exfat-utils exfat-fuse

  • Debian
sudo apt-get install exfat-utils exfat-fuse
  • Fedora
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

sudo dnf -y install fuse-exfat
  • OpenSUSE

Get fuse-exfat.

  • Other distros

If your system wasn’t in the list above, you have to search for “exfat-utils” and/or “exfat-fuse” package for your system. Note that “exfat-fuse” may also be available as “fuse-exfat”.

Formatting a USB flash drive in exFAT

Connect your USB flash drive and make sure that it’s mounted correctly. Don’t forget to backup any important data beforehand!

Run the following command to identify the device identity –

sudo fdisk -l

In my case, it’s “/dev/sdb1/”. Make sure to remember yours correctly.

Run the following command to format it with exFAT file system.

sudo mkfs.exfat /dev/sdb1

You can also use GParted for doing the job. Unmount first, then format as exFAT.

Voila! exFAT is easily accessible in your system. Enjoy!

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