Any suggestion for filesystem for a long term storage for external hdd

Anyone have any good suggestion what should i use for best data storage with encryption what i should use fat exfat btrfs xfs f2fs ext3/4 …anything.

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I would consider a file system with built-in checksums to validate data integrity over time. Btrfs or zfs would be my choice.


To me, the fact that btrfs has only recently been considered stable enough for mainstream use with fedora, and management is notably different than previous file systems, makes it less attractive for long term storage in my eyes.

I have not tried zfs so cannot speak to that.

However, the fact that ext(234) has been around for years and is of known stability makes it very attractive for that type use. It is a known file system, has been used and supported for a lot of years, and will likely be the same for long periods to come. I would choose an ext3 or ext4 file system for any extended storage plans I would consider.

It is easy to do checksums of files, directories or file systems if you are concerned about deterioration or degradation over time regardless of the file system type chosen.

With any of the windows related file systems (fat, exfat, ntfs, etc.) you are stuck with what MS decides to change as well as the less robust and reliable features involved. Any of the FOSS supported file systems will likely see stability or enhancement for a long time ahead.


I think, more important than the actual file system is that you power on the device at least every 6 months and check that your data is still readable. (especially important on SSD, but also on HDD where bearing grease can solidify, and so on…)

Also, make sure you have a backup.


Long time storage is cold, deep frozen data … go to the Cloud as with Fedora close to RHEL, IBM Cloud seems a good choice. Otherwise MS Azure, Google Drive, … something big to look up over precious data. Not free as air but in a safe place.

I am looking for a offline one and no thanks for google drive
But i can think about a nextcloud in future maybe but for now offline is good enough.

Sure thanks for this suggestion i usually power that time to time as i need to store more and more. Mostly power in a month or so.
I make a tar file of all files.
And make a checksum and store them so i can check if anything goes wrong when i compare them.
It is actually a ssd

Yes i do have one also.
I was thinking about using xfs as redhat use it for there system but as btrfs zfs is better auto correction checksum i thought to ask.

I always advocated for foss and i really don’t like non foss filesystem when it come to encryption still i mentioned just for example.

How much data are you looking to store? Another alternative is making multiple copies onto DVD-R, particularly durable medium such as M-DISC would be a good choice. That is, if you have access to a compatible DVD drive. Nevertheless, something like this should be considered in addition to a hard drive if you really care about not losing the data, just to have multiple redundancies.

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btrfs, ext4, and xfs are all perfectly capable and people will have preferences within that. If you want a potentially easier time reading that data on other systems or forensic recovery of that data, then ext4 is the most practical, but again, any of those are great choices.

For what it’s worth, my nextcloud data is ext4 and I very unfortunately did have to forensically recovery it once. It was expensive, but of these three, this filesystem also happened to be the only one the company could actually support.

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