exFAT support by default?

It seems exFAT is a better format than FAT, more modern, and is supported out of the box on Windows and MacOS. Shouldn’t Fedora ship it by default, so we have the same plug&play experience and finally have a bit more modern go-to choice when formatting USB thumb drives?

Hey @yajo
Thx for your question! I am sure other people will explain to you Fedoras approach going with Btrfs and giving you more technical backgrpund.


Possibly look at the file system comparisons to give some idea of if it is even suitable for use. Here is a link to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/fileio/filesystem-functionality-comparison which does show ther limitations of ExFat. BTW, you were meaning for USB formatting I assume, not the main filesystem.

Yes, I’m talking about having exfat support out of the box, not using it for installing Fedora.

You won’t want to format an USB drive in btrfs if you want to open it on Windows/MacOS too.

Oh, it seems NTFS is way better then. Does anybody know if that’s openable on MacOS?

That’s a reasonable feature request I would think and I’m going to open a terminal to check my options with mkfs. Not sure about whether NTFS is openable by a Mac, but it is for sure established enough to be a candidate.
Certainly lots of options for FAT, 12, 16, or 32 bit, you can tell it to use MBR layout. Check out man mkfs.vfat for more info.
And to add one more link to the conversation, here is the spec for the exFat file system, which is the replacement for FAT32, and can handle larger media than FAT32. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/fileio/exfat-specification

exFAT support should be enabled by default since F33: 1792613 – Please enable new exfat kernel driver

With kde-partitionmanager + exfatprogs you should be able to create and format an exFAT partition.


Ah well. Today I was trying to format one drive in F34 Silverblue using gnome disks and I couldn’t because of missing packages.

Maybe what’s not shipped by default is the formatting tools, but yes the mounting tools?

Gnome disks may not support formatting to exFAT but gparted and the other disk utilities support it. Any removable drive formatted with exFAT is supported by gnome-files and other file managers since fedora 33, weather it be for reading or writing. Most other distros and file managers support it by default too since Microsoft changed the license.

That’s not correct, gnome-disks can handle exFAT a long time ago via exfat-utils and fuse-exfat, whether these are installed from the repository or manually.

There is a known issue due to the transition from FUSE based drivers to native kernel driver. F33 doesn’t include the necessary fuse-exfat exfat-utils packages in the repositories and to use exfatprogs the functionality must be backported in udisks, look here and here .


NTFS can only be mounted read-only on macOS, however exFAT has read and write support. Currently exFAT due to the “openness” and native inclusion in gnu/linux and other systems, makes it the most interoperable file system.

I remember a while ago I opened request report to include it by default in gnome-disks and nautilus (it was included reluctantly). Now with the native support in Kernel, only a couple of versions should pass to make it the default preference over FAT, at least on external flash devices larger than 4GB or following a rule like the one used by the SD Association IMHO.