Usb formatting question

if you had to pick one file system for a usb drive. which would it be
FAT32 or NTFS and why? which is better

I assume this is a flash drive, not a huge external hard drive.
I would format it FAT32, because both Linux and Mac operating systems can write to it.
You may be in a Windows environment right now, but it would be sucky if you were forced to write a school paper on a Mac and it couldn’t write to your NTFS drive.
There are programs in development to write to NTFS for Linux and Mac, but FAT32 is a lot safer if you want to ensure cross-operating system compatibility.

If you are on the other hand talking about a huge external drive, not a 1 or 2 GB flash drive, you will want to format the thing NTFS, because the FAT32 filesystem doesn’t support single files larger than 4GB. And, you wouldn’t really carry an external drive around every day, so your chances of using it with a Linux box or Mac are slim.

Basically NTFS is the format for NT-based operating systems (NT, XP, Vista) while FAT is for the “older” systems (95, 98, 2000). So it depends on which operating system you’ll be using your drive on.

Fat 32 for small space.

For a flash drive, I would only format it FAT32 because even older an Windows OS, as serpentarius mentioned, will not work with NTFS.

thats exactly what im using it for its a flash drive for linux about 3-4 gigs thanks for all the help everyone. FAT32 it is then!

Good choice, glad I could help :wgrin: