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Feature #9659

Support for exFAT

Added by Hoopy over 4 years ago. Updated almost 3 years ago.

Status:
Resolved
Priority:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category:
Hardware support
Target version:
Start date:
06/29/2015
Due date:
% Done:

100%

Feature Branch:
feature/9659-exfat
Type of work:
Code
Blueprint:
Starter:
Affected tool:

Description

Hi,
Thnx for your efforts.
Can you please consider adding exFAT support to TAILS? It is better than NTFS for USB sticks.
Many memory sticks are now larger than 64 GB. Last time I checked, I could not use exFAT for USB memory in TAILS. Can it be included by including the FUSE module?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT
https://code.google.com/p/exfat/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_in_Userspace

This will make it easier to use larger external media and support for larger files.

Thank you again

Associated revisions

Revision 98a04799 (diff)
Added by intrigeri about 3 years ago

Add support for exFAT (refs: #9659).

Revision e67b22d4
Added by anonym almost 3 years ago

Merge remote-tracking branch 'origin/feature/9659-exfat' into devel

Fix-committed: #9659

History

#1 Updated by intrigeri over 4 years ago

  • Assignee set to Hoopy
  • Type of work changed from Code to Research

In general, it sounds like a good idea.

Please install exfat-fuse from wheezy-backports and test:

  • if it works at all
  • if it's integrated in GNOME/Nautilus' removable storage devices support (as in: behaves just the same as FAT from the end-user's perspective)

If one of those doesn't work, try installing exfat-utils (from wheezy-backports as well) and retry these.

I'm slightly concerned that this backport is older than the version that ended up in Jessie => maybe it would be safer to add exFAT support in Tails/Jessie only.

#2 Updated by DanOver over 4 years ago

This needs to be implemented urgently! It is an excellent idea.

#3 Updated by intrigeri over 4 years ago

This needs to be implemented urgently! It is an excellent idea.

Well, if you find it urgent, then feel free to do the tests I've asked for on #9659#note-1 :)

#4 Updated by DanOver over 4 years ago

Because Tails does not use exFAT? The exFAT could be used in persistence. It's just a suggestion. Thx for all! <3

#5 Updated by intrigeri over 4 years ago

The exFAT could be used in persistence.

Given Tails persistent volume is not meant to be unlocked on non-Tails operating systems, I am not able to think of a reason to do so. Of course I can be missing something, though.

#6 Updated by DanOver over 4 years ago

To improve access to data.

#7 Updated by intrigeri over 4 years ago

To improve access to data.

This is so vague I have no idea what you mean => may you please describe an actual use case that's not covered currently?

#8 Updated by Hoopy about 4 years ago

I agree with "intrigeri".

The priority is low to normal.

The module should be working with Debian or other Linux distros before using it in Tails.

I do not have to a permanent Linux installation for testing. I tried to make it work on Tails at the time of the posting (~1.4), and Tails froze.

If some one can test this on Debian or its derivatives, some progress can be made.

Thnx

#9 Updated by muchandr about 4 years ago

intrigeri wrote:

This is so vague I have no idea what you mean => may you please describe an
actual use case that's not covered currently?

Tails installer says "formatting with FAT32" for a new installation. This hypothetically means that you could only use up to 32GB SDHC flash, but not 64GB+ SDXC flash, which is ExFAT only. Witness the spec difference:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U77V8AM/ref=twister_B00WECRAF0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

IMHO, the convergence between photographics flash and USB sticks driven by Lexar is something to greet, because there is no telling what are freebie OEM Chinese sticks are made of (or not...)

FAT32 is aweful for both security and lifetime of the flash, because it keeps poinding the same place for its root directory. That's why ExFAT was invented in the first place. From Tails installer I surmise that FAT32 is still used to boot some critical kernel initialisation chunk, at least? That'd be bad news...

#10 Updated by intrigeri about 4 years ago

Tails installer says "formatting with FAT32" for a new installation.

Note that we're talking of a 2.5 GB filesystem here.

FAT32 is aweful for both security and lifetime of the flash, because it keeps poinding the same place for its root directory. That's why ExFAT was invented in the first place. From Tails installer I surmise that FAT32 is still used to boot some critical kernel initialisation chunk, at least? That'd be bad news...

The Tails system partition is very rarely mounted read-write so this should not be a problem.

#11 Updated by muchandr about 4 years ago

intrigeri wrote:

Note that we're talking of a 2.5 GB filesystem here.

You use FAT32 at all -> You can't use SDXC "native" ExFAT -> You can't use space over 32 GB on an SD card at all. Counts as an "actual use case" in my book, anyway :)

#12 Updated by camedwardo over 3 years ago

I would like to also endorse support for the addition of ExFAT to Tails. I have personally tested the installation of the exfat-fuse package as available from repositories already included with Tails for APT. It works perfectly and I have yet to run into any issues.

What more information or testing do we need to add exfat support? Please let me know what I may be able to contribute, happy to assist!

#13 Updated by intrigeri over 3 years ago

  • QA Check set to Info Needed

I have personally tested the installation of the exfat-fuse package as available from repositories already included with Tails for APT.

Do you confirm you installed 1.1.0-2+deb8u1 from Jessie?

(I see a newer version in jessie-backports, but if it's not needed, let's not pick that one.)

It works perfectly and I have yet to run into any issues.

Cool, thanks.

What more information or testing do we need to add exfat support? Please let me know what I may be able to contribute, happy to assist!

A Git branch would be nice: https://tails.boum.org/contribute/how/code/

But if you have no interest in setting up a build environment, let us know.

#14 Updated by phil_jr over 3 years ago

In addition to the USB stick where TAILS is installed, it would be great to be able to read SSDs formatted in exFAT.
Currently I must enter:
1) sudo apt-get update
2) sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

If only the repositories were updated ( … which takes a while), we'd then only have to run the 2nd command, which is fast.

#15 Updated by intrigeri over 3 years ago

1) sudo apt-get update
2) sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

If only the repositories were updated ( … which takes a while), [...]

Three things:

  • It would be mostly useless to ship the APT indices (what apt-get update downloads) in the ISO, as they expire after about a week, so quite quickly they would unusable; and they would take space in every ISO and incremental upgrade, so it would actually be harmful.
  • As you can see above on this ticket, we still need test results in order to include exFAT support. Providing them would be the best way to avoid having to run these commands :)
  • https://tails.boum.org/doc/first_steps/persistence/configure/index.en.html#additional_software

#16 Updated by BitingBird over 3 years ago

  • Status changed from New to In Progress
  • % Done changed from 0 to 10

#17 Updated by intrigeri about 3 years ago

  • Category set to Hardware support
  • Assignee changed from Hoopy to intrigeri
  • Target version set to Tails_2.9.1
  • QA Check deleted (Info Needed)
  • Type of work changed from Research to Code

I've just seen another real-life case that required exFAT support. Installing exfat-fuse (and the recommended exfat-utils from Jessie (on a non-Tails Jessie system) was enough to make it work. So I plan to add it to Tails 2.8.

#18 Updated by intrigeri about 3 years ago

  • % Done changed from 10 to 20
  • Feature Branch set to feature/9659-exfat

#19 Updated by intrigeri about 3 years ago

  • % Done changed from 20 to 30

Builds fine, passes test suite. Will now test locally with actual exFAT volumes.

#20 Updated by intrigeri about 3 years ago

  • Assignee changed from intrigeri to anonym
  • % Done changed from 30 to 50
  • QA Check set to Ready for QA

I could format a partition with exfat in GNOME Disks, and mount it with GNOME Files.

#21 Updated by anonym almost 3 years ago

  • Target version changed from Tails_2.9.1 to Tails 2.10

Bumping this feature to the new next major release (given 2.8 was cancelled).

#22 Updated by anonym almost 3 years ago

  • Assignee deleted (anonym)
  • % Done changed from 50 to 100
  • QA Check changed from Ready for QA to Pass

#23 Updated by anonym almost 3 years ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Fix committed

#24 Updated by anonym almost 3 years ago

  • Status changed from Fix committed to Resolved

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