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exFAT file system support

Topics: Feature Requests
Jan 19, 2015 at 12:44 AM
The legacy FAT filesystem that VeraCrypt currently supports has a 4GB file size limit. For broad compatibility across the most popular desktop operating systems, it would be useful for VeraCrypt to support the exFAT file system: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT
Coordinator
Jan 23, 2015 at 10:37 AM
Unfortunately, exFAT is protected by patents from Microsoft. There is an open source implementation for Linux and Fuse but this doesn't mean that anyone can use it in their product without a fee or an explicit authorization from Microsoft.
Moreover, the open source implementation is licensed under GPL and thus it can't be used for VeraCrypt even if we receive an authorization from Microsoft (which I doubt).
Feb 10, 2015 at 3:13 PM
I read somewhere that Microsoft have claimed it will not go after open source projects in the future.
Something to do with a pr spin of how much Microsoft love's open source. Which is a blatant lie and total bullshit but still.
Mar 8, 2015 at 10:38 PM
I've played around a bit and got the following result:

On a Mac I mounted a FAT-formated VeraCrypt Volume and using the Diskutility-Program I was able to format it with ExFAT. It was writable and mountable on the Mac. However, I was not able to mount it on Windows.

Then I created a container on my Windows XP with FAT and tried to reformat the mounted container to ExFAT using the Format-Utility of Windows Explorer. However, this does not work. I could format it to NTFS, though.

I'm wondering whether it is even necessary to integrate the filesystem into VeraCrypt. Why can't the containers just be formatted using the operating system's functions, just like with any external USB drive? That would make it possible to use any filesystem supported by the operating system (as you can integrate different filesystems using fuse on Mac or Linux).
Coordinator
Mar 10, 2015 at 3:16 AM
Thank you cyril2000 for these information. This clearly makes exFAT out of the support list.

Concerning your question, VeraCrypt already uses the operating system's functions to perform the formatting: on Windows, it supports FAT and NTFS. On Linux, it supports Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, FAT and NTFS if mkfs.ntfs is installed. On MacOSX, it supports FAT and MacOSX Extended format.
Sep 25, 2015 at 12:35 AM
what about other FS like ReFS (Windows Server), ZFS and BtrFS (Linux) ?
Oct 1, 2015 at 1:20 PM
Edited Oct 9, 2015 at 7:46 PM
I thought VeraCrypt used fuse in the first place - if so - it shouldn't pose a problem since nothing is linked to those NTFS/exFAT/whatever libraries.

Edit: I now see NTFS is supported on Linux. Although NTFS isn't covered by patents, it shouldn't make a big deal to use existing stuff with FUSE to make exFAT work.
Nov 23, 2015 at 9:14 AM
idrassi wrote:
Unfortunately, exFAT is protected by patents from Microsoft. There is an open source implementation for Linux and Fuse but this doesn't mean that anyone can use it in their product without a fee or an explicit authorization from Microsoft.
Moreover, the open source implementation is licensed under GPL and thus it can't be used for VeraCrypt even if we receive an authorization from Microsoft (which I doubt).
Since veracrypt interfaces with FUSE, it's never doing anything else than running commands, so creating an exFAT filesystem isn't any worse than doing this manually. M$ hasn't stopped distro from shipping fuse/exfat, so I really doubt they'll make a fuzz out of veracrypt merely using these utils. With OS X it's even clearer, since I guess Apple has payed M$ their part to use exFAT.

roy
Coordinator
Nov 25, 2015 at 11:02 PM
Hi Roy,

Thank you for opening the subject again.
Indeed, including exfat support is not as problematic as I though back in March. Definitely, I'll put this on the TODO list.