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Re: [vox] re. FAT size restrictions
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Re: [vox] re. FAT size restrictions

Richard S. Crawford said:
> On Fri, 2003-01-17 at 11:18, ME wrote:
>> Richard S. Crawford said:
>> > When I had the shared partition formatted as FAT32, I saw a kernel
>> > message claiming that FAT32 write support was alpha-level only, which
>> > is why I switched to FAT16.

> On Fri, 2003-01-17 at 11:18, ME wrote:
>> Where did you see this? (I'd like to know, to read about it more.)
>> Are you sure it was not a reference to Linux on the Alpha (DEC chip
>> fame) and not alpha-software?

Richard S. Crawford said:
> Hm, it showed up in my boot log.  I quote (from my boot log):  "fsck:
> Warning: FAT32 support is still ALPHA"
> Of course, these are the boot messages that fly by as my system is
> booting up.  Looking at it now, it seems that perhaps reading and
> writing to FAT32 would be just fine, just that fsck won't work reliably
> on the FAT32 partition.
> Okay, so maybe I did misunderstand the message... Did I?

In some ways, what you read could be interpreted as support for fat32 on
linux as being alpha, but I would disagree.
:-/    <--- (my, "difficult decision was made" face)

The Linux kernel's support for fat32 (vfat) is very, very stable. It has
been supported for a long time - and then some. Of course, some people
view (rightly or not -- not trying to start any holy wars) that Linux is
not just the kernel but also the whole distro (which includes the support
files, applications, libs, etc.)

In this way, for these people, since fsck is a support application that
comes with the OS on most (all?) distros, and its support for fat32 is
alpha, then some may suppose the limiting factor for complete support of
fat32 is fsck, and fsck is alpha so therefore fat32 support in Linux is

However, there are other tools for checking fat32 filesystems. Some are
proprietary, and others are "free" while some can be practiced by the
truely sick, twisted, and dimented. ]:>

"mtools" may have something, and then there is dosfsck sometimes symlinked
as fsck.vfat to the real app name.

For my distro, fat32 support is very stable, whether you look at Linux as
just the kernel or the kernel and support software.

You may be able to install a more stable (for fat32) filesystem checker of
fat32 systems. You wilol need to consult you distro's info on this. There
may be an extra package to install like one with "dosfsck" to permit use
of a non-alpha-testing-fsck-for-fat32.



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