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exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table), a Microsoft file system optimized for flash memory storage such as USB sticks, is available to Gentoo Linux systems through a FUSE module.

The availability of the exFAT filesystem had long been poor, because of its proprietary, unpublished specification. The situation, however, may change, following the publication of the spec by Microsoft in 2019. In kernel 5.7, released in Jun 2020, Linux kernel itself implemented an exFAT driver.



Make sure support for Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) is enabled in the kernel:

KERNEL Enable support for CONFIG_FUSE_FS
File systems  --->
   <*> FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) support


Install the FUSE exfat package:

root #emerge --ask sys-fs/fuse-exfat

For filesystem creation and manipulation beyond that of the mount command it is necessary to install the sys-fs/exfat-utils package:

root #emerge --ask sys-fs/exfat-utils



To create an exFAT file system, use mkfs.exfat (or the mkexfatfs command, which is synonymous):

user $mkfs.exfat
mkexfatfs 1.2.1
Usage: mkfs.exfat [-i volume-id] [-n label] [-p partition-first-sector] [-s sectors-per-cluster] [-V] <device>

For instance, to create it on a removable device present at /dev/sde1 while assigning "Flash" as the file system label:

root #mkfs.exfat -n Flash /dev/sde1


The file system can then be mounted using the mount.exfat-fuse command:

root #mount.exfat-fuse
FUSE exfat 1.0.1
Usage: mount.exfat-fuse [-d] [-o options] [-v] <device> <dir>

For instance, to mount the file system created in the above example:

root #mount.exfat-fuse /dev/sde1 /mnt/flash

To unmount, simply use the umount command:

root #umount /mnt/flash

Integrity checking

To check the integrity of an exFAT filesystem, use fsck.exfat:

root #fsck.exfat /dev/sde1

See also

  • FAT — originally created for use with MS-DOS (and later pre-NT Microsoft Windows)
  • NTFS — a proprietary disk filesystem by Microsoft for Windows and Windows-based operating systems.
  • Ext4 — an open source disk filesystem and most recent version of the extended series of filesystems.