Mount exFAT Formatted Drives In Ubuntu

ExFAT is an abbreviation for Extended File Allocation Table a file system intended for use in flash drives, exFAT main advantage over the more traditional FAT/FAT32 file system is that it can store a file larger than 4GB. With the increase in flash drive capacity FAT/FAT32 can be limiting. While exFAT sounds like the right solution it comes with inherit problems for users of Free Software such as Linux, you see exFAT is a file system created and patented by Microsoft meaning due to patents support for exFAT in Free Software is bound to be flaky.

ExFAT adoption is not a problem for the Windows platform: by Windows XP (SP2), Vista, and 7 are already support exFAT.

While not the best solution it is possible to mount exFAT formatted drives by using FUSE which is also an abbreviation for File system in Userspace, 🙁 .

Installation and Configuration

Before you can make use of Fuse-exFAT you need to first install python-software-properties which includes add-apt-repository.

  • This is required of you wish to continue with this tutorial, this package includes the tool needed to add the repository.
  • sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
  • Add the new PPA (
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:relan/exfat
  • Update the system.
  • sudo apt-get update
  • Install Fuse-exFAT
  • sudo apt-get install fuse-exfat
  • Create a directory where we can mount the drive.
  • sudo mkdir /media/exfat
  • Mount the drive and specify the file system used by the flash drive.
  • mount -t exfat /dev/sdb1 /media/exfat
  • Display the newly mounted exFAT drive.
  • user@ubuntu:~$ df -H
    Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda1        54G  1.8G   49G   4% /
    udev            186M  4.1k  186M   1% /dev
    tmpfs            78M  279k   78M   1% /run
    none            5.3M     0  5.3M   0% /run/lock
    none            194M     0  194M   0% /run/shm
    /dev/sdb1        2.1G  525k  2.1G   1% /media/exfat

There you have it, it might not be pretty but it works.

  • AXiS

    Thank you jeebus.. what a pita but it got me working so I could copy some 8GB ISOs to an external drive I formatted with eXFAT for use in OS X.

    • Is that a reference to the Simpsons, any way I am glad it was helpful.

  • Peter

    What a great post Luis , that come just in time.

    I have exactly the same answer described by AXis

    “so I could copy some 8GB ISOs to an external drive I formatted with eXFAT for use in OS X.”

    Look like we are several using Ubuntu in conjonction with OSX . I tried Ntfs first but without much result . Then checked exFAT and here it is !

    Thanks again for your post .

    • Amazing, I also happen to be moving ISOs larger than 4GB. Thank you for visiting the blog and commenting.

  • Billy Moon

    “it might not be pretty but it works”

    I think it looks pretty ,~)

  • Onej

    I got following notice:
    “E: Unable to locate package fuse-exfat”
    what to do now?
    tnx in advance

  • Bence

    I am a totally beginner, knowing nothing.

    But it worked!

    • luisventura

      Glad it worked, we are all beginners at some point.

  • Gokul

    whats the meaning of this error??

    Executing: gpg –ignore-time-conflict –no-options –no-default-keyring –secret-keyring /tmp/tmp.PDF8RSPffM –trustdb-name /etc/apt/trustdb.gpg –keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg –primary-keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg –keyserver hkp:// –recv
    gpg: “” not a key ID: skipping