As you may know linux Ext2, 3 and 4 are free, also FAT and FAT32 filesystem are the worst fs ever made , so why in 2017 , after more than 20 years of FAT sucking hard, we still don't have drives that read ext2,3/4 in these popular OS ?

Note : if it isn't a life hack , let me know where I should ask this question

  • 2
    This question doesn't fit on Lifehacks. You might get some answers on Stack Overflow, but you're really asking why something doesn't exist yet, instead of how to work around it. That question format might not produce an answer that would help you. – BrettFromLA Jul 21 '17 at 21:34
  • With some significant edits, you could probably ask this over on Super User – L.B. Jul 24 '17 at 19:55
  • "but you're really asking why something doesn't exist yet, instead of how to work around it" , is pretty much it, android, google , samsung , whatever must fix this , is stupid, very stupid , use microsd with 32gb in an android phone formated in FAT32. maybe ask help to cygwin group. – Sérgio Jul 25 '17 at 0:07
  • my question also is applicable on smart tvs , why usually smart tv and other things that have usb , doesn't read ext4 ? – Sérgio Aug 15 '17 at 15:21

Although I agree that FAT and FAT32 definitely have their disadvantages, I wouldn't say they are the worst filesystems ever made. (Btw, DOS 1.0 only had the root directory and no subdirectories, I think that was way worse.) Both FAT and FAT32 are very simple and can be implemented quickly and have only very limited requirements on CPU and RAM resources. Nowadays, there still exist devices for which this is an important advantage ("internet of things"), although it's probably getting less important, considering that something as small and cheap as a Raspberry PI runs a complete Linux.

I don't know the answer why Windows and MacOS do not support ext4, but I guess it is because Microsoft and Apple are not interested in supporting it. A feature always comes with costs: It has to be implemented, tested, updated to new versions of OS/drivers/other software, tested again etc. I think that most users of Windows and MacOS do not care accessing ext4 partitions, and many of them probably even don't know what ext4 is.

And there always is a trade-off: The people that are busy implementing/testing/updating feature A cannot work at the same time on feature B. But if feature B is more "important" than feature A, you would rather have feature B implemented instead of feature A.

Now imagine you would work for Apple or Microsoft: Would supporting ext4 make sense, would it be worth the effort? Probably not. Would you rather have your programmers implement something else, maybe something that's going to be the next cool thing or will help earn a lot of money? Probably yes.

Actually, there are ways to read or write ext4 from MacOS or Windows: ext4 on Wikipedia, How to read ext4 partitions on Windows on superuser.

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