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I have a new 3 terabyte external USB hard drive (Seagate ST3000DM001 in an enclosure). I hope to use it on both my iMac (OS X 10.6.8) and my Linux machines (Kubuntu). Right now this drive will probably be used primarily on the Mac, but that could change in the future; I don't use my Mac that much.

I have not formatted or partitioned the drive yet. What are my best options?

Should I format the drive with the Mac HFS+ case-sensitive option?

Given that I am not familiar with OS X, I would rather do standard stuff on the Mac and non-standard stuff on Linux where I'm more comfortable. That leads me to slightly prefer formatting this drive in a native Mac format. On the other hand, I have several Linux boxes where I could use this drive, so if I do non-standard stuff to mount it, I'll have to do that on each Linux machine.

However, for this question, assume a 50/50 split between use on the two operating systems.

I don't want to purchase any proprietary or commercial software to accomplish this task. And I need read & write access.

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If you want to do it the Mac way, format the drive as HFS+ with no journaling (if you format it with journaling, I think you can turn this off with diskutil).

The linux HFS+ kernel drivers (CONFIG_HFSPLUS_FS Filesystems->Miscellaneous filesystems->Apple Extended HFS file system support) can mount HFS+ volumes with full read/write access as long as the volume does not have journaling enabled.

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If you are using any Windows machine in the process as well, my suggestion would be to use NTFS (formatted from the Windows machine) and use fuse-ntfs-3g and ntfs-3g inside the *nix systems. That worked the best for me, as far as having the best compatibility between all 3 systems. Haven't tested on Sun or anything else.

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