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[] Weird behaviour with new SD-Card

asked 2016-04-18 22:39:58 +0300

mdosch gravatar image

updated 2016-06-24 16:09:48 +0300

I experienced some weird behaviour with a new 64GB microSDXC SD-Card (amazon-link).
I inserted my new SD-Card and this happened:

  • The SD-Card wasn't recognized (I expected this as I saw it's some strange filesystem I never heard before (exFAT) when putting it into my Laptop
  • I formatted the SD-Card to EXT4 as it's the filesystem I'm using on all my machines
  • The SD-Card still wasn't recognized by my Jolla (UNEXPECTED)
    • I couldn't even mount it manually
  • I formatted the SD-Card to BTRFS (I never used this on my machines, but I know the Jolla is using this)
  • The SD-Card still wasn't recognized by my Jolla (UNEXPECTED)
    • I couldn't even mount it manually
  • I formatted the SD-Card to vFAT (All other SD-Cards and Storage-pens are using this)
  • Now the SD-Card is working fine with my Jolla

So, actually everything is fine for me as the SD-Card is working. But to me it's very strange that the Jolla couldn't cope with very common file-systems like EXT4 or BTRFS. The latter is really weird as it's the file-system Jolla is using on it's internal storage.

Is there some magic I have to put into /etc/fstab to get this file-systems working? I doubt that as I even couldn't mount it manually wieth EXT4 or BTRFS.

Is vFAT the only supported file-system for SD-Cards? If that's the case this is very weird to me as I would expect my Jolla to accept EXT4 and BTRFS too, at least the latter one it's using itself for internal storage.

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hmm very odd indeed since I use both ext4 & btrfs formatted cards on my device. (and exFat works too, you just need the correct modules & mount tools)

There's even no funnies needed in /etc/fstab as automounter handles pretty much everything you throw at it...

Do you see any anomalies in dmesg or journal when you insert the card? What about when you try to mount it manually?

juiceme ( 2016-04-18 23:06:59 +0300 )edit

@jolladiho, good point.

As I don't have any other micro-SD devices except the Jolla I naturally always format in the device. This could be why I have no problems.

juiceme ( 2016-04-19 12:57:17 +0300 )edit


that might be the reason as I format it in my laptop running debian testing which probably ships newer versions.

At least I got my SD-Card working, I was just irritated by this strange behaviour.

mdosch ( 2016-06-24 16:08:48 +0300 )edit

@jolladiho made this clear enough, and I also want to point out that @juiceme is the one that gave me the walk-through on how to format my SDXC to EXT4 as well as creating partitions on it. The trick is as said, always format the sdcard in the device itself

DameCENO ( 2016-06-24 17:18:30 +0300 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2016-04-19 12:34:15 +0300

jolladiho gravatar image

If you want to use btrfs, you have to format it on the Jolla. It didn't work for me, if I format it with my linux PC, because the btrfs version used on the phone is old.

Open a terminal and do

mkfs.btrfs -O ^extref -f /dev/mmcblk1

I never used the other formats, because the Phone uses btrfs itself.

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Same applies to ext4, I am myself on deb-testing and any attempt to use uSD cards formatted on my desktop just fails but for vfat which I do not want anywhere if possible. Do everything on the Jolla and you are fine. For btrfs you may also find a how-to for using it to get android data off the internal storage. Btrfs is very handy for such stuff and already missed on the JollaC

chemist ( 2016-06-25 23:04:55 +0300 )edit

Today I changed to ext4 (as I'm not very familiar with btrfs) because with vfat formatted sdcard some characters were destroyed (probably some encoding issue) like ä, ö, ü, å... I can confirm that it works well when i do the formatting with the Jolla instead using my laptop. I guess for btrfs it'll also work. But sadly the character encoding problem still exists. But I'll try to figure out wether it's an error within the files ore if i have to file a new bugreport to Jolla.

mdosch ( 2016-06-26 15:27:44 +0300 )edit

Linux character encoding is a mess, if you do not have your source-of-files do proper UTF then you will have trouble everytime you leave your environment, eg your destop -> my desktop, will already puke. When I moved from Fedora to Debian I tried to reencode all my files as Fedora wrote everything with some westernISO like windows... but the real thing is UTF-8. And as files usually do not come with a "hey I am ISO" sign on them, the system cannot know what encoding is used.

chemist ( 2016-06-27 13:18:14 +0300 )edit

Actually I didn't experience any problems for years using UTF8 everywhere. Seems like pacpl fucked up my tags while recoding my music collection from flac to mp3 for my mobile. By converting the tags via "find . -name "*.mp3" -print0 | xargs -0 mid3iconv -e UTF8 -d" I repaired the tags and now the encoding in media app is working properly.

mdosch ( 2016-07-10 03:56:45 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-06-27 12:18:46 +0300

V10lator gravatar image

For exFAT support you need either exfat (slow) or exfat-nofuse + bleeding edge SD-utils.

P.S. The reason exFAT isn't officially supported by SailfishOS is Microsofts patent behavior: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT#Restrictive_licensing_and_software_patents - The exFAT module I mentioned earlier is a ripoff of Samsungs Android driver.

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Asked: 2016-04-18 22:39:58 +0300

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Last updated: Jun 27 '16