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Support exFAT (sdxc) in Jolla tablet!

asked 2015-01-30 20:13:28 +0300

Morpog gravatar image

updated 2015-02-07 04:53:39 +0300

foss4ever gravatar image

OK people,

it seems Jolla got mislead by a small minority (?) wanting no exFAT support in the Jolla tablet. This question is just here to show Jolla that people out there would love to have officially supported and licensed exFAT support with sdxc cards.

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For what purpose? Both MTP (USB cable) and SSH (Wireless, USB cable) work independently of what filesystem is used.

drcouzelis ( 2015-01-30 20:27:12 +0300 )edit

and also you got better batery and screen? No thank you.

virgi26 ( 2015-01-30 20:32:11 +0300 )edit

No thanks - insert Micro SD, format , forget it's there is good enough for me especially if it means bypassing a redundant "standard" by Microsoft.

vandersmash ( 2015-01-30 20:42:39 +0300 )edit

I don't understand why we aren't getting more standards out of the box? There are enough n00bs out there who just want to use their microSD cards on their Windows pc's. Not everybody is techinical or uses Linux. For the ones that do not want exFAT, just dont use that format. It's simple as that.

I voted for this, exFAT support on Jolla please!

HtheB ( 2015-01-30 20:54:13 +0300 )edit

@HtheB because this standards are not free

virgi26 ( 2015-01-30 21:00:27 +0300 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2015-01-30 22:05:54 +0300

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2015-02-06 04:28:53 +0300

Copernicus gravatar image

This is an answer for anyone to vote up if you feel like leaving exFAT support out was the right choice. It's nicer to vote a counter-argument up than spend karma on downvoting someone. Let's see how much of a minority we really are...

In order for this answer to serve some purpose let's collect facts/opinnions/arguments about why exFAT is not needed. I'm making this a wiki, so feel free to edit this list.

exFAT is not needed because:

  • Crowdsourced funds should not be used for buying non-crucial licenses by evil corporations
  • Free (as in freedom) alternatives exist
  • MicroSD content is natively accessible through MTP on Windows and Linux. On the Mac third-party tools can be used; for example, Android File Transfer is an MTP client for OS X. (As noted in the comments below, and on Jolla's own support page, the basic MTP clients for OSX don't seem to be working with Jolla's current cellphone. However, given that Jolla's MTP doesn't seem to have trouble on other OSs, this should be fixable, either by Jolla or by a third party.)
  • Sailfish can use UNIX access rights on the SD, enabling Apps to store data in more versatile ways and to protect important data
  • exFAT does not provide alternating tables, increasing the risk of fatal filesystem corruption when a write is interrupted (e.g. unsafe removal), free alternatives provide journaling solutions.
  • The SD/SDHC/SDXC standard mandates the existence of a "protected area" on the card for DRM purposes, which can consume up to 10% of all available space. This feature is only rarely used for distributing protected content on memory cards; formatting the card in an alternative manner can free up this unused space.

Please read the comments since the author made this comment a wiki which anyone can change, the votes should not be trusted. The comments, if you can wade through them, outline the changes and arguments against this answer.

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That exFat license can be crucial to someone with big SD-cards and limited computing skills and I don't see the evil in this. Microsoft invented the system and holds patent to it, no evil in that imho. Also with droping the exFat support you are not only bringing the free filesystems to the table, you are limiting the exFat from users. And if I have understood things right from different posts on TJC, MTP is really hard/impossible to get to work on MacOS. Also there at least used to be some topics on how the at least two SD-cards went foobar on Jolla phone because the use of free filesystems on 64gb SD-cards messed up something internally on the card.

avhakola ( 2015-01-30 23:11:05 +0300 )edit

This is just crazy. MTP does not work on Mac, even on Linux you'll have to figure it out by yourself. So please, be trutful in your arguments. Also, not all file systems are good for removable flash-drives. Some of them will wear those cards out prematurely because most of them are designed for completely different purpose. It takes more than "free" to be a good choice! Maybe something like F2FS might do, but again, it's not compatible with Windows, Mac or regular devices using SD-Cards. As for "non-crucial" licenses, this will effectively prevent interoperability with great amount of different devices, which is likely be a deal breaker for many. For them it's definitely not "non-crucial" license.

MSH ( 2015-01-30 23:32:12 +0300 )edit

Whether free or non-free is better depends on who you ask. In this particular case it comes down to everyone's personal preference, where the functional tradeoff being interoperability between devices and binary blob + more expenses to Jolla.

And if I'm not completely mistaken the lack of exFAT isn't breaking device interoperability completely. SDHC cards (32GB and less) will work just fine on SailfishOS as FAT32.

@avhakola, you're right. However, I have a hunch that users with limited computing skills and big SD cards are a small minority in this community.

@MSH, I am being truthful to my arguments. For me MTP works on Linux out of the box (Debian stable 7.8, Gnome 3.4.2). OSX indeed seems to be an unfortunate case with MTP.

Okw ( 2015-01-31 00:50:26 +0300 )edit

@Okw, yes I also think less skilled + big SD card owners are in minority in this community, but this exclusion makes sure they will be so also in the future and 100% of the time hand their money for Apple, Microsoft or [insert your random Android device manufacturer here] instead of maybe choosing Jolla.

avhakola ( 2015-01-31 01:04:47 +0300 )edit

MTP has worked on most modern GNU/Linux distributions out of the box for some time now. It's not Jolla's fault that fruit company's Fisher-Price computers don't work with MTP.

nthn ( 2015-01-31 01:25:47 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-02-02 15:22:37 +0300

spaetz gravatar image

updated 2015-02-02 15:23:01 +0300

a) This is an issue only for cards > 32GB, so not the majority of cards right now. b) If you use the FAT32 file system, even on cards >32GB, you will be fine and able to swap cards between Windows, Cameras, and Jollas. Windows can read FAT32 cards >32GB just fine, it just can't format them.

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a) That is not the argument. Most cars run on petrol right now, lets ban electric cars!

b) You will not be fine using SDXC cards formatted with FAT32 because many devices will not accept FAT32 on SDXC cards. My Olympus camera for instance asks to reformat the card if I use a FAT32 formatted SDXC. It seems a fair thing to ask given that the SDXC standard mandates ExFAT and it mean I could record HD video >4GB in size.

Windows canformat SDXC cards with FAT32, just not using the default disk formatting UI. In any case, you probably should not be using the Windows formatting tool anyway but using the SD Associations card format tool which is available at

aegis ( 2015-02-02 17:05:26 +0300 )edit

@aegis: your simile would make sense if:

  • you had to pay a fee to charge an electric car;

  • the electricity outlet were proprietary and only the cars of a specific vendor could charge on a specific outlet so anyone wanting to serve electric cars would have to pay out of their ass for all the million different 'standard' outlets (hey, this reminds me of something!);

  • exFAT support actually were banned - in fact you will just have to install it yourself if you need it (which is literally as simple as installing a package).

nthn ( 2015-02-02 22:54:05 +0300 )edit

The point I was making was that the community has decided to not support the new standard because the old one is apparently good enough. It isn't.

You also seem to be to be as uninformed about electric car charging points as you are about SD card standards. There are multiple incompatible car charging standards and some vendor specific ones also. Eg. Tesla who have their own network and BMW/VW who have their own standard. But that wasn't the point I was making.

aegis ( 2015-02-03 23:49:59 +0300 )edit

Then what is your point? My point is that if standards are shit, you shouldn't support them, ideologically.

nthn ( 2015-02-04 18:56:35 +0300 )edit

@nthn Of course, ideology trumps practicality every time. Maybe you should explain why you're ideologically adverse to supporting industry standards?

Surely, it's not because they're 'shit'?

aegis ( 2015-02-05 16:00:52 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-02-06 11:07:24 +0300

rburkhanov gravatar image

Ok, level of the discussion here seems slightly overheated. Been following it from the very beginning and now some comments (maybe some of mine as well, sorry) have left constructive field. I personally do think we need to support as many standarts on Jolla devices as possible. But since the decision had been made and all of us have enough time to tell what we think, may be it's time to stop. What we have to do now is not up/down vote each other, ruinning each other's karma (not only here on TJC, but in a more common sence), but to find a decision making the subject of the dispute irrelevant.

My suggestion is for Jolla to develop sort of a "PC Suite" — I know there were multiple questions on this point. So, telling us it is underway and is going to have all the necessary 'wired' or 'ota' communication features working "out of the box" would be really helpfull. And we as a real community, not a curseing and abusing crowd, should help Jolla to find the best decisions for any difficulties occured, create a list of needed functionality, etc. Some of this has already been done here. So please, Jolla team, it's time for you to step in and quit this discussion ruinning our (mostly helpfull) community.

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answered 2015-02-02 11:57:34 +0300

alloj gravatar image

The Jolla apps are half blind to the sdcard anyway. Let's spec a fs support for a bigger sdcard which the Jolla apps can not make use of and give money to friggin Microsoft in the process. Sounds like a plan! LOL

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Asked: 2015-01-30 20:13:28 +0300

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Last updated: Feb 06 '15