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How to Mount an exFAT USB Drive on Ubuntu Linux

exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) is a proprietary Microsoft file system optimized for flash memory devices such as SD cards and USB flash drives. It was designed to replace the old 32bit FAT32 file system that cannot store files larger than 4 GB.

exFAT file system is supported by all the latest versions of Windows and macOS operating systems. Ubuntu, like most of the other major Linux distributions, doesn’t provide support for the proprietary exFAT filesystem by default.

If you are using Ubuntu as your operating system, chances are that at some point you will encounter an issue when trying to mount exFAT formatted USB drive.

When you plug in the USB drive your system will show a message like this:

Error mounting /dev/sdb1 at /media/linuxize/USB: unknown file system ‘exfat’

In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to enable exFAT support on your Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop. The same instructions apply for Ubuntu 16.04 and any other Ubuntu-based distribution, including Kubuntu, Linux Mint and Elementary OS.

How to Mount exFAT Drive on Ubuntu Linux

To be able to mount exFAT filesystem on Ubuntu you’ll need to install the free FUSE exFAT module and tools which provide a full-featured exFAT file system implementation for Unix-like systems.

Before installing the packages make sure the Universe repository is enabled on your system. Open your terminal either by using the Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or by clicking on the terminal icon and type:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

Once the repository is enabled update the packages index and install the exfat-fuse and exfat-utils packages using the following commands:

sudo apt update 
sudo apt install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

That’s it! You can now open your file manager and click on the USB disk to mount it.

Conclusion

You have learned how to enable support for the exFAT file system on your Ubuntu 18.04 machine. Some people refer to exFAT as FAT64.

The USB drive will auto mount when you insert it, but in case the auto-mount fails you will have to mount the drive manually.

If you hit a problem or have feedback, leave a comment below.