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Date:   Thu, 9 Nov 2017 18:33:43 +0100
From:   Pali Rohár <>
To:     Theodore Ts'o <>,
        Andy Shevchenko <>,
        Andreas Bombe <>, Karel Zak <>,,
        "" <>,
        Andrius Štikonas <>,
        Curtis Gedak <>,
Subject: Re: Linux & FAT32 label

On Thursday 09 November 2017 11:21:25 Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 09, 2017 at 10:01:45AM +0100, Pali Rohár wrote:
> > > > You would have stored LABEL42 in boot sector and no label in root
> > > > directory. Windows handle this situation as there is no label.
> > > 
> > > But why should we *care*?
> > 
> > FAT is Microsoft's filesystem and the only usage of it on Linux is due
> > to interoperability with different non-Linux systems. So here we should
> > implement FAT in the similar/same way as other systems. It does not make
> > sense to implement it differently and specially in non-compatible way.
> > Because it lost reason what is primary usage of the FAT on Linux.
> The primary usage of FAT on Linux is for data interchange, primarily
> with USB sticks.  I'm still failing to see how it might "spoil some
> vast eternal plan"[1] if a USB stick which Windows would show as
> having no label, blkid/udev showed as having the label "LABEL42"?
> [1] to quote the song "If I were a rich man"
> I'm just trying to understand why this specific detail of bit-for-bit
> compatibility is so important.

Then you can ask question: Why we are serving LABEL information to

Some users really use LABEL as identifier for themself, what is either
stored on filesystem (in this case USB stick). And if somebody for some
reason want to remove label (just because it does not contain data which
label describe anymore), then user probably really want to use this

LABEL is human readable identifier of particular filesystem on disk. If
one system show one label and another system show another different
label for same disk, then such information is useless.

Pali Rohár

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