New Seagate "Free Agent" drives don't do Linux

Seagate's new drives don't do Linux. So you shouldn't do Seagate. Here's why.

Hard-drive manufacturer Seagate has a new series of drives called the Free Agent Series. Just one problem: They won't work with Linux. (Someone in Microsoft's marketing department is smirking at that one.) As the Inquirer writes:

The problem is to do with the power-saving systems on Seagate's latest range of drives and the fact that it is shipped already formatted to NTFS.

The NTFS is only a slight hurdle to Linux users who have a kernel with NTFS writing enabled or can work mkfs. But the "power saving" timer is a real bugger. It will shut shut the drive off after several minutes of inactivity and helpfully drop the USB connection.

Which is precisely what one wants from a hard drive, right? Regardless of whether one expects to run Linux today, coming out with a drive that doesn't support it means that buying the same drive for a Windows machine is a poor idea. Who knows what OS you'll be running tomorrow? Buying a drive that supports a wider range of OSes is a better idea.

As Jack Wallen writes, not supporting Linux is very early 1990s of Seagate. Time to join the new millennium.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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