Default vfat file permissions - why executable?

Jeff Hanson jhansonxi at
Tue Oct 6 19:21:50 UTC 2009

Whenever I plug in a USB FLASH drive on a system with Ubuntu 8.04
(Hard Heron) - 9.10 (Karmic Koala) beta, all the files on it have
execute permissions.  Why?  Standard security practice on *nix-related
systems is to default to non-executable unless specifically needed
otherwise.  I can't think of a use-case where defaulting to executable
files makes sense on vfat.  If a user really needs to maintain execute
permissions on a file transfer they can just tar it first.

I am constantly reminded by this bizarre setting every time I
double-click a text file on a vfat-formatted device from Nautilus and
am asked if I want to run or display it.

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