Default vfat file permissions - why executable?

Chris Coulson chrisccoulson at
Tue Oct 6 19:27:50 UTC 2009

On Tue, 2009-10-06 at 15:21 -0400, Jeff Hanson wrote:
> 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.
AFAIK you need the executable bit to be able to browse the folders.

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