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  1. #1
    File system for linux server??
    I'm getting my Macbook this week, and I know very little about OSX. I'll be setting up a network, with a linux box acting as a file/print server for the Macbook and a couple of Windows boxes. The file server will have 3 drives, one 20 gig for the OS, and two 300 gig in a mirror raid. My question is this....what file system should I format the 300 gig drives in? I know that OSX can't write to NTFS....and I'd like to avoid FAT32 if I could....(not very efficient). Do I have any other options?

  2. #2

    mac57's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 29, 2006
    St. Somewhere
    iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD, 8 GB RAM
    Yes! But it depends on the version of Linux you are running. Mac's native HFS+ file system is supported by SuSE Linux at least, if you load module hfsplus. I use SuSE 9.3 with Mac formatted external drives all the time. Works very well. On the other hand, I know that other Linux distros don't support the hfsplus module at all (Arch Linux, for example), and so it may all depend on what Linux you are using.

    After hunting around, my view is that your choices are FAT32 (yuck, and no support of userids, permissions, etc.) or HFS+. I haven't found any other file systems in common between the two systems. I was hopeful that ext2 at least might be supported, but it doesn't seem to be.

    So, if you can, try to get module hfsplus for your distro. If not, you would appear to be stuck with FAT32. If you do find any other common file system between Linux and Mac OS X, please post about it. I would love to hear.
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the info, mac57. I was planning on using Ubuntu...any idea if it supports hfsplus? Also, would my Windows machine be able to read/write to HFS+?

  4. #4
    bump.....anyone? To put it simply.....if I set up a NAS for a mixed network (windows xp and osx), what file system could I use (besides fat32)

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2006
    Petaluma, CA
    20" iMac 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo, 12" iBook G4 1.07 GHz
    I thought XP and OS X could read and write multiple file systems over a network. I was under the impression that the NTFS/FAT32 thing only applied for HDs that the computer is physically connected to.

  6. #6
    dohidied.....I've heard conflicting views on whether or not this is true. Can anyone shed some light on this? If a NAS is set up for Mac and Winxp, does it matter what file system you use?

  7. #7

    claudius753's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 11, 2005
    15" MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz/4 GB/500 GB
    hfsplus for Ubuntu That one is for Edgy, but it should be available for earlier releases.
    Nathan Sweeney

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  8. #8

    cazabam's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 06, 2006
    MacBook 2.0GHz White, 512MB RAM, 60GB HDD
    dohidied is correct - Your exported file system can be anything you want (I'd recommend EXT3 or ReiserFS). The file sharing protocol you use (Samba, NFS, whatever) is the only thing that the client OS needs to support. The filesystem on your disk is NEVER exposed to the client machines - exposing low level hard disk access to remote machines would be a security risk beyond belief.

    The plain fact is that it doesn't matter; the filesystem specifics is handled by the server end. Ext3 seems to be the general default, although ReiserFS is journalled and is generally a little faster, but needs its own file system checking tools.

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