2 Macs - "best of both worlds" NAS / DAS - AFP vs NFS re permissions

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by OS/4, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. OS/4 macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2015
    Our family has 2 iMacs and I want us to be able to use either one of them and have access to all of our files the same way as if they were on a local drive / DAS.
    So, I bought a QNAP Thunderbolt NAS (perhaps overkill ;-) because that's exactly one of the scenarios they advertise (having a NAS accessed by 2 Macs via Thunderbolt and working just like a DAS).

    The two favoured ways of connecting to a NAS seem to be AFP and SMB. I don't have Windows, so AFP seemed the correct choice. However, what I also want is the UNIX file permissions to work just as if the NAS was a local drive, i.e. with the Mac's users/groups, and I'm not sure that's possible with AFP:
    When I connect via AFP, the files I see/create show up with the NAS user. Fair enough, it seems I'd have to define the same Mac users on the NAS and then each Mac user connects to the NAS using the matching NAS user. However, that still doesn't seem to quite work the same way, for example, I can't even use simple commands like chown, chmod.

    So, I connected via NFS and everything just works! The permissions show up as the Mac user's and work just like they would on a local drive. I can happily chown, chmod, do all sorts of stuff I'm used to ;-)
    I realise it means I must have the users/groups on my 2 iMacs defined with the exactly the same UNIX uids/group ids, otherwise hell breaks loose, but I don't mind that for the small number of users in our household.

    Is that the only drawback?! NFS seems to do what I want, but I'm hesistant to go with a choice that doesn't seem to be generally favoured.
    - I don't mind the "lack of security" aspect, as the NAS is physically in a secure place and the users can be trusted.
    - I don't mind the slightly more unusual/technical aspect of the setup, as I have an IT background.
    - There's debate around which protocol is slightly faster/chattier, but with Thunderbolt, and fast drives in the NAS, unless we're talking order of a magnitude difference, I'm not worried.

    Any advice or confirmation appreciated, thanks!
  2. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    I just use smb with both my synology NASs, and all my macs. Since at least Sierra, smb is preferred on macOS.

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