building a file server with multiple OS. better to sperate HD or partition?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jdl8422, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. jdl8422 macrumors 6502

    jdl8422

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #1
    Well im building a file server/hackintosh. I want to run OS X and linux and possible windows. Is it better to just use separate smaller HDs are split a larger HD into thirds with a partition? Or does it even matter?
     
  2. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #2
    It matters depending on connection type. It it's just TCP/IP then you might want or need to partition and format for the OS it will be serving - plus the OS the server itself will be running. If it's NAS then that's not needed (or even possible) AFAIK. If there are multiple users accessing it at the same time using all in one partition is a little faster to a lot faster depending on the number of users accessing it at the same time. Like maybe if there are 4 users all asking for files at once then one big partition might be as much as twice or even thrice as fast. Individual drives under those circumstances will be even faster than that! If it's just one user at a time then there's just about no speed difference partitioned, one big partition, or separate drives.
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    Can you provide some details?

    Are you after a single NAS box that can serve files to systems running OS X, Linux, and Windows?
     
  4. Zaap macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    Certainly to install the OS's, it'll be much easier with separate hard drives.

    I definitely like to keep OSX on its own drive.

    In my experience, Windows and Linux play well on the same drive, but OSX can be a wild card since it's not really designed to be running on the same hardware at all. The real trouble starts with bootloaders- keeping OSX on its own drive really simplifies things. Windows and Linux both can overwrite Darwin and screw up OSX booting.

    Since Chameleon 2.0 , I've found that the OSX drive can very effectively boot every other OS in the system, since Chameleon can recognize other bootable drives/partitions. Otherwise, editing Linux's GRUB bootloader can be made to boot all other OS's, including OSX, though that can be difficult.

    The larger question is- do you really need 3 OS's for a file server? Or is it that you plan to use it for multiple purposes? You're aware of course, that a single OS (like Linux, for example) can easily serve files to all other OS's.
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #5
    If a NAS box is used, only one OS needs to be on it. The data is sent via TCP/IP, so the file system used to store the data won't matter. Linux is most commonly used, but any OS could work.
     
  6. jdl8422 thread starter macrumors 6502

    jdl8422

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #6
    Thanks for the replies and sorry for the lack of info. My main goal is to kind of build an all in one box. Maybe file server was a bad name. I want to build a back up machine for my Mac Pro and Mac Book. My Mac Pro has 4 HDs in it now, I want to clone each drive in this box as well as clone the Mac Book HD. I am going to use a small HD just to load OS X or Linux on and use it to clone the drives. I would also like a drive to use as an FTP. I plan on using my airport extreme to access this. My concerns with it is how well does it play with Linux and Mac. Also how well would the Mac Pro and Mac Book play with the Linux back up. Thanks
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    Then Zaap guessed right, and gave good information. :D

    To use the system as an FTP server, you'll need an FTP server running under something, but it will only run under the OS it's made for. I presume you intend to run that under Linux, so it will have to be the active OS when you want FTP service available. OS X or Windows would shut it off, until the system is rebooted into Linux again (just to make sure you understand the limitation). Otherwise, a NAS box would be needed for full time service (you can DIY one of these if need be).

    Backups: You'll need a couple of different applications, as I'm not aware of a single product that can handle them all (due to file systems being used). For location, you'd want a separate drive, and use partitions (simplest), or better yet, a few drives (maybe partition here or there). Not much details given the information.

    Acronis True Image 2009 for example, could backup both Windows and Linux for you (handles the file systems for them, even ZFS on this edition IIRC, just not HFS/+). You'd need a separate package for OS X.

    I'm sure other members (Tesselator - need input here :p) could give you some good tips for that one. ;)
     

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