Fileststem for Fileserver question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by enda1, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. enda1 macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2006
    Hi all,

    I have a descent amount of experiance using osx, xp and linux, but I dont know much about networking.

    I am looking to set up a fileserver for hy home. It will be used mainly for media. I will be writing to it and reading from it using both winxp and mac osx. I want it to be as seamless as possible, ie. mountable in both OS's. Able to set up iTunes library of mp3s on server etc.

    So i guess my question is how should i go about implementing it. Should I install some version of Linux with some file system such as NFS? Will a file system such as this perform how I want it to? Or will I need to use FAT32 for complete interoperability?

    Any help much appreciated.

  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I can't give you a good answer, but I can tell you that as long as the server you're using to serve the data likes the filesystem, it DOES NOT matter to the clients what it is; all they care about is whether they can mount the network protocol or not. The client computers never directly see the server's filesystem at all.

    To give an example, my office uses an XServe for the fileserver. It's shared volumes are (locally) formatted using HFS+, which Windows of course can't read. But it really doesn't matter at all, because OSX Server supports sharing of volumes using both AFP and Samba; when the Windows boxes mount a share with Samba, they don't see anything but a network share--they have no idea what the base filesystem is. Same for the Macs mounting it via AFP--makes no difference to them.

    Likewise, if you use the Windows networking to mount a share off of a Windows 2003 server, the Mac has full read-write access to it, even though that share is technically being served from an NTFS disk, which the MacOS can only read from.

    Also, NFS is a sharing system (like Samba or AFP), not a filesystem.

    So basically, pick whatever server OS you're happy with, give it whatever filesystem it likes most, and use whatever sharing system works the most smoothly with your home computers.
  3. enda1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2006

    Great answer. Exactly what I was looking for. I thought it would have been a bit strange alright if there were the restrictions i was talking about. This makes way more sense...

    So I guess if I can find an old computer lying around Ill pod linux in it and use the Samba protocol, otherwise perhaps a mac mini runnning mac osx server.

    Thanks again,


    On a (kinda) side note, how do you think would be the best way of connecting up a load of HDs and have disc spanning across them? These could be like 10 or more and of different sizes. I don't think RAID would suit cause I don't need backup and I am not too pushed about extreme speed. I need expandability too and the abililty to connect the server to a 802.11n network whenever that is out.
  4. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    I'd recommend Gentoo Linux (because of the speed and excellent HOWTOs available on the Net), ext3 (for reliability), and Samba. Not that you hadn't already arrived at this conclusion, but I'm backing y'all up. I'd personally avoid OS X for a fileserver.

    Check out LVM for Linux. I've never actually used it, but at this point it's quite mature and stable. I haven't heard of anyone having problems with it for a couple years now.

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