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I'm a photographer and I have a requirement find a better method of storing my photos other than multiple USB2 drives via USB hubs.

Currently I use a Macbook Pro and 6 external drives connected via USB2 or FW800. 3 are a copy of the first three, kept up to day manually by running an rsync backup.

I'd like to run a FreeNAS or OpenFiler NAS box using 2TB drives mirrored via software RAID. But - I would like to have the flexibility of also plugging into the drive physically for the faster throughput when necessary.


My question is, is there a file system that both *nix and Mac OSX will play nice with?

Many thanks,

  • Chris.
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migrated from Feb 23 '10 at 14:31

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FAT would probably be your best bet - that is the same file system used on most USB drives.

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As Ofir mentioned - FAT32 is supported under both Linux and OS X natively.

That being said, if you want to have redundant data, a NAS is a fantastic way to go. I use OpenFiler and love it. FreeNAS isn't bad either. I don't know about FreeNAS, but OpenFiler uses LVM on the disks to create volumes, and either ext3 or XFS for the actual filesystems. None of that is going to play nicely with OS X if you yanked a drive to connect via USB.

I would suggest building (OpenFiler) or buying (TeraStation) a NAS, and making sure that it has a gigabit NIC in it. With a cheap gigabit ethernet switch, you can plug in your laptop when you need the bandwidth to move large quantities of data. So instead of plugging in a drive via USB, you can hook your laptop to ethernet - still tethering to something, but you don't have to mess with re-syncing data from the USB drive back to another disk.

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