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I will get straight to the point here, the NAS can read and write to ext4 external USB disks. I will mainly be accessing the NAS through my Mac and Windows 7 laptops through afp,ftp and smb protocols. my question is, do these protocols allow for the client computer to read and write the disk attached to the NAS without any additional drivers on the client side?

I would think that the protocols have some kind of system and no drivers would be needed because all along I have been downloading drivers and manuals from various company's ftp servers without ever getting any message saying the server was of a different filesystem.

the question mainly arised as I read that there is no proper support for read and write on ext4 for Windows 7. and so I was thinking if the NAS has full support and the protocols allow for read and write then I should have no problems with going ahead with ext4 right?

EDIT: while we are at it, the question also extends to DLNA/uPnP servers and clients. like since the NAS is the dlna server, will it bother the ps3(or any other media streamers) that server is ext4? I would believe this is not the case as from what I gather, dlna is all about universal protocol with the aim of letting devices connect to each other without much friction. thanks again.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

No, you don't need drivers on your clients. AFP, SMB, and FTP servers do not expose the underlying filesystem semantics of whatever filesystem they're using on the back end.

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thanks for the short and precise answer. a deeper, quick educational answer on the protocols and the way they interact with the underlying filesystem would also be appreciated. thanks – basball Jun 7 '11 at 5:58

The storage underneath NAS will not affect DLNA either. What does affect DLNA is the codec compatability with the viewing device. I suspect you know this already, but is can be a bear for devices, like the PS3, with a restricted list of codecs.

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