Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently made myself a NAS, and I’ve been wondering about how AFP shares work.

If I have a ZIP on the AFP share, and I use Finder to decompress the file, what will the process for decompressing this file be? Will it read the file into memory on my Mac, process it, and then write the results to the AFP share? I’ve been wondering because if I login via SSH to decompress, I seem to get faster results.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yes - almost all file sharing protocols are the same in that you will be round tripping the data to mount the share and compress or uncompress a file that is stored remotely.

AFP has no daemon that runs on the server to listen for and act upon compression requests and carry them out on the CPU that is local to the storage.

Your description of the process is correct.

share|improve this answer
Nice one. Thank you for clearing that up. Is there a protocol that does have a daemon for this? – Oliver Joseph Ash Nov 10 '12 at 22:58
Not in the consumer space. When you are using proprietary storage controllers like EMC or NetApp - some snapshot and copy on write actions are offloaded to the storage subsystem, but I'm not aware of any filesystems on the consumer level that offer this. Of course GFS and other distributed file systems like AFS are more of what you seek for eliminating this data round trip delay. – bmike Nov 10 '12 at 23:06
What about deleting? Deleting files and folders seems a lot faster by SSH too. – Oliver Joseph Ash Nov 10 '12 at 23:10
@OliverJosephAsh Deleting should generally be just as fast by other protocols as by SSH. – Darth Android Nov 11 '12 at 0:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.