everybody and thank you for taking the time to read this. I have an external hard drive with partitions for Time Machine (HFS+), Linux storage (Ext4), Swap Storage (Fat32), and Windows Storage (NTFS). I would like to somehow share this drive over my network so I can backup all my systems without having to unhook and carry this drive around with me. File sizes will be over 4gb so a full Fat drive is out of the question. Can anybody direct me on how to do this? I have extra machines lying around and am more than willing to learn new tools/software should that be the best option. I've heard of Samba and FreeNAS, and to my ears they sound like good options but I would appreciate some direction from the community. Thank you all for your time and patience.
migrated from serverfault.com May 4 '13 at 2:22
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A hard drive requires a host [computer] to live in. I think any answer you get will depend on what OS/hardware you run, but in general you can just use "Windows Filesharing" [also known as SAMBA, SMB, CIFS] to share the drive, as this protocol is widely used and works with Windows, Mac and PC.
I suspect that reading/writing the HFS+ partition will be a big ask, but your best bet is probably to change it all to 1 partition (ext4 for Linux, NTFS for Windows) and just share that - it won't matter what the underlying partition is as long as the OS in the fileserver can read it.
If you are using a dedicated PC, I suspect Freenas will "just work" for you if you start with a blank hard drive (but I've never used it)