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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.

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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)

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Thank you, I think I understand now. As long as the OS hosting the shared drive can read and write to it everything will work. I'll try with Samba first and see what happens, if that doesn't work I'll give FreeNAS a shot. Thank you, for your time and patience. –  Jesse May 4 '13 at 16:44
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