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I currently have a Buffalo Linkstation NAS device but becoming more and more unpleased with this. In the market for a better Mac friendly NAS solution. I have recently been having a lot of problems with the Buffalo file name length or special character problems. I want to move my entire file archive onto the NAS but there is no way I am going to go through and rename all my files.

Is there such thing as a HFS NAS?

I might have to get a Mac Mini and attach external hard drive instead of a nas, but this is a last resort.


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Is NTFS acceptable, or you only considering HFS at this time? – Brian Knoblauch Dec 2 '09 at 18:17
why are you using FAT32? All my 3 Buffalo LS NAS are using XFS by default, which is about as 'Mac-friendly' as it gets, you can of course format the drives with Ext3 which is supported as well. HFS is a proprietary file system format and unless Apple will make such a NAS for their valued customers, i doubt you will find a HFS NAS, there is no real market for such a niche product. – Molly7244 Dec 2 '09 at 18:30
Not married to hfs, just wondering what is the best solution. I should double check what format it is, but if i try to copy a long file name, or it contains a "/" or the curly f character (often used for fonts) it will fail. – Louis W Dec 2 '09 at 19:43
Upon closer inspection it looks like the internal drive is xfs, so why am i experiencing so many problems with file names? – Louis W Dec 2 '09 at 19:47
Why is there all of this debate about the FS of the drives? If it is a NAS, then it is mapped via CIFS/SAMBA/NFS/AFP or some other protocol that doesn't care what format the drive is. – MDMarra Dec 2 '09 at 23:25
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are looking for a standalone unit I use a Lacie 2big Network NAS.

It does SMB, AFP, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, Apple Bonjour and BitTorrent

I had an issue with one of the disks once, but their support was very good and got things fixed quickly.

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We use Synology Diskstaion. HFS is well supported there

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Apple's Time Capsule shares files and has native mac support.

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I recently setup an unRaid server for my Nas and it works great so far. I suggest you take a loot, it requires some setup but the initial cost can be low and you can use existing drives plus it's super simple to add additional storage down the road and everything is semi-raid so if you loose one drive you can easily recover. The only thing it doesn't do is allow timemachine backups but that's minor in my opinion.

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I guess for HFS, you could always just use a HFS friendly distribution and enable networking on it...

However, if you want a good NAS, I would highly recommend Freenas, it uses UFS and it works very well.

I have used it from Macs without any problem, it even supports AFS (Apple Filing Protocol), I have never used this, but surely that has to be even better!

You can bung this on any old pc. I personally bought a Celeron machine for around £60 (although I spent another £70 on a 4-bay hot swap hard drive holder!).

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Which 4 bay hot-swap holder did you buy? Ive always wanted one, but always found cheapy solutions. I assume they use up 3 or 4 5.25 bays? – Troggy Dec 2 '09 at 18:56
I went for this one -… The brand stickers peel off and it looks quite nice... Although wondering if it was a waste of money as I haven't removed the hard drives once from it... but my geek side does enjoy seeing all the blinking lights when I transfer large files! – William Hilsum Dec 2 '09 at 19:19

I have a Drobo with a DroboShare which converts it into a NAS. The Drobo device handles managing the harddrives you throw into it so there isn't much configuration. You can also format it into HFS+ for Macs. The connection between the Drobo and the DroboShare is USB 2.0 but you can disconnect the Drobo and connect it directly to your Mac with the USB or FireWire 800 connections. It's a bit pricey but depending on your situation it may be a good fit.

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I have been using freeNas on old PC to make a nas, easy and cheap.

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Vincent, you should probably fix your link – martinatime Dec 7 '09 at 22:07

The QNAP TS-239 Pro II+ is an 'upper-middle of the range' 2-bay NAS that can be used with Macs:

Turbo NAS allows file sharing across Windows, Mac, Linux, and UNIX platforms. It also supports WebDAV for you to access the share folders via HTTP/HTTPS protocol remotely.

It also has Time Machine support:

Mac users can back up data from MacBooks to the NAS via Time Machine. This feature largely saves the storage space of your MacBooks. You can also specify the storage space dedicated to Time Machine backup on the NAS and manage the backup data easily via the web-based administration interface.


The NAS supports EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, and HFS+ file systems for high speed data transfer and enhanced compatibility between the NAS and Windows PC or Mac OS X.

I expect the more expensive QNAP's to be the same, and also the cheaper ones (e.g. the TS-219P+) as they all run the same custom Linux.

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