I have built the bones of a NAS system (which comprises of Ubuntu server 11.04 on 500GB SATA drive, and 3 2TB SATA disks in software RAID5 configuration)...

I'm looking for some advice on what filesystem to introduce onto the RAID volume... I'm predominantly going to use this to serve movies upto my PS3 and access data using my Mac's...

I wanted to be able to access this as natively as possible on the Mac, but according to some blog posts the PS3 can only read ext3...

i've looked at ext4, ZFS and also HFS+ but am starting to get a bit lost in the ether! I'm currently looking at FreeNAS, but i wanted to persist the Ubuntu Server as i like having an actual OS that i can do stuff with...

Anyone got any suggestions?


If you have NAS, aren't you going to access that anyway via network? In that case the file system does not matter, since your clients (PS3, Mac) are going to use NFS or Samba for accessing the files.

For video files (or, large files in general) XFS tends to be a nice choice.

  • 1
    Of course the file system matters even if you access it through a network. There can be big differences in things like performance, reliability, manageability and other such things. – snap Aug 4 '11 at 8:25
  • Good point. But Bomski seems to have this thing in his home network and there the performance hardly is an issue with any file system, XFS is reliable enough and manageable enough. :-) – Janne Pikkarainen Aug 4 '11 at 8:28
  • Ah, sure, maybe this should be in superuser :-) – snap Aug 4 '11 at 8:35
  • thanks for the comments guys! Yes this is hardwired into an internal network and i'm not looking for lightning performance; just reliability and redundancy (hence the RAID5); I'm aware that there can be issues with XFS and power failures; has anyone run XFS trouble-free? – Bomski Aug 4 '11 at 9:08
  • Yes, I have experience about XFS in quite busy production environment for many years already. No problems. Part of the XFS power failure problems are just legends from the past and fixed many moons ago; some of them might be true but in no case a power failure would lead a total filesystem corruption, but more in the same way than ext3 in data=writeback journal mode. And unless your NAS has constant write activity going on, you're gonna be fine even if the power goes out. I guess your movies are mostly read only. :-) And for bonus points XFS fsck is quite fast, should any problems arise. – Janne Pikkarainen Aug 4 '11 at 9:11

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