View Full Version : [all variants] distro for N.A.S. and hard-drive manager question

November 16th, 2008, 07:39 AM
I have a desktop computer that I've been using as Network Attached Storage and media center...pretty familiar setup (pile of hard-drives, projector, attached to router, etc.). It's last thing I own that still runs windows. I'm hoping that a person or two could help me overcome a couple of problems:

1) I've never been as confident in the management of hard drive health with linux as I am with Windows. Hard drive management never quite works *exactly* as it's supposed to with linuxes I've tried - i.e. HDs not spinning down when they should(n't), not staying asleep when they should, weird bugs where HDs are clicking and non-stop-reading, polled every second etc. etc.. Are my worries totally unfounded? Is there a really polished, really stable, really sure and (especially:) really easy to use graphical tool to manage hard drives for linux?

2) Is there any problem or down-sides to running NTFS drives (which is what I have) from a linux OS?

3) Any other thoughts or recommendations re: distributions or packages that might be worth my while to check out?

Finally, bear in mind that I'm not a super-user...still more or less a newbie.
Sorry for the length. Always grateful for everyone's thoughts and help!

jimmy the saint
November 16th, 2008, 09:58 AM
As far as I know, most issues with HDs and linux come with new features associated with the drive technology and is quickly accounted for in new kernels. Its been a while since Ive seen anyone complain about it, at least here in the forums. I have a box that I set up with Gutsy that serves as my file server, as well as a few other purposes. I use it to stream music, store video for my xbox/xbmc, and store backups as well.
I chose to run it headless, learn the few commands I needed on a regular basis (mostly related to the individual services) and suffer the pain of set-up. Once I did that it was pie. I have had it for over a year and it runs great and hasn't needed a restart once.
As for NTFS, it is better to use a file system that is native to linux like ext3. You will need to install samba to share files with windows machines or I use an ftp program for most things. That is not to say that you cannot use NTFS. Ubuntu has been able to handle NTFS out of the box for a while now.

November 17th, 2008, 07:36 AM
cool. thanks. as i've looked into it again, i think that i'll need to leave some windows somewhere at least until i can get things moved off the ntfs drives.... it seems there is still no software to defragment ntfs hard drives in linux (at least, nothing that's free).

thanks a bunch for taking the time to reply!