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Thread: Help deciding file system for file server (samba)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Beans
    1
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Help deciding file system for file server (samba)

    Hey experts!,

    I'm planning to add 1tb sata disk to my lovely file-server under ubuntu 10.10,
    what i want is use this disk as additional storage for network user,
    the question is, what is the best file system for easy use both windows and ubuntu?

    I mean when my ubuntu server down (worse case) I can easily take out the disk from ubuntu machine and plug in on windows machine

    is fat32 capable doing so?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Beans
    181

    Re: Help deciding file system for file server (samba)

    File server is supposed to hold data - I can't imagine holding such amount of data without hdd redundancy, even if we are talking about temporary files. In other words: You should be more aware of possible HDD failure - this is far more dangerous.

    But, if you belive in your luck then here you have little overview:
    - Ext4 is supported under windows (with 3rd party driver)
    - FAT32 will work fast on both systems, but it don't support permissions
    - NTFS is deadly slow under linux

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Beans
    28

    Re: Help deciding file system for file server (samba)

    FAT32 has a lot of limitations as far as what can be stored on it, which I would not recommend for a file server. One big limitation is the inability to store a file larger than 4GB. The only other option for Windows is NTFS (unless someone knows something I don't, then please speak up) but last I knew the linux drivers for NTFS were unable to change NTFS file ownership/rights and it also has issues with filesystem level encryption and compression.

    My personal suggestion would be to go with a Linux filesystem you're familiar with (probably ext3 or ext4), then if for some reason you need to plug the drive into another machine, keep an Ubuntu Desktop live cd around so you can get the data from it that way.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by tomazzi View Post
    File server is supposed to hold data - I can't imagine holding such amount of data without hdd redundancy, even if we are talking about temporary files. In other words: You should be more aware of possible HDD failure - this is far more dangerous.

    But, if you belive in your luck then here you have little overview:
    - Ext4 is supported under windows (with 3rd party driver)
    - FAT32 will work fast on both systems, but it don't support permissions
    - NTFS is deadly slow under linux
    This, all of it plus the limitations I mentioned. Its interesting to know that there is a 3rd party ext4 driver for Windows now.

    Also, I want to strongly second the mention of HDD redundancy, as well as regular backups to another drive.
    Last edited by aceofspades686; January 7th, 2011 at 12:02 PM.

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