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Old 09-15-2018, 09:12 AM   #1
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which NAS for EXFAT, or universal filesystem.

I think I need to find a new NAS OS. Any suggestions on my setup, and the why, greatly appreciated. Not sure where this question is supposed to go, so posting here ... Oh and in this post when I mention reliable I mean tried and tested to not loose data.

I'm currently using nas4free with its BSD UFS2 implementation ( various single disk and raid1 software geom). It is built for UFS2 and OpenZFS. It lists it does not manage other filesystems reliably, and recommends against using other filesystems with nas4free. I do not want to use any ZFS, personal choice. I'd rather die, sort of ...

I'm in need to be able to read-write USB disks connected to my NAS in a filesystem that's supported by MacOSX. Disks swapping and cold storage.

There does not appear to be any UFS2 or UFS2 GEOM support, native or otherwise, for OSX. Suggestions for reliable UFS2 support on OSX are welcome! As a sidenote, even Linux has issues with UFS2 reading through many forums.

Natively MacOSX is supposed to manage FAT, EXFAT, HFS(+), APFS. There is no native support for EXT(2-3-4), NTFS, BTRFS, UFS(2 as per current), ZFS, OpenZFS, XFS, etc. I must add I am not a fan of EXFAT, but, at least it is read-write supported in OSX, Linux, Windows, BSD, etc... Universally recognised natively whether I like it or not.

Various third party software supports some of these filesystems:
* Paragon makes commercial software for read-write NTFS and EXT(2-3-4). Worst case scenario is to use it, though I'd much rather prefer staying away from it.
* FUSE on OSX supports XFS, NTFS, EXT, SSHFS; I would not want FUSE for OSX to touch any filesystem, it is error prone.
* OpenZFS has a mac version, but I do not want any ZFS !
Other filesystems, such as BTRFS, seem to have no support at all, just like UFS2.

Since the NAS should not only serve disks to macs, but also other systems, serving HFS+ disks to macs through ISCSI does not appear to be an option. Also, there do not seem to be solid ISCSI initiators on OSX (none free worth mentioning/reliable).

It appears popular NAS systems use UFS2 (BSD based), *ZFS, EXT*(linux based) or BTRFS (linux only). I could not find any NAS using EXFAT of HFS(+)

My questions:
- Are there any open source/free NAS OS supporting EXFAT or HFS(+) natively?
- Failing that, which filesystem can I get working with removable disks, reliably, on OSX and on a NAS (and which NAS) ?
Old 09-16-2018, 01:51 AM   #2
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Why use a separate OS rather than a server edition of a more common distro and add in just the components you use? That way you can get HFS+ easily.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:42 PM   #3
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If I read this correctly then I might be using isci then you get a remote disk in any size and any partition formatting you wish.
Old 09-17-2018, 02:56 PM   #4
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Hi jdjon,

I'm with Turbocapitalist on this one .. I tend to shy away from certain uni-functional "appliances", like NAS boxes, and just throw together a proper server with whatever I need in it. It doesn't have to be expensive ...

Much more flexible and you can use it for more that just storage, if ever that becomes useful. Also, as Turbocapitalist mentions, supported by a very wide variety of OSes and application software.

Cheers !


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