Lingua franca file system Linux-NetBSD-FreeBSD?

Polytropon freebsd at
Wed Aug 25 11:03:05 UTC 2010

On Wed, 25 Aug 2010 10:55:21 +0000, "Thomas Mueller" <mueller6727 at> wrote:
> From "Polytropon" <freebsd at>:
> > There is a way around this: Put the files to be transferred into
> > a tar archive. In this way, only the archives name will have to
> > obey 8.3, and its content will keep intact (case sensitive long
> > file names); the only downside is that extraction in DOS will
> > result in 8.3 filenames again (there's TAR.EXE for DOS).
> > Know that tar is the "most universal file system". :-) I did use
> > this approach in the past when having to fransfer files between
> > non-networked UNIX and Linux systems via floppy disk: Simply used
> > tar directly on the device (which's device name was of course
> > different on all the systems).
> Sort of a nuisance having to archive and extract every time,
> I could even use gzip or bzip2 to create a .tgz or .tbz

That's true. Maybe there could be some scripting solution involving
a transfer directory. The main reason of tar is not about compression
(which is not always even desired), but to create a "container".

One idea further, much more "bare-bone". :-) Assume you have four
slices ("primary DOS partitions") on your disk. One for FreeBSD, one
for Linux, one for something else, one free. You can use tar to access
the 4th slice directly, again without any file system, like this:

	linux# tar cf /dev/hda4 transfiles/*

	freebsd# tar xf /dev/ad0s4

But it's really just a transfer solution, no shared storage.

> > I've also seen enclosures for hard disks including a CIFS share
> > management system via their network connection. A built-in browser-
> > accessible configuration tool can be used for customization. As
> > there is no separate software on the hard disk itself, the disk
> > can be replaced easily (if full or defective). This would be an
> > acceptable add-on for the PC in a one-PC-setting.
> I'm not familiar with this, don't know how I'd set it up.

They simply act as a NFS, CIFS or FTP server within your network.
Those devices usually get an address from a DHCP server (maybe just
like your PC does) and can then be accessed. NFS shares can be
mounted in the usual way, and FTP client programs can access the
FTP deamon running inside. I haven't noticable experience with
CIFS, but I think it's more complicated - but not sure, never had
to deal with "Windows".

> > An option would be to avoid the file system level at all. Maybe that's
> > not a solution to your requirements, but let me mention this: In a
> > interoperability environment, I did use a disk enclosure with built-in
> > FTP server. In this way, all OSes can r/w access its content via FTP.
> > There are no limits regarding 8.3 filenames. Even MacOS X runs well
> > in such a setting. The downside, of course, is that you have to run
> > a FTP session for every transfer (instead of just mounting a disk's
> > partition), but it's basically no problem to use a kind of "FTP-backed
> > file system", I think I have seen this in some KDE or Gnome...
> I'm not familiar with this and wouldn't know how to set this up. 
> Check disk enclosures on ?

The "Sabrent" models seem to be something like I was talking about.
Network connection is important, or else it would just be an external
hard disk (connected by eSATA or USB).

> From "Christer Solstrand Johannessen" <christer at>:
> > I've successfully used CIFS/Samba and NFS between Linux, OpenBSD,
> > FreeBSD, Solaris and Windows for years. Easy to set up and works well.
> > If there are no Windows clients involved, I'd use NFS or AFS; with
> > Windows in the mix, CIFS/Samba may be a better choice as Windows NFS
> > clients are dodgy at best.
> Can this be done all within one computer, or do I need a second computer?

Second computer, or maybe through some virtualisation solution (e. g.
a Linux running in a VM on FreeBSD, exposing NFS mounts to the host
OS). There would be the need for the same VM on every other OS you

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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