[rescue] Filesystem choice for fileserver?

Patrick Giagnocavo patrick at zill.net
Thu Apr 17 07:41:07 CDT 2008

Michael-John Turner wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm looking at building a new home fileserver over the coming weeks and one
> of the things I'm still a bit unsure about is choice of filesystem. I'm
> looking at using 3x750GB drives for data storage, in a RAID5 configuration
> (ie about 1.5TB usable). The server itself will probably be a Core2Quad
> with 4/8GiB RAM. 

Will you be using ECC RAM on the server?

> One slight fly in the ointment is that I'd like to use the server for some
> virtualisation as well - my software choice there is VMware Server (I want
> to share VMs with VMware Fusion on my MBP), which pretty much necessitates
> the use of Linux.

You can look at Solaris with ZFS plus VirtualBox (www.virtualbox.org) 
which I have used to virtualize Debian 4.0 on top of Solaris .  I have 
not tried different OSes because I ran into an issue with networking.

The issue with networking is that Solaris uses VNICs (virtual NICs) for 
virtualizing network interfaces, and apparently VBox does not support 
that yet for the case where you want to have your VM available on the 
network; it insteads serves DHCP to the VM and does NAT translation 
(useful if you wanted to run XP as a client OS, less useful if you want 
to have a VM that you can SSH into).

Instead, you have to install TUN and TAP drivers, create the tap0 
device, then tell VBox to use it.  If you don't mind the extra work, 
then Solaris plus ZFS plus VBox is a possible solution.

I have had good success in the past with XFS on linux as well, but that 
was a few years ago.


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