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my goal is to setup my RPi to run as a headless, always-on server. I would like to plug a power cord, an ethernet cable, and an external drive (or two, later on). I would like to use that storage drive to backup important files to over my local network via rsync, but also to serve files to the local network via samba.

Ideally, I would like to be able to point iTunes at the music folder on the drive and have it read the library from there. I would also like other people to be able to explore/read certain parts of the drive (ie the music folder) without having access to the rest (ie pictures, documents, etc).

What is the best filesystem to use to format the drive? I was going to use NTFS. How would I go about setting up permissions for individual folders? Is that something to configure in Samba?

For the initial file transfer, would it be significantly faster to do it directly via USB (the drive is USB 3.0, but my laptop is only 2.0 and I believe the RPi is 2.0 as well), rather than over the network after everything is set up?

Anything else I should know, or any other advice for me? My RPi currently runs Arch.

closed as primarily opinion-based by lenik, syb0rg, Jacobm001, RPiAwesomeness, Impulss Feb 6 '14 at 0:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Hi there, this question has been put on hold because it is expected that the answers will be primarily opinion based. Normally we are looking for questions that have a specific, quantifiable answer. Have a think if you can separate this question into more targeted points. – Jivings Feb 6 '14 at 8:38
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Use Ext4. This has support for journalling. The NTFS implementations for Linux do not.

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NTFS is not the choice, go with ext3/ext4 (performance of ext4 should be better by now), and just configure shared folders using samba: http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch06.html

Read/write can be configured in Samba, but if you want fine grained security it should be done using chown/chmod

For the initial copy, do it from your computer if you have the option as that will probably be fastest - if you prefer to copy it over the network, you can also speed test the nas at the same time.. :-)

There are of course a lot of tweaking that can be done to increase the performance, but I suggest you ask another question if that proves to be an issue.

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