Re: Lingua franca file system Linux-NetBSD-FreeBSD?

On Tue, 24 Aug 2010 09:53:09 +0000, "Thomas Mueller" <mueller6727@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
There is the obvious possibility of using msdos (FAT32); I could
run FreeDOS on such a partition as well as using the partition to
share data between Linux, NetBSD and FreeBSD, and FreeDOS too.
Drawback is some problems getting long file names straight, and
lack of case sensitivity. But maybe FAT32 is the safest choice?

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).

Linux, NetBSD and FreeBSD are supposed to be able to read and
write NTFS partition, but I see from a very recent thread on
this list, subject "Re: External HD", that writing to NTFS
partition is very dangerous, and I figure that would be also
true for NetBSD and Linux, and any other non-MS-Windows-NT-line
OS that might have support for NTFS.

NTFS is known to be an unstable file system.

There is also the caveat that such a data-sharing partition would
have to be in a primary or extended/logical slice/partition,
since Linux seems unable to read BSD disklabels, and NetBSD and
FreeBSD can't read each other's disklabels.

Linux and DOS do, as far as I remember, only operate on slice level.
Partitioned slices (such as FreeBSD uses them) are a bit problematic.
With 4 slices (so called "DOS primary partitions") a disk is "full".

Also, Linux and the BSDs go separate ways with some newer file
systems (ext4fs, btrfs, jfs in Linux; zfs in FreeBSD).

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...

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