I'm in the process of setting up a file server, and I'm looking for a way to preserve extended attributes in files that come from OS X machines, and manipulate them while the file is on the server. Obviously (well, presumably) this will require using HFS+ on the server, which is not a problem (unless there are hidden downsides I should know about), but I'm concerned that the support for HFS+ is minimal and will either (1) not preserve these attributes, or (2) preserve them but require copying the file to an OS X machine to manipulate them.

How complete is the support for HFS+ in Linux? Will I be able to do everything I've mentioned?

  • What type of file server are your planning on running? (E.g., Samba, NFS, etc.) – derobert Oct 11 '13 at 15:34
  • Without knowing how you're planning on serving the files its hard to know for sure, but you probably don't need to use HFS+. Your presumption is likely incorrect. – derobert Oct 11 '13 at 16:46
  • @derobert: FreeNAS (which includes AFP, NFS, Samba, etc.), if it will do what I need. But any Linux (or BSD) product would be fine. – iconoclast Oct 11 '13 at 19:16
  • @derobert: are you suggesting that I can just push files with HFS+ extended attributes to the server and they'll be preserved no matter what FS is used on the server? And that I can modify them from OS X clients? – iconoclast Oct 11 '13 at 19:17
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    So I guess the remaining question is this: will the extended attributes from the client FS (HFS+) get translated to extended attributes on the NAS FS (ext4 or possibly ZFS) and make the round trip completely intact? – iconoclast Oct 14 '13 at 15:47

No I do not believe that either the native HFS+ driver or the Paragon software HFS+ products support extended attributes.

According to the HFS+ Wikipedia page the status of these drivers is every basic in the features that they support and have been known to corrupt HDDs in certain situations.

excerpt from CentOS thread

On Wednesday, March 07, 2012 01:17:15 PM Wessel van der Aart wrote:

so i add user_xattr and acl to my fstab options but then it fails to mount. checking the error in dmesg just gives me ¨hfs: unable to parse mount options¨. does anyone know what´s going on and what i should do to make this work?

Well, having used the in-kernel HFS+ filesystem driver before, and found it lacking in a number of areas (like massive corruption under heavy load or when unlinking lots of files) I bought the commercially supported Paragon NTFS&HFS drivers.

excerpt from CentOS thread

i tried their free version today. at first it did look promising but as soon i was to perform actions on files with acl's on them the whole system came down hard and leaving my external HDD corrupted. after several hours i've decided to give up and go with ext4 but still thanks!


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