I have a 2TB external USB drive that I'm using to share things in my home network.

Now the drive is connected to my Mac Mini, that is supposed to act like a file server.

Currently the drive is partitioned using NTFS (via Tuxera NTFS) because I wanted to be able to bring it with me when I visit some friends with PCs using Windows ;)

The biggest problem is that I discovered that Lion is no longer able to share NTFS, FAT or exFAT drives because Apple replaced samba with their own implementation.

In the future I plan to buy a new router that will be able to share the drive.

Now, what partition type and setup should I use in order to minimise portability issues between OS X, Windows and Linux(Ubuntu)?

  • NTFS - so far not able to share it from Lion but I can r/w on all platforms if I connect it directly
  • HFS+
  • ext3
  • ext4
  • exFAT
  • FAT32 is not an option, I want to be able to deal with big files 4GB+

(Optional) It would also be great if you could tell me which inexpensive router can be used to share a big drive like that without having performance issues.

  • You might get a better answer for what filesystem and router works best with non macs on superuser. Airport will share both HFS+, FAT16 and FAT32 USB drives. Do you consider airport express inexpensive? – bmike Nov 23 '11 at 2:29
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    Why not just use HFS+? I don't see how portability can be an issue since after all you are creating a network share? – Gerry Nov 23 '11 at 9:52
  • Your question is not consistant - in one place you say drive is connect to Mac Mini - in another you ask for a router to share. The answer will differ between these two. – mmmmmm Nov 23 '11 at 14:57

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