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blimpyboy
User

24 posts

Posted on 4 February 2017 @ 19:20
I have a ZFSGuru server with some data that I would like to copy to an external USB drive so that it can be read/written when attached to a Mac.

Anyone know how I should go about this?


Thanks
Blimpyboy
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 4 February 2017 @ 20:03
Mac has a different filesystem it likes to use (HFS) which is not compatible with other filesystems on Windows, Linux or BSD.

But you can use FAT32. The problem is that this filesystem does not support large files, larger than 4GiB.

NTFS is another option, but its compatibility is not that great as well.

So transferring data to a mac is actually quite difficult! Fortunately, there does exist ZFS for Mac OSX. This is something you can consider. Then you can format your external USB harddrive with ZFS and store your data on it, then connect the external drive to your mac and it should work.

See this website for downloading and info: https://openzfsonosx.org/
blimpyboy
User

24 posts

Posted on 4 February 2017 @ 20:29
Thanks CiPHER. This is a short term fix, so I'd settle for being able to copy some of the data on the ZFSGuru server to an NTFS formatted drive as the Mac will be able to read that (I'm not too bothered that it can't be written). So, next question is how do I create the NTFS USB drive? Should I:

- format a fresh USB drive to NTFS on a Windows PC
- mount that read/write on ZFSGuru (can I do that?)
- from FZSGuru shell, copy data to USB drive

Or, should I:

- format a fresh USB drive to NTFS on a Windows PC
- leave it connected to PC
- share data on ZFSGuru via SMB
- on PC, map drive to ZFSGuru SMB share
- on PC, copy data from mapped drive to USB drive

Thanks
Maurizio
User

42 posts

Posted on 4 February 2017 @ 21:03
blimpyboy wrote:
- share data on ZFSGuru via SMB
This is the way I use to share data with Mac and Windows PCs.

Maurizio
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 4 February 2017 @ 22:02
Yes if you have network access and you have storage space on your mac, then please use normal Samba shares to transfer all data. That is still the best and easiest. I kind of assumed you wanted the data to stay on the external drive and not stored locally.

So Maurizio's suggestion is the best i think: just use Samba share to copy all data.

If you do want to use the external harddrive, then you can try with NTFS. You can use ZFSguru to format it all, but i think it works best if you let Windows create the filesystem instead. Also, with NTFS it is very important to scan the filesystem once in a while under Windows OS, regardless whether Mac, Linux or BSD uses the filesystem. NTFS only works best on Windows itself. The problem is that when the filesystem has not been shutdown properly and has data in the journal, BSD, Mac or Linux may skip that journal altogether and this may cause some minor corruption. This is only applicable when the harddrive has been removed without shutting down or unmounting the filesystem, which causes the filesystem to become 'unclean' or 'dirty'. Traditionally 'chkdsk' under Windows and Scandisk in the past was used to correct filesystem errors. If you are using NTFS under non-Windows then make sure that after an unclean shutdown, you connect the drive to windows and let it scan the drive for errors. You can do this with right click on the drive letter (E:\ for example) and i think in the Tools tab you see chkdsk (Check Disk) listed on top.

Good luck! :)
blimpyboy
User

24 posts

Posted on 6 February 2017 @ 15:26
Thanks everyone. As I mentioned in my original message, the requirement here is to copy data from a running ZFSGuru server to a remote Mac (I might not have explicitly mentioned the remote bit though!) so needs to be copied to an external USB that can be shipped out. I appreciate Maurzio's comment about SMB - in fact I use SMB and AFP all the time with ZFSGuru to share out to Windows and Mac machines - but SMB is obviously no good for this particular requirement where all the remote use will have is a Mac and the USB drive I've mailed out.

As CiPHER suggested, I formatted a new USB drive to NTFS on a Windows 10 machine, connected that Win10 box to the ZFSGuru server via SMB, then copied the appropriate data to the USB drive. I've tested and this works - the down side is that Mac Sierra only supports NTFS in read-only mode, but I can live with that in this particular case.

Once the files have been pulled from the USB drive to the Mac, things mostly work as expected. I've noticed at least one wierd thing so far though: although very common file formats open fine (eg PDF, GIF etc), QuarkXPress files show as 'Unix file' on the Mac (MacOS Sierra) and attempting to open them fails. There is a quick workaround that appears to work though which is simply to 'teach' the Mac to associate these file types with QuarkXPress, after which they open fine and at least appear to behave normally - my fingers are crossed!

Note that these very same Quark files behave just fine when the office Macs connect to my ZFSGuru share via AFP. I'm guessing that it's to do with the fact that they have been through the NTFS wringer when copied from the USB drive?

Thanks everyone for all input.
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