Sam Gleske on 22 Aug 2012 12:01:32 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Tried of Windows...

What I do, which works very well with XBMC, is to use a Linux server serving files using Samba (a Linux implementation of Microsoft SMB which is what Windows file sharing uses).  In addition to that, as a home media server I would also recommend implementing greyhole.

Essentially you can put as many odd sized drives into a single giant pool of space (i.e. all of your drives show up as a single huge drive).  It supports file replication and redundancy.  You can add and remove drives without much fuss with a few simple greyhole commands.  You can even specify which files should have a number of copies across more than one drive (the replication and redundancy part).

Since you're on a Linux system you should reformat your drives (while migrating data around so you don't lose any) to a Linux native filesystem.  This way you get all of the performance benefits of a native filesystem rather than relying on the non-native (but still supported) NTFS filesystem.  As far as your XBMC is concerned it will not see a difference because Samba will serve up the files the same way SMB does.  The "Windows" network share does not care what filesystem is underneath.  The same could be said for Windows when it uses SMB (it doesn't care if you're using FAT or NTFS or even ext2, yes there's a Windows ext2 driver).

So as an overview you should:

My setup is similar to that but I'm using RAID on some of them and I use other fancy stuff like mirroring using rsync.


On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Grabowy, Chris <> wrote:

I have two XBMC Live boxes each hooked up to their own TV that I use to my watch and listen to my media that resides on a “file server”.


The “file server” is an old Windows 7 dual core Atom low power PC.  I added a couple of extra NTFS hard drives to that PC and now it holds all of my media.


For past couple of months the XBMC’s (Linux based) are rarely able to connect to that Win7 box to access the media.  On occasion for some reason it works.  I have been fiddling with the network, firewall and file sharing options in Windows 7, but nothing seems to have permanently solved the problem.


Originally when I was setting up the “file server” I decided to keep it Windows 7  based since the drives were NTFS (at the time I was not sure that Linux could do NTFS), and I was using another SATA card (Syba SATA II card, not sure Linux could use that card) to support more drives.  Frankly, it was just quicker and easier to slap the drives in there and it was up and available.  The drives are not RAIDed.  Eventually when the price of drives fall back to where they should be then I will take a look at striping or mirroring.


It appears that my Windows 7 desktop can get to the file server with no issues.  Whenever one of the XBMC boxes had a problem accessing it then I drop out of XBMC into Linux command line and I was able to ping the file server.  I attempted to find a Samba log somewhere but I could not find any.


At this point I am just feed up with the file server.  I found articles on the net that seem to indicate that Windows 7 file sharing doesn’t play very nicely with Linux.  I just want to replace Windows 7 with some version of Linux and see how well that will work.  I assuming that Ubuntu is a good choice.


This morning when it failed yet again my wife gave me the evil look and said fix it, and so now I have a project this weekend. 


So my questions are….which version of Linux for a simple file server?  Any gotchas?  Any thoughts?  I’ll take any advice.  I want to make this weekend project go smoothly as possible and solve this silly problem once and for all.  Ideally, I just want to install Linux over Windows and then reconfigure the XBMCs.


Hopefully all that babbling made sense…

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