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Thread: Role of hfs+ media storage drives in HTPC's instability, particularly in XBMC?

  1. #1

    Default Role of hfs+ media storage drives in HTPC's instability, particularly in XBMC?

    So recently I've been trying out openSUSE, along with a few other distros, for use on my HTPC. Previously, I'd been using a hackintosh build, so my external media storage HDDs are all formated HFS+. It was actually surprisingly easy to get openSUSE to mount them for both reading and writing.

    Only thing is, XBMC has been pretty unstable on all of the linux distros I've tried, and I'm wondering to what degree the HFS filesystem might be affecting things? It would take a fair bit of juggling -- or going out and buying a new multi-TB HDD -- to clear out the disks in turn so as to reformat them with an ext filesystem, but if that would help me get a more stable HTPC with opensuse -- the linux distro I've settled on -- it'd be worth it.

    I'll paste a link to the log from an xbmc crash, in case that would be helpful, but really, I'm just curious, since I don't really know all that much about how different filesystems work or anything, how much extra strain does the filesystem translating entail?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Role of hfs+ media storage drives in HTPC's instability, particularly in XBMC?

    Hello knidsrok,

    First of all I want to make clear that I've got little to no experience with XBMC or hfs+.

    Quote Originally Posted by knidsrok
    So recently I've been trying out openSUSE, along with a few other distros, for use on my HTPC. Previously, I'd been using a hackintosh build, so my external media storage HDDs are all formated HFS+. It was actually surprisingly easy to get openSUSE to mount them for both reading and writing.
    AFAIK every distribution should be able to read/write to a HFS+ partition as long as journalling is disabled.

    Quote Originally Posted by knidsrok
    I'll paste a link to the log from an xbmc crash, in case that would be helpful,...
    When looking at the log file almost every error is related to deleting/writing/opening files.
    It could be a permission problem, but in your case I'm afraid it's the file-system.
    One thing you can do is to make sure that the partition isn't mounted read-only.

    Best of luck!
    Where did I put my coffee cup?
    dir -R /home/* | grep "coffee cup"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Role of hfs+ media storage drives in HTPC's instability, particularly in XBMC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward_Iii View Post
    AFAIK every distribution should be able to read/write to a HFS+ partition as long as journalling is disabled.
    Really? That's good to know.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Role of hfs+ media storage drives in HTPC's instability, particularly in XBMC?

    Hello please_try_again,

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again
    Really? That's good to know.
    I once helped a friend who had a Macintosh, I was able to mount the partitions but couldn't write to them.
    After some searching I discovered that only non-journaled partitions have write support.

    Here's some information: HFS Plus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Espacially this bit is interesting:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    ... As of 2011, the Linux Foundation is working on hfsplus journal support. The project has been accepted into the Google Summer of Code Program.
    Where did I put my coffee cup?
    dir -R /home/* | grep "coffee cup"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Role of hfs+ media storage drives in HTPC's instability, particularly in XBMC?

    In OSX, you can disable and re-enable journaling all you want, without risking data loss or anything. If there's a way to do it via linux, I've yet to discover it. Once the partition is non-journaled, it should automatically be readable to linux. This was the case with my gnome installation of openSUSE 11.4, but, for some reason, not when I installed it with KDE. All I needed to do, though, was edit /etc/filesystems and add "hfsplus" to the list of filesystems.

    In order to enable write permissions, I installed a utility called hfsprogs via RPM, which includes a foot called fsck.hfsplus. For some reason, once I used that to run a filesystem check on the hfs+ plus drives, they magically became writable. The command, in case it's not obvious, was
    Code:
    sudo fsck.hfsplus /dev/sdxx
    (with xx replaced by the particular drive letter and partition number.)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Role of hfs+ media storage drives in HTPC's instability, particularly in XBMC?

    Quote Originally Posted by knidsrok View Post
    This was the case with my gnome installation of openSUSE 11.4, but, for some reason, not when I installed it with KDE. All I needed to do, though, was edit /etc/filesystems and add "hfsplus" to the list of filesystems.
    Maybe because KDE doesn't care about /etc/fstab. ... but I haven't seen your /etc/fstab. This is what I use in /etc/fstab on the Linux side to mount a hfs+ partition:

    Code:
    # Mac
    # /dev/sda2
    UUID=ccbbbd94-deb6-3a95-aadf-531952d1af33    /mac                               hfsplus       noauto                           0   0
    I usually mount by UUIDs but using the device name (/dev/sda2) would be OK too in this case. Without such an entry in /etc/fstab or while mounting without specifying the file system, mount would have to guess the filesystem out of the list it reads from /etc/filesystems. That's what it is for. But I wouldn't say that it is needed. It doesn't hurt though.

    In order to enable write permissions, I installed a utility called hfsprogs via RPM, which includes a foot called fsck.hfsplus. For some reason, once I used that to run a filesystem check on the hfs+ plus drives, they magically became writable. The command, in case it's not obvious, was
    Code:
    sudo fsck.hfsplus /dev/sdxx
    (with xx replaced by the particular drive letter and partition number.)
    I would be careful with that ... Nothing against this tool, but playing with non native filesystems always bears a risk.

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