I am planning to set up a FreeBSD file server for my small network. This
file server will provide access to a large number of WAV audio files - in
total there are about 25gb worth at the moment, and each file is between 30
and 100mb, with the average being around 50mb. I will be using UDMA IDE
hard drives (1 * 27gb to start with, hopefully 2 * fairly soon afterwards)
rather than SCSI, to keep costs down. The FreeBSD machine will be a Dell
Pentium Pro 200 with 40mb of ram.
I will be sharing the files over a switched, full duplex 100mb/s network,
using Samba 2 so that they can be accessed from Windows. Initially only one
workstation will access them at a time.
Ideally, I would like these IDE hard drives to be formatted as FAT32.
Therefore I would have a small FreeBSD HD, say 2gb, as the primary drive,
which I would boot from. Then IDE drives 2 and 3 would be formatted as
FAT32, and would be mounted under FreeBSD using mount_msdos. I'd probably
mount them Read-Only for safety, as their contents wont change very often.
The reason I want to do this is that it means I could at any time take out
one or both of the drives and put it into any win98 machine - useful if my
FreeBSD box dies, or if I need to put the files in another machine for any
However, this will be a false economy if mounting FAT32 would significantly
impact on the file sharing performance.
Could anyone tell me whether there will be much or any performance loss
using mounted FAT32 as compared to native FreeBSD partitions?
PS. Any performance tips for making the FreeBSD machine as fast and
efficient for this task as possible would also be much appreciated - e.g.
sysctl tweaks, etc