I write to ask for advice on how to share an external hard drive between a Fedora (16) machine and a PowerMac G5 (Mac OSX "Leopard").
A couple of weeks ago I assigned for work purposes an external USB 2.0 desktop drive (Seagate FreeAgent Desktop, 750GB Seagate Barracuda @ 7200RPM, 32MB). The idea is to have a place to store and keep backups of the simulations and data I get during my PhD. Since at my office I have a Mac and at home I use Fedora, I need to format the drive with a suitable "common" filesystem which would allow me to read & write from both operating systems. Needless to say, this drive has to be reliable enough.
My first choice was to format it as HFS+, but then I learnt that even though Linux can read the drive, it can not write to it unless journaling is off (which, as I have already experienced, decreases the reliability of the drive, since just yesterday the drive kinda suffered from amnesia because Linux HFS+ writing is not that reliable and hung tonight). Now, despite the fact the Mac recognizes the drive it can not mount it!). So apparently HFS+ is not a reliable solution.
The second choice was to make the Mac read ext(2/3/4) and so installed MacFuse along with another utility and the Mac could read the drive without issue (for writing it required some obscure command, which worked). The problem that while copying data to the drive, it managed to crash the Mac forcing it to reboot, so ext4 on Mac is even more problematic than HFS in Linux.
Given the size of both the drive and the data I will be handling, FAT32 is not an option either, and I find it kind of bizarre to use NTFS (a format neither operating system uses natively).
The aforementioned external drive was purchased back in 2009 and was given reasonable use (just backup), the reason I dumped it to my office was because a new 1TB drive had replaced it as my main "repository". However, from the very beginning, Palimpsest complained it had a couple of bad sectors, but nevertheless it worked very well (it was never filled up to capacity). In Linux I had it with two partitions: one NTFS and one ext4. With the Mac I've been able to format it but has given me some problems because if I use MBR for the partition table the partitioner fails.
Another question is: which is more likely to be responsible for the instability of the drive: the supposedly defective hard drive, or the experimental drivers for reading & writing "alien" filesystems on either machine?