File Format for R-Pi 4 media centre

I’ve dug the hard drive out of my dead MacMini and am preparing to set up my R-Pi 4 4Gb with DietPi and the Mate desktop to be mainly a Plex music server and also for some central storage and backup.
So I’ll put Plex, SyncThing and a Samba server on it most likely.
I have a 2.5 inch dual bay RAID enclosure that I will use in RAID 1 for storing the data & media files.
All of my other machines are Macs at this stage and I would like to be able to interact with the RAID enclosure across my network, hence the samba server and synching.
Is Fat32 the best file system to use in this context?

And an additional question: should I transfer the boot file system over to the external hard drive as well and if this is a RAID system is there any problem in doing so?

I am not a Mac guy. Fat32 can handle file systems up to 32 GB; my guess is you HD is larger than that. I think ExFat would work on both Linux and Mac.

If you are sharing with Samba the file system doesn’t matter a lot, really only matters if you need to physically move the HD from machine to machine.

That is a lot of wasted computing unless you are serving music to a huge number of clients. My Pi 4 1G easily handles downloading and serving video and displaying video on Kodi plus other stuff. It does more than my old Pentium 4 2Gb machine running Linux does.

It possibly is but it’s what I have. We’d also be using it for catch-up TV/Youtube via Firefox.
I might get a lower spec one later with a dedicated DAC


If possible try to use ext4 instead of exfat on your HDD. You will have less issues if you use download clients who will write to the disk.

Thanks Joulinar , that makes it hard to prepare my disk in advance as Mac can’t format to ext4 but I guess I can do it after by using a fat32 intermediate disk.
Can you comment on whether I should copy the file system to the external drive?

Your external disc can be formed once connected to your DietPi device. However this will overwrite all your external data on the disc.

Hi Joulinar , I added the disks - formatted as fat 32 and in JBOD mode - and connected them to my Pi with a bare install of DietPi and the dietpi-drive_manager failed to find them.
After a reboot the dietpi-drive_manager found one of the disks and I tried to format it as ext4 and mount it but there was an error.
After rebooting again dietpi-drive_manager failed to detect them. The hard drives are in one of these"+RAID+Solution+GR2660-B3+(EOL)


well I guess there will be just 1 single disk displayed as they are in JBOD mode. I don’t think you will see both.

do you know what the error was after formatting the disk with ext4?

Independent on drive manager, can you check what drives are attached to your device?

lsblk -o name,label,size,ro,type,mountpoint,partuuid,uuid

JBOD means, literally, Just a Bunch of Disks, so if there are two disks in JBOD mode they will appear as two disks. If they are in RAID 1 they will appears as one disk, and if they are in RAID 0 they will appear as one disk with the total volume of both disks added together.

it depends how you setup your disks. The disks in a JBOD array can function as their own individual volumes or can be connected or spanned, to form a single logical volume.

If they’re spanned (RAID0) or mirrored (RAID1, at least for 2 drives) then they’re not JBOD.

JBOD means they are individual disks and not connected in any way. They operate entirely independently of one another, and one failing does not affect any other drive, but the data is lost as it is equally not replicated anywhere (at least automatically).

It’s arguable that if you have a JBOD array that you then combine into a spanned volume using a volume manager or suchlike that you’re creating a RAID0 array anyway, and they’re no longer JBOD.

Hi. Could you explain (for clumsy) the advantages and disadvantages (if any) of using external drives formatted in ext4. I am mounting a file server and plex on a Raspberry pi4. Right now I use extfat for the external disk. I never disconnect the disk from the Raspberry and the file transfer is done via samba or sftp to a PC with Windows 10 or through Android. Would it be advisable to switch to ext4? will I have performance improvements, reliability? Thanks a lot

let me pull off this old post from mid of 2019