Best File Server for Windows, Linux and OSX Environment

We are looking to merge 2 schools but between them we have Windows, Linux and MAC OSX operating systems. Students will need to see their 'homedrive' no matter which OS they log in to. They will also require access to a shared area where team/shared files can be located and finally a data library type area where general catalogue type info can be read (e.g. class notes, parts catalogues etc).

Is there a single file server that could be used to achieve this?

One School is a MS Windows ONLY systems; the other has a mix os's. Windows will be the main OS in use by the clients, but the other OS's are essential for specific classes.

We have had SAMBA as an interconnect but was wondering what others may recommend.
Who is Participating?
Eoin OSullivanConnect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
To support Windows, Linux & OSX you'll need a file server that can support Samba (SMB) or NFS.

Personally I'd not recommend a Windows File Server for the OSX and Linux users (although it is ideal for the Windows users).

FreeNAS is a good option as it supports AFP, SMB and NFS so each OS can access the file share using its best protocol

Alternatively you could look at a commercial NAS with built-in SMB, AFP, NFS support such as Synology -

There are other factors to consider such as how much space you need 1TB - 20TB?
What level of RAID or replication do you want?
Do you want to hot-swap drives in the NAS if they fail?
serialbandConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If Windows is going to be the Main OS, you should use a Windows file server.  OSX and linux can connect to it.  Macs can already connect to it when you enter smb://HOSTNAME/SHARE when you Connect to Server.  Linux can just use SAMBA.
you have lot of option

1.) recently samba 4 comes with extra security.. ( Best Option)
2.) FreeNas (Easy to implement and configure,web based managed,security..etc lot of option available in it. )
3.) you could use NFS (network file sharing).
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.