NFS & iTunes on my TeraStation

Today I installed new firmware on my Terastation which allowed me to add NFS support, iTunes library sharing, and Bonjour, which makes it a lot more useful. I found that Samba networking was extremely slow, had problems with files larger than 2GB, and the shares got disconnected when my Mac goes to sleep. NFS is dramatically faster and less likely to get disconnected.

The first step is to install hacked firmware which supports Telnet & root access. An extensive firmware collection is available here. Note that you must use the proper firmware for your model. Firmware for a Terastation Pro will NOT work on an original Terastation (which is what I have). Although the latest US firmware version from Buffalo’s site is 1.12 (which mine came with), version 2 and later is available from the Japanese site. I installed 2.10 with no problems. MAKE SURE YOU READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE INSTALLING FIRMWARE – IT CAN BRICK YOUR TERASTATION.

Next, with telnet available I logged into it as root and installed the user space NFS server according to the instructions on this page. At this point I could now mount the shares via NFS instead of using Samba and enjoy the improved speed. However, the Terastation shares still have to be mounted by IP address. Bonjour would make it more convenient, so you can connect to it by a more friendly name.

This page has links to binaries for mDNSResponder (Bonjour) and mt-daapd (iTunes sharing) as well as instructions for installing them. Note that it refers to the Linkstation rather than the Terastation, but the PPC binaries will work on a Terastation.

A few things will need to be changed to use them on a Terastation. In particular, ldconfig isn’t available, so the shared libraries will either need to be placed in /usr/lib rather than /usr/local/lib or symbolic links to the libraries should be put in /usr/lib. Also, the startup items should be placed in /etc/rc.d/rc*.d/ rather than /etc/rc0.d, /etc/rc2.d, etc.

I find that the NFS is many times faster than Samba, the shares don’t get disconnected and have to be manually reconnected when the Mac sleeps, and there are no problems with large files. With these enhancements, the Terastation is nearly perfect.

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