Here is an article discussing
An Rsync and HFS discussion
I'm continuing the thread of conversation we were having taking advantage of cheap intel based hardware to build secure network storage devices, (I figure chris will have some thoughts on this two).
I have finally ordered a couple of extra drives for my linux box upstairs so I can start experimenting with opendarwin, FreeBSD, and Linux.
I have been doing some more reading on the topic.
One option is format a parition on the mac harddrive as UFS and use this partition for all your media storage. And keep a HFS+ partition for applications and the OS X system files.
On UFS partitions OS X stores the resourse forks as hidden files. So rsync should be able to get to all of them. and restore them back again. This would allow much more flexibility in the choise of operating system on the backup box. I'm not sure how robust Darwin is. There are ports of HFS+ for linux and freeBSD but I have not gotten much of confidence in them from reading about them on the web (mainly because there just doesn't seem to be a lot written about them), but I'll try them out.
I also found this quote here:
Files residing on HFS and HFS+ file systems have their Finder attributes stored in a private fork separate from both resource and data forks. These attributes include type and creator codes. Mac OS X maintains these attributes because they enable the Finder to enhance the user’s experience
Which leads me to believe that the only thing that "should" be lost in the HFS+ ----> Linux/BSD ----> HFS+ would be this finder attibutes like (file creator, file type, finder file comments). If the OS is configured correctly it should be able to determine which app to use to open the file from the extension.
Another quote from the Apple Website:
Finder attributes (also known as Finder Info) can be associated with files and folders in the Mac OS X file system. These attributes affect how the Finder displays or handles these files and folders. The Finder recognizes attributes such as the bundle bit, invisible bit, type code, creator code, label, custom icon, and many other attributes.
In Mac OS X the Finder stores attributes in an invisible per-folder file that contains a data structure that is extensible and volume-format “agnostic.
A comparison of HFS+ and UFS