We want to transfer files from multiple external USB drives to a Linux server connected to SAN storage.

The USB Drives are formated with NTFS and contain media i.e. Images/Videos and will each range in size from 500GB to 1TB /2TB etc.

The Linux machine is running CentOS with SAN storage attached to it. We would like it to remain a linux machine. I want to copy the files from the external drives to the SAN at one time.

Can we use some kind of a drive cage? Is there some form of USB hot swappable external USB case which can then be plugged into a NAS? Do we need another linux system to serve as an intermedium? What options are available to perform what we need?

  • 1
    If you mean actual external USB Drives, then they are hot swappable already. Depending on your setup you will have auto-mount already or you will need to do it via udev or the likes. You can also start shell scripts (eg for transfering files) via udev when a new usb drive is being detected.
    – Niko S P
    Feb 22, 2012 at 3:54

1 Answer 1


Assuming you have a SAN volume already mapped to the Linux system where you'd like the files to reside, you can simply install fuse-ntfs-3g in order to read the filesystem. You'll have to check to see if this package is available on your distribution. For CentOS, you can see this guide.

Then, once you've install ntfs-3g, you can mount attach the USB disk directly to the server and inspect the output of dmesg to see what device name it was assigned to. Specifically, use something like dmesg | tail to see the last few lines.

For this example, let's assume the disk appeared as /dev/sdb, that it contains one NTFS partition, and that you have a SAN volume called /SAN_Volume.

# Create an empty directory to mount the NTFS volume to.
mkdir /mnt/source

# Mount the volume.
ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/source

# Copy all the files into the target volume using rsync.
rsync -av /mnt/source/ /SAN_Volume/
  • Yes Thanks for your feedback, I was toying with rsync as well is there anyway to determine a file size match. So that I can compare the copy is fully done at the destination folder? Feb 22, 2012 at 5:03
  • rsync -a is a standard set of options that verifies that all the files in the source directory exist in the target directory by comparing things like size, mtime and sometimes checksum. That's it's job.
    – Kyle Smith
    Feb 22, 2012 at 5:09

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