[kwlug-disc] setting up a samba network with no windows systems?

john at netdirect.ca john at netdirect.ca
Sun Oct 18 07:08:08 EDT 2009

We see Samba as a windows integration tool. When there are no windows systems we've never used it. NFS is more seamless. And suits it better.   

A reason to use samba is to actually have some authentication control. NFS assumes the client is controlled by the system administrator and trusts that the client system properly authenticated the user. Samba requires over the wire authentication. I suppose that might make Samba more useful in an environment where the client computers can't be trusted. 

NFS works well where there are multiple users on a client system. When a samba file system is mounted the user is assigned at mount time. If a second user were to access the mounted file system they would do so as the same user. In other words: one mount or connection per user.

Other options are Apple File Sharing or DAV. I've set those up in specific situations. But only when required by the client system.  
We use automount at the office to automount NFS shares. It's pretty seamless. We have all of our home dirs on an nfs share and authenticate via ldap. Since we also have a few windows systems (sales people) we also use Samba on the same file system. The linux boxes use NFS and the windows boxes use Samba. They never cross over. 

I don't know if there is an automount for Samba.  This could be one example of how there are features that NFS has over samba. Although that feature is a specific client tool rather than an NFS standard. 

John Van Ostrand CTO, co-CEO
Net Direct Inc
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
Ph: 519-883-1172 x5102
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102
Fx: 519-883-8533

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert P. J. Day" [rpjday at crashcourse.ca]
Sent: 10/18/2009 03:07 AM AST
To: KWLUG discussion list <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
Subject: [kwlug-disc] setting up a samba network with no windows systems?

  a curious question, but i was asked to throw together a simple
example of installing and configuring samba on a network with no
windows systems -- just linux.  in the simplest case, just two
linux machines sharing a directory or two.

  it's easy enough to do, i guess -- since samba allows a linux box to
be both a SMB server and client.  not sure of the practical value
because, if you know there are no non-linux systems involved, why
involve samba at all?

  in any event, is there anything technically infeasible about that?
even if it's a bit weird?  or do people actually use that scenario in
a practical way?


Robert P. J. Day                               Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA

        Linux Consulting, Training and Annoying Kernel Pedantry.

Web page:                                          http://crashcourse.ca
Twitter:                                       http://twitter.com/rpjday

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