[clug-talk] Browsing a Linux network

Ian Bruseker ian.bruseker at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 14:50:35 PDT 2007

Random discussion topic.  How do you browse a network in Linux?  By
that I mean something analogous to a Windows domain.  I'm wondering
about the whole package: browsing to find the shared resource,
authenticating, and transferring.  I got to thinking about this last
week when I got tired of always using "Connect to computer" on my
PowerBook to mount the AFP share on my Gentoo box.  So I installed
Avahi (a Rendezvous "server", I guess you'd call it), and now my SSH
and AFP services are broadcast on my network so I can access them by
name and the Gentoo box just magically appears in the Networks folder
on the Mac.  Nifty.  Then last night I was messing around with Ubuntu
7.04 in a VM, and found that it had magically picked up the SSH shares
on both the Gentoo and Mac machines (again using Avahi, I believe).
When I clicked on one, I could log in and it mounted the remote
filesystem using SFTP.  Nifty again, but it got me to thinking.
Rendezvous is the Apple way, and Samba is the Microsoft way, but what
is the Linux way?  Put another way, before anyone invented Rendezvous
and Samba, how did people browse a Linux only (or Unix only, if we
have to go back that far) network?  Where does the single sign-on come
from, if that's possible, à la Windows domain, where I wouldn't be
asked for a username/password to mount the remote filesystem?  And
what protocol is used?  NFS?  *cringe*  I've never gotten along with

Like I said, random discussion topic, just creating conversation.
How's everyone's Tuesday?  :-)


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