[clug-talk] Browsing a Linux network
kanderson at digital-adrenaline.com
Tue Jun 26 22:33:11 PDT 2007
Run Samba with an LDAP back end. It provides the best of all worlds,
and it's also easily the best known config, therefore the easiest to
I look after several offices running it, including multinationals where
a single user might access 10 servers. As far as I've seen, it's
What I do is create a shared directory, and then a location under it.
So lets say there are two servers, Calgary and Toronto. We create the
shared drives on each.
I share that to the clients as a Samba share. We'll call it z:
Then we add the local directory, and I name them based on location, so I
can keep it straight in my head.
/home/Shared/Calgary on the Calgary server
/home/Shared/Toronto on the Toronto server.
Then I NFSmount Calgary on Toronto, and Toronto on Calgary.
So Calgary sees
Calgary is fast, because it's local.
Toronto is slower, because it's NFS mounted across a VPN, but it works.
If for example, an XL spreadsheet is mailed from Calgary to Toronto, and
it links to other spreadsheets existing on both servers, they all work.
Z:/Calgary/junk.xls exists for all users, it's fast for people in
Calgary, but it also still works for people in Toronto.
Since both servers point at the same LDAP, you can allow or deny people
access and it'll work regardless of which server they're on.
In the real world, you will want to make sure there are options for NFS
(I forget them at the moment) so that if the VPN is down, or a server is
down for a power outage, or maintenance, or whatever, that the FS on the
other side ignores the disconnect. Otherwise, when Toronto is down,
Calgary will hang waiting for a response from Toronto. This is REALLY
frustrating for the users, and generally can't be fixed once in that
position short of rebooting Calgary. If there are 10 servers, it's a
real mess. Fix it before you see the outage.
From: Ian Bruseker [mailto:ian.bruseker at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 11:10 PM
To: CLUG General
Subject: Re: [clug-talk] Browsing a Linux network
On 6/26/07, sgrover <sgrover at open2space.com> wrote:
> You're really talking about two different topics here. First is file
> sharing, and the various methods this may be done. Second is
> authentication (via the single sign on). They are related in that you
> only want authenticated/authorized people accessing your files. But
> the file sharing method you choose does not necessarily dictate the
> authentication method you use.
Well, I did say in my original message that I was talking about the
whole package deal. I know it's a puzzle with many pieces. I was just
wondering what those pieces were.
> If you find a nice easy way of doing both, let us know. Better yet, a
> presentation would be in order... :)
If I come up with something, I'll just have to do that. But like I
said, this was mostly about curiousity and discussion. I'm sad to say
I've never had the chance to deal with a Linux network of more than a
few computers, so I've never been forced to come up with a solution.
A few years ago I had looked into LDAP just to understand what it could
do, and you're right, it wasn't simple. The tools at the time were just
downright painful. I don't mind the command line, but that sucked. And
GUIs were worse. Maybe things have gotten better. Time for another
google on that subject.
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