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I have successfully installed Ubuntu Linix 7.04. It is a dual boot with WinXP. I can easily see the WinXP drives and it seems to find the NAS drive (Buffalo LinkStation) which I can read and write to using the File Browser. However, some applications do not show the NAS drive as a selection because it is not considered a "local" drive by the operating system. The file browser sees it a smb://Buflink01/local-file-directory. I take this to mean that Samba is involved here. I tried to find some info on how to mount an NAS drive so it looks like part of the local system but came up short on finding anything. Any words of wisdom out there?
The point is that I expected to be able to use the NAS file system just as if it were any file system properly mounted at /media or /mnt or wherever. My question that remains is; can an NAS drive be mounted so that I can read and write to it from applications instead of just having access through the Nautilus browser? I want to consolidate things like the Thunderbird mail client profiles in one place so I have access to it from all my machines, Linux based or Windows. If it can be mounted through some form of the mount command, what is it? Thanks in advance.
Yes it can be mounted and used for storage like any other device for most purposes. (There are some issues with NFS file locking that some applications can't handle.) Many large companies use NAS for applications servers.
The mount would depend on how the NAS is shared out. When I last used NAS we did them all as NFS mount because they were shared out that way. You mentioned SAMBA however which is a different type of file sharing mechanism designed to interact with Windows systems. Using Samba you can share filesystems out to Windows from Unix/Linux or you can mount filesystems shared out from Windows to your Unix/Linux system.
If you aren't using these devices for Windows shares AND Linux shares my recommendation would be to do NFS rather than Samba as NFS it the one that is "native" to Unix/Linux.
How you do the share depends a lot on the NAS device so you'd have to look at its documentation. Typically you add the mounts to /etc/exports and run the exportfs command (on the NAS server) to allow access by the Linux server.
You then use mount command to mount it as a standard NFS filesystem.
You really need to read the documentation for your NAS device as it should give you details on what is necessary. It will also explain things like fileystem snapshots that you may wish to plan for using.
On Linux you can type the following commands to see more details for each of the commands mentioned.