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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:39 AM   #1
Jykke
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Can two computers access an external HD via USB simultaneously?


I am interested in sharing an external drive between two computers. I do not want to disconnect the drive from one and then connect it on the other one - I want to share it.

Would this work with an external USB drive and a normal USB hub? Or is it something more complicated/impossible?

Also connecting the machines via network is not possible - it has to be USB, or I can connect it to one machine also via Ethernet but the second connection has to be USB.
 
Old 05-19-2011, 08:45 AM   #2
Arcane
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If LAN is possible you can set it for sharing. Other computer will then connect and use it through network. Basically one computer will be host(one with usb drive attached) other guest(one who will access it). Otherwise i dunno..maybe there is usb splitter cable with two ends? Or you can put external drive hdd into PC as normal hdd and then connect the 2 computers if it's external hdd.

Last edited by Arcane; 05-19-2011 at 08:49 AM.
 
Old 05-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
Jykke
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Unfortunately, having the machines in the same LAN is out of question - it has to be with USB sharing or something like that...
 
Old 05-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #4
TobiSGD
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AFAIK the USB protocol doesn't support multiple connections to one device at a given time.
 
Old 05-19-2011, 10:00 AM   #5
michaelk
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Not with a regular hub since you can only have one host controller on the bus at the same time. There are special hubs/switches designed for sharing USB devices both automatic and manual. However, I do not know how well they work with linux.

http://www.manhattan-products.com/en...sharing-switch
 
Old 05-19-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
kayasaman
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There are NAS drives/enclosures out there which do support both Ethernet and USB however you will not be able to use them at the same time!

If both machines have got Ethernet cards it is possible to connect the disk to one and then share to a different network; however, this is a bit complicated as you would need to use a technology such as VPN or alternative open up the required ports on the routers NAT (not recommended).

I think the best option provided the systems have Ethernet interfaces would be to use a 3rd machine if possible with dual NICs (network cards) and connect to both systems via cross-over Ethernet cable. Basically the idea would be to build a little file server using something such as a bare system running of flash or small HD then share the disk via NFS to both systems.

Apart from that I really don't see anyway as the USB protocol as stated by TobiSGD is not designed to be used with multiple machines in a multi-access environment.

Cheers
 
Old 05-19-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
jefro
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I am pretty sure I did see a usb sharing device. I think it was for printers but may also be used for storage devices.
 
Old 05-19-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
kayasaman
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Good catch Jefro!

A quick Google search yields:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...1g-b1&aql=&oq=

I'm sure the OP can find something in there that suites the required parameters :-)
 
Old 05-20-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jykke View Post
Unfortunately, having the machines in the same LAN is out of question - it has to be with USB sharing or something like that...
Why is it out of the question?
 
  


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