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Old 08-17-2004, 11:21 AM   #1
rshooper
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NFS vs Samba


I am new network administrator for a company that is still using Netware 3.12 on very old machines. I would like to replace these machines with a Linux server, since all they currently do is file sharing on thier servers. I have run into a few problems and I would like to get some advice and feedback.
I am very new to UNIX/Linux, I have used it off and on over the last five years but on a very limited basis. I have been running Windows Terminal Servers for the last 4 years so that is where my expertise is.
I would like to replace these Netware 3.12 servers, but I don't really want to put the money into new Windows servers. My experiece has shown that UNIX file servers are much more reliable.
I have been playing with Samba but can't get it to work proberly as a PDC, I have a post in the Software Forum concerning this. Is NFS a better thing to use? I have never used NFS before so any insight is appreciated.
I currenly have an environemnt that the following types of machines, DOS, Win95, WIn98, WinXP Pro, in 5 different location connected via DSL. I have my Cisco routers connecting the buildign together and that is working fine. The DOS machines will be replaced soon but not right away. I would like to find out what the best way to have these machines to connect to the Linux servers. Is there a way to have the workstation connect to the linux server and run a XWindows session?
 
Old 08-17-2004, 01:26 PM   #2
iam_aries
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Samba should be the obvious choice here since Samba communicates with Windows using the Server Message Block Protocol (SMB) and can also be configured to work as a PDC. Configuration in Samba (like any other service in Linux) is done through a configuration file, viz., smb.conf. However to ease the initial configuration Samba also provides the Samba Web Administration Tool a.k.a SWAT. You can find more help on this topic at http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6261-1035709.html

Regarding initiating a xwindows session from a Windows box, there are several xwindows emulators one of which is x-Win32 (http://www.starnet.com/products/)
 
Old 08-17-2004, 02:25 PM   #3
idaho
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A free (speech and beer) X server for MSWin is available from Cygwin:
http://x.cygwin.com/

After you install Cygwin/X, open up a Cygwin bash shell (a shortcut to which will be automatically installed on your desktop) and invoke:
xwin -query linux.hostname
 
Old 08-17-2004, 04:10 PM   #4
rshooper
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When I try to run that in cygwin I just get a blank window with the name of my server in the upper left hand corner. What am I doign wrong?
 
Old 08-17-2004, 04:23 PM   #5
arno
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NFS is more reliable then samba, there are also some locking problems with samba.
You spoke about terminal service have a look at
http://ltsp.org
http://k12ltsp.org
The most important factor when you make a change in your it structure is the question which applications are in use and how can I support my users
 
Old 08-17-2004, 06:05 PM   #6
hob
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An alternate method for accessing an X-Windows session from a non-UNIX system is VNC, which supports all current platforms easily. I have heard of a DOS-based VNC client. Another advantage of VNC over X is that it is much less bandwidth intensive, which would be relevent if the server and client are opposite ends of a DSL line.

If you just want to keep the old machines in service then I think that Arno is right that the best approach is to make them boot off the network if the hardware will support it, with LTSP, K12 or Thinstation. The first two are comprehensive systems for delivering Linux desktop environments with management facilities; Thinstation just provides a minimal OS image for machines to netboot from a DHCP server and become a VNC, X or RDP client terminal.

Cygwin is a large package which requires quite a lot of configuration, and would probably be a maintenance problem if run on more than handful of machines.

If you are working with Samba then the best thing to do is look at the official docs, which are well-written and cover most things that you would want to do - /usr/share/doc/samba/html if you install the samba-doc package, or on the Samba website. Or invest in a book ! The official docs are available in book form, and the follow up "Samba 3 by Example" has gotten good reviews as well.

The problems with NFS are security (none that you can trust) and client support - Windows doesn't natively support it at all of course. So NFS is only feasible as the primary file sharing system if you can ensure that all the clients will be locked-down Linux systems (like terminals) on a LAN.
 
Old 08-17-2004, 06:43 PM   #7
rshooper
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Thanks for the info. If someone is a Samba guru can they help me get my Smaba PDC to work? It currently works if users log onto thier local machines or the Netware Server, however I want them to log onto the Linux Samba server. Please see my post under Software for more details.

Last edited by rshooper; 08-17-2004 at 06:44 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2004, 12:21 AM   #8
idaho
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Quote:
Originally posted by rshooper
When I try to run that in cygwin I just get a blank window with the name of my server in the upper left hand corner. What am I doign wrong?
You need to enable xdmcp connections on your Linux box. This is not a peculiarity of Cygwin/X - you will need to do this no matter what MSWin based Xserver you use (ReflectionX, Hummingbird, etc.)

If there is not a way to do this using the graphical admin tools Fedora provides, you will need to edit the appropriate config file for the display manager you are running (probably gdm). The config file will be located somewhere under /etc/X11.
 
  


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