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SSH Saves the Day

Posted 09-13-2007 at 08:49 PM by mowestusa

I'm sure many a Unix Sys-Admin has used ssh to save the day, but in my case it has kept me from going insane. I admit that I use Free and Open Source Software not as my day job, but to get things done that I want to get done. Since getting into Linux and other Unix like operating systems, I have been able to do things that I never would have attempted just a few years ago. For example, I keep old computers running and useful. I have built a whole network of computers that offer me windows to the Internet, places to keep all of my stuff, and hours of entertainment while I'm sitting in my stuffed chair at home. Yet, there is one peace of Open Source Software that tries my patience to the last degree, Samba. That's right, Samba, frustrates me. Everything else seems to work for me, or I'm able to get it working without much trouble.

First my issue that has caused lost sleep, a deep desire to break things, and endless attempts at typing commands into my box. I can not connect to a samba share and map it to a mount on my Fedora 7 box, which is my main work box.

I have installed and set up a series of Samba shares using the amazing and wonderful tool, FreeNAS. FreeNAS is actually a version of FreeBSD which allows you to set up a file server without much fuss, and it even installs a really nice web-GUI. Per the suggestions in the FreeNAS documentation, I have set up the Samba shares without users and user verification. I have a GeeXBoX that connects to the samba shares and will even play media files off of the shares without issue. I have a Ubuntu box that is running Dapper LTS and it connects to a samba shares seamlessly, and this was done through the GUI. It also plays media off of it without issue. Fedora 7 simply refuses to work. I have used the same GUI tool under Gnome, and it will not play media off of the drive. I have tried tons of attempts to edit the fstab file without success. I have used the KDE network drive tools to move and copy files from one samba share on the server to another, but getting Fedora to copy something from it to a samba share does not work. So I just don't get it.

So how did ssh save the day?

Well, to copy files to the server for backup I have been using scp for individual files. Today, I got ssh with fuse working so that I can actually pick a folder on the NAS and map it to a folder in my user's home folder. Now things are just ducky. I use the following commands:

sshfs $username@server: sshfs/
The above command connects to the root of the ssh user on the server to a folder in my user's home directory on the Fedora 7 box. Now I can cp and ls all I want on the FreeNAS server. To umount I use the following command.

fusermount -u sshfs/
The one issue I had with using ssh and fuse involved my user not being a part of the fuse group. This was fixed with the following command as root.

gpasswd -a $username fuse
Will I get Samba shares to work right under Fedora 7? I don't know, but in the mean time, at least I have another Open Source tool that will keep me from losing all of my hair quicker than the good Lord had intended.
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