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Old 12-16-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
win_to_lin_migrant
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Setup a Peer to Peer Home Network with Point & Click


I am looking for a point and click way to setup a home peer to peer network with 2 PC and a switch. I want each PC in my network to act as both host and client to each other. The primary purpose of this network is file sharing. As I am the owner of these PC I do not need any security.

In WIN98 I used this method with great success:
http://www.makeitsimple.com/how-to/simple.htm

Later If I am successful I would like to share a printer among the Linux PC. There will be times when only one PC is powered up.

At first I will use two Linix PC but later I may try to add a WIN98 PC. All my PC have dialup modems and are connected to the phone line (no router). I will use static IP for each PC. I have successfully setup and ping both PC so I assume I may be able to do so in any distro that offers GUI network tools as Ubuntu does.

A tutorial with screen shots would be ideal if such exists. I would like to create my peer to peer network with two live boot PC if possible. I have 8.04 Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Mythubuntu on two DVDs. If it is not possible to reach my goal with two live boot PC then I must first learn how to delete a Linux install so I may try other distros to see if I can find one that is better suited to my goals. If this is the case I will research the subject of deleting a Linux install at another time.

I looked at NFS and Samba with no joy as a point and click solution. I will only consider NFS or Samba if I can find a point and click method to achieve my goals.

I have read “Basic Samba Network File Sharing”, “Newbie's Guide to Small Home LAN” and “Easy NFS” in this forum with no joy as it is not a point and click solution to my goals.

I have heard that some distros offer built in network browsing. I assume this means a total point and click peer to peer network configuration and setup of shares which is what I seek. One distro I found that supposedly offered this is Lycrois (no longer available). There may be other distros that offer a solution and if so I hope someone will suggest it. Or please suggest any method that will help me reach my goals. I am new to Linux. Thanks!

Last edited by win_to_lin_migrant; 12-17-2008 at 02:41 PM.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 10:21 AM   #2
win_to_lin_migrant
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I consider myself knowledgeable about computers. I have owned PC’s since 1994. I built three of them myself, two last winter and the first in 1999 which lasted until 2007.

I realize that knowledge of Windows does not equate to knowledge of Linux but if I am unable to setup a simple network in Linux with the same ease as Windows then millions of others won’t be able to either.

In today’s world a home network is for many a must. If millions of average people like myself are unable to setup a simple home network then Linux will remain for them and for me nothing more than an impractical curiosity.

Perhaps the developers of Linux should be made aware that a simple method for network setup for average people is not present in Linux and they should address this problem ASAP.

If I have overlooked an existing soluton that is already included in some distro then I hope someone will bring it to my attention. Thanks.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #3
doctorcisco
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Please don't make the mistake of expecting Linux to be the same as Windows. It's not the same as Windows.

Just to give you one example: the quickest, easiest way to share files between two Ubuntu desktops is:

1) Use Synaptic to install SSH server on both machines.
2) Go to Places, connect to server, select SSH, and enter the IP address (or hostname if you can bear to edit your /etc/hosts file, or have a DNS server in your home network) and your user name.
3) Start moving files.

Unlike Windows, this one little GUI window can be used to connect to Windows machines, Linux machines, FTP servers, WebDAV servers, etc.

This connection, unlike Windows file sharing, is secure. Unlike Windows file sharing, it can be used across the internet (if you set up SSH port forwarding on your home router). There's only one drawback ... this won't work with Windows PC's, because Windows PC's don't have ssh. So there's Samba, a rather ugly workaround which has exactly one advantage -- it works with Windows machines.

If you're looking for something that works like Windows ... probably your best choice is to use Windows. If you're looking for something more powerful, more flexible, but different from Windows, and that will involve editing text files once in a while, start figuring out Linux.

There are a gazillion tutorials out there on how to set up a simple home network on Linux -- Google is your friend. If you've already rejected Samba (the correct tool for the job) because you may need to edit a text file, Linux may not be the best choice for you.

doc
 
Old 12-17-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
win_to_lin_migrant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcisco View Post
Please don't make the mistake of expecting Linux to be the same as Windows. It's not the same as Windows. If you're looking for something that works like Windows ... probably your best choice is to use Windows.
What I said was that I wanted a method to setup my network that was *as easy* as Windows. I did not say that it *had* to be "the same as Windows". I see no reason why setting up a Linux network must require more than entering an IP address and then right clicking on a folder and selecting “share” (but YMMV).

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcisco View Post
install SSH
I have tried SSH but I do not find it practical for day to day networking or as user friendly as a Windows network (but YMMV).

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcisco View Post
have a DNS server in your home network
I made it clear in my OP that I do not own nor do I need a router.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcisco View Post
unlike Windows file sharing, is secure.
I had hoped that my OP made it apparent that I do not need secure file sharing. I will edit my OP to specify that condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcisco View Post
There are a gazillion tutorials out there on how to set up a simple home network on Linux -- Google is your friend.
I have read some (many) of them but never did I see a method that was IMO anywhere *as easy* as Windows. Again, not identical to Windows just *as easy*.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcisco View Post
If you've already rejected Samba (the correct tool for the job) because you may need to edit a text file, Linux may not be the best choice for you.
I might well use Samba if I were able to understand the documentation. I would also consider using it if it had a simple interface (point & click) that an average person like myself could come to grips with.

As far as I can tell the current state of networking in Linux means that millions of average people like myself will not be able to setup a simple home network. I had hoped that someone in this forum might be able to address my needs as I stated them in my OP.

In the forum rules I read: “Do not post if you do not have anything constructive to say in the post.” Your post did not attempt to address the question I posed in my OP therefore IMO you had nothing constructive to say. Thanks.

Last edited by win_to_lin_migrant; 12-17-2008 at 02:55 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 03:12 PM   #5
JosipBroz
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Being a fairly recent migrant myself, I can honestly say I understand your woes, migrant. The only thing I want to say is that GNU/Linux desktop environments are way too various to allow a pictorial tutorial; in addition, each major distro has its own tools for setting up hardware, software, networking. The differences go far deeper than the differences between, say, various Windows flavors. I have personally found that openSUSE and Mandriva have excellent configuraton utilities, and KDE has a very good Control Panel on its own. I trust Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch and many other distros have nothing to envy. That said, home networking (including wireless networking) may be the weakest single point in common of all major distros. That said, again, even the configuration utilities that do exist in GNU/Linux distros are hardly as simple and fool-proof as some Windows utilities. That gap, however, is narrowing steadily. I trust some day, maybe just a couple of decades from now, the "Windows days" will be recalled as just a dark age of primitive, cut-throat monopolists which will hopefully never return again.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 03:40 PM   #6
farslayer
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You may want to look at the NFS how-to if the sharing is only going to be between Linux machines..


http://nfs.sourceforge.net/nfs-howto/
Quote:
What is NFS?

The Network File System (NFS) was developed to allow machines to mount a disk partition on a remote machine as if it were a local disk. It allows for fast, seamless sharing of files across a network.

It also gives the potential for unwanted people to access your hard drive over the network (and thereby possibly read your email and delete all your files as well as break into your system) if you set it up incorrectly. So please read Section 6, “Security and NFS” of this document carefully if you intend to implement an NFS setup.

There are other systems that provide similar functionality to NFS. Samba (http://www.samba.org) provides file services to Windows clients. The Andrew File System, originally developed by IBM (http://www.openafs.org) and now open-source, provides a file sharing mechanism with some additional security and performance features. The Coda File System (http://www.coda.cs.cmu.edu/) combines file sharing with a specific focus on disconnected clients. Many of the features of the Andrew and Coda file systems are slated for inclusion in the next version of NFS (Version 4) (http://www.nfsv4.org). The advantage of NFS today is that it is mature, standard, well understood, and supported robustly across a variety of platforms.


2.2. The Purpose of this Document

This HOWTO is intended as a complete, step-by-step guide to setting up NFS correctly and effectively. Setting up NFS involves two steps, namely configuring the server and then configuring the client. Each of these steps is dealt with in order. The document then offers some tips for people with particular needs and hardware setups, as well as security and troubleshooting advice.

This HOWTO is not a description of the guts and underlying implementation and architecture of NFS. Recommended materials that cover topics such as these can be found in the NFS FAQ (http://nfs.sourceforge.net/) , as well as in the Appendix of the HOWTO.

This document is also not intended as a complete reference manual, and does not contain an exhaustive list of the features of Linux NFS. For that, you can look at the man pages for nfs(5), exports(5), mount(8), fstab(5), nfsd(8), lockd(8), statd(8),rquotad(8), and mountd(8).

It will also not cover PC-NFS, which is considered obsolete (users are encouraged to use Samba to share files with Windows machines) or NFS Version 4, which is still in development.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 04:17 PM   #7
mrclisdue
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..........

Last edited by mrclisdue; 12-18-2008 at 06:39 PM. Reason: op doesn't deserve help
 
Old 12-18-2008, 04:52 PM   #8
win_to_lin_migrant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
You may want to look at the NFS how-to if the sharing is only going to be between Linux machines..
I shall say this as simply as I can: I have viewed the documentation for both NFS and Samba and I have reach the conclusion that I am congenitally incapable of understanding either. Your Mileage May Vary about said documentation and it doubtless does. Thanks.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 05:09 PM   #9
win_to_lin_migrant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosipBroz View Post
Being a fairly recent migrant myself, I can honestly say I understand your woes, migrant. The only thing I want to say is that GNU/Linux desktop environments are way too various to allow a pictorial tutorial; in addition, each major distro has its own tools for setting up hardware, software, networking. The differences go far deeper than the differences between, say, various Windows flavors. I have personally found that openSUSE and Mandriva have excellent configuraton utilities, and KDE has a very good Control Panel on its own. I trust Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch and many other distros have nothing to envy. That said, home networking (including wireless networking) may be the weakest single point in common of all major distros. That said, again, even the configuration utilities that do exist in GNU/Linux distros are hardly as simple and fool-proof as some Windows utilities. That gap, however, is narrowing steadily. I trust some day, maybe just a couple of decades from now, the "Windows days" will be recalled as just a dark age of primitive, cut-throat monopolists which will hopefully never return again.
I have clicked the "Thank You" icon in appreciation for your honesty about the state of configuration tools available for home networking novices such as myself. Sadly though I was unable to glean any useful information from your post. Thanks.

Last edited by win_to_lin_migrant; 12-18-2008 at 05:29 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 05:28 PM   #10
win_to_lin_migrant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrclisdue View Post
On Machine A
Point to Terminal > click

<snip>

etc etc etc
IMO only a Slackware user would consider that a suitable tutorial for a Linux networking novice such as myself.

I have a strong suspicion that your post is in jest and not a real solution to my home networking needs. However my lack of Linux experience means that I am in no good position to judge the merits of what you suggest.

I will spend a few moments to investigate what you propose although I am fairly certain that I will quickly find myself in an ever expanding infinite loop of researching commands, typing at the terminal and hair pulling.

If in the unlikely event that I am able to configure my simple home network I will edit this post and give you credit for your help. Till then I recommend that you do not hold your breath. Thanks.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
pentode
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Well I seem to have stumbled onto the soapbox thread.

If you want to have a network of Linux and non-Linux machines (Mac or Windows), use Samba. It works extremely well, contrary to some previous comments. You want a workgroup in Windows-speak.

There are several pretty good tutorials on the Web for doing Linux/Windows networking with Samba. You can also do Linux to Linux with Samba and Linux to Mac.

Samba has a web-based configuration tool (SWAT) that might help.

Check this out for a start:

http://www.lesbell.com.au/Home.nsf/b...3?OpenDocument

If you have specific questions, come back.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 07:20 PM   #12
win_to_lin_migrant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentode View Post
Well I seem to have stumbled onto the soapbox thread.

If you want to have a network of Linux and non-Linux machines (Mac or Windows), use Samba. It works extremely well, contrary to some previous comments. You want a workgroup in Windows-speak.

There are several pretty good tutorials on the Web for doing Linux/Windows networking with Samba. You can also do Linux to Linux with Samba and Linux to Mac.

Samba has a web-based configuration tool (SWAT) that might help.

Check this out for a start:

http://www.lesbell.com.au/Home.nsf/b...3?OpenDocument

If you have specific questions, come back.
I capitulate. I surrender. I’m done, stick a fork in me.

If I had any hope of asking intelligent questions about Samba or if I even had any idea where to begin I would have done so long ago. As for SWAT it can only serve to make my confusion more perfect.

Why is it so hard to understand that I am looking for a distro that will enable me to setup my home network just *as easily* as I did in Windows. That is assuming that such a thing exists. If such a distro does not exist then I will accept it and remain a non networked Linux wannabe. Thanks.

Last edited by win_to_lin_migrant; 12-18-2008 at 07:21 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 09:16 PM   #13
billymayday
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You might want to have look at Ubuntu.

I just had a quick play, and if you open up, for example, your home directory from the usual gnome "places" menu, simply right clicking on any of the directories within allows sharing.

Note that if you don't have samba installed, the first time you try this the system will ask to install it (it doesn't call it samba, it calls it windows networking or something).

This particular PC is a bit strange, so this may not apply to a clean install. You will need to ensure that any users wanting to share are part of the sambashare group. This can be simply achieved through System->Administration->Users and Groups. The strange part was I had to log off then on for the change to take effect. As I said, it may just be my box.

The advantage of this is that you will be able to share between linux boxes and windows (as well as macs). try finding a windows utility that lets you access anything other than windows.

Hope that help, and make sure you was that fork before you eat with it!
 
Old 12-18-2008, 09:46 PM   #14
farslayer
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Quite frankly easy is a relative term. yes you have used windows probably all your life, and can configure windows networking in about 5 minutes by clicking a few check boxes and typing a few names DONE !! But I can introduce you to a lot of other Windows users that can't grasp networking and sharing files/drives in Windows. I've used many different operating systems, and worked on a lot of different networks, they were all different, they all required time to learn how things were done.

Your problem is that you want Linux to operate and configure like Windows does, and that is just not going to happen. You either need to put forth the effort to learn a few things so you can get everything working together, or just call it a day, throw in the towel and go back to Windows, No one is going to beg you to stay.

So It's time to put your nose to the grindstone so to speak, and step up and actually put some effort into the suggestions given to you, or resign yourself to the fact that it's just not going to happen on it's own, and there is no magic network sharing configuration button you can press to make you satisfied.

If you sit around and say "it's too hard" all day long, eventually you are going to start believing yourself, at which point all hope will be gone.

Best of luck, and I hope you take this as constructive criticism, in the way it was meant.
 
Old 12-19-2008, 08:31 AM   #15
win_to_lin_migrant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billymayday View Post
<snip for brevity and to avoid duplication>
I live booted one PC with Ubuntu 8.04, setup my dialup modem, went to Places, went to Home, right clicked Documents, selected Share, waited for a download/install, ticked “Share this folder” pressed “Create Share” button and got the following error:

“ ‘net usershare’ returned error 255: net usershare: cannot open usershare directory /var/lib/samba/usershares. Error Permission denied.
You do not have permission to create a usershare. Ask your administrator to grant you permissions to create a share.”

I am on dialup, the Samba download takes fifteen minutes and I live boot. I will check back later today for your reply. If you reply I will try what you suggest and start over again with the above process. I expect this to take some time to resolve. Thanks.

Last edited by win_to_lin_migrant; 12-19-2008 at 02:54 PM.
 
  


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