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Thread: Setting up a file server (linux)

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    Gordy Gordy's Avatar
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    Setting up a file server (linux)

    I was thinking of setting up a file server for a client as they are currently using an ad hoc system that doesn't work to well.

    I was wondering what software is out there to allow me to do this quickly and easily? They need to have passwords on some shares and not on others.

    I imagine linux is the best route to go down, running an a low spec headless machine.

    Any suggestions would be great as I'm a bit of linux noob apart from some dabbling in os x.

  2. #2
    Splash
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    Take a look at FreeNAS - it does all you need and will happily run on low end hardware.

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    Gordy Gordy's Avatar
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    Splash that was the software I was thinking of, but I couldn't remember its name. From memory it was just the ticket for their needs.

    Thanks a heap

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    Splash
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    H2h!

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    Any version of Linux will allow you to do this. The software you specifically need is called Samba, is provided with all distributions, and provides SMB shares (what Windows uses for networked file sharing).

    Shares can be set up to require authentication - best done by a users Windows username/password to allow seamless connections, or can be unauthenticated "guest" access.

    Most Linux distributions include a GUI configuration tool for Samba that makes it no harder than setting up Windows file sharing, for example.

    Hope that helps

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    Splash
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    Why bother though when FreeNAS is ready rolled to do exactly what the OP wanted, and he already said his linux knowledge was minimal? (yes, I know it's BSD based...)

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    Gordy Gordy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_P View Post
    Any version of Linux will allow you to do this. The software you specifically need is called Samba, is provided with all distributions, and provides SMB shares (what Windows uses for networked file sharing).

    Shares can be set up to require authentication - best done by a users Windows username/password to allow seamless connections, or can be unauthenticated "guest" access.

    Most Linux distributions include a GUI configuration tool for Samba that makes it no harder than setting up Windows file sharing, for example.

    Hope that helps
    I saw some bits on my search about samba and it looked far more complicated than freenas. This seems to be targeted at the file server side so it seems silly to go for anything else

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy View Post
    I saw some bits on my search about samba and it looked far more complicated than freenas. This seems to be targeted at the file server side so it seems silly to go for anything else
    samba'll be what gets used under the hood. that and nfs.

    it's all about the user interface

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    Splash
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    What Directhex said, but as I said FreeNAS requires next to no linux/BSD knowledge and is designed for just this kind of situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy View Post
    I saw some bits on my search about samba and it looked far more complicated than freenas. This seems to be targeted at the file server side so it seems silly to go for anything else
    It needn't be complicated - the GUI tools for setting up SAMBA are very easy for a basic configuration like you require (see screenshot below). Sure, it can get complicated if you want to use some of the more advanced features like making it a domain controller etc, but that's just *nix - ultimate flexibility and power.



    BTW, not necessarily suggesting you go the Linux route, just trying to give you all the options so you can make your own informed decision. FreeNAS looks equally suited to your task

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    Gordy Gordy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    samba'll be what gets used under the hood. that and nfs.

    it's all about the user interface
    Yeah I assumed that was the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_P View Post
    It needn't be complicated - the GUI tools for setting up SAMBA are very easy for a basic configuration like you require (see screenshot below). Sure, it can get complicated if you want to use some of the more advanced features like making it a domain controller etc, but that's just *nix - ultimate flexibility and power.



    BTW, not necessarily suggesting you go the Linux route, just trying to give you all the options so you can make your own informed decision. FreeNAS looks equally suited to your task
    Thanks

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    I have set up FreeNAS twice now. For something that is still labelled 'beta' it is an awesome bit of software.

    Only hiccup I had the last time I used it was having the hard drive set as master on the second IDE channel, this stopped it booting once I installed the software to run from the HDD. Swapping the channel fixed compeletely.

    I played with setting up Linux to act as a server ages back, I'm assuming the tools have improved since as I ended up doing a lot of manual configuration at the time. TBH if you are new to linux it could possibly cost you some time to get up and running where as FreeNAS is a breeze.

    Obviously FreeNAS has limitations compared to a 'proper' server but it looks like it may be ideal for this instance.

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