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Thread: Connecting from Windows to Linux

  1. #1
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    Default Connecting from Windows to Linux

    I am looking at using Linux as a fileserver for windows clients.
    I can find all manner of details specifying how to connect Linux to Windows but
    not Windows to Linux.

    A lot of the SAMBA information I am finding seems to be quite dated.

    Also interested in any tales of woe trying to use Linux as a fileserver with Windows,
    specifically in environments where MS Office docs are opened and saved which always
    seems to be an issue.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    I suppose it depends on your end user needs, which you should share. Is
    it safe you assume you want to create some kind of mount within windows to
    the Linux box over the network that is always writable, some sort of
    network drive? Samba can do that for the SMB protocol easily enough, and
    while the docs may be old they are also probably correct. Setting up
    Samba is simple enough for a normal workgroup type of scenario.

    Alternatively, you could use SCP (SSH-based copying) to move files around.
    windows, as is typical, doe snot come with any great tools for this by
    default, but there is good stuff out there like winscp that will let you
    have nice drag/drop access to your server.

    Chances are that your best bet is to go with Samea, then create users with
    Samba for all of the people who need access, and go from there. You can
    give them their own personal space, or shared space, or whatever. modify
    the windows environment to automatically mount these however that's done
    (GPO, login script, whatever) and hopefully they can enjoy a pretty
    seamless environment.

    --
    Good luck.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    We are a longtime Netware shop so users would need
    1) A private home directory accessible only by them
    2) A shared directory where anyone can Read/Write

    The drives will need to show up under Windows Explorer so that files can be open/saved/dragged/dropped.
    End users cannot function with SCP/FTP

    What you outline is what I need, but I am unable to find a source that is accurate, current and provides enough
    detail to accomplish what I need securely and without massive registry hacks on windows.

    This is a proof of concept I am working on, if it fails I'll be looking at licensing something commercial.
    It just seems odd that SAMBA is still so complicated to get going. Even SLES doesn't have a straightforward
    configuration utility.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    It's a while ago, but I managed to setup a proof of concept for such a situation using Yast's Samba server module. IIRC the only thing I had to do "manually" was adding the smbusers.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    On 04/18/2016 12:26 PM, GofBorg wrote:
    >
    > We are a longtime Netware shop so users would need
    > 1) A private home directory accessible only by them
    > 2) A shared directory where anyone can Read/Write


    Have you tried Open Enterprise Server (OES) 11 or 2015? It's the upgrade
    path from NetWare, and definitely does what you want. It's also based on
    SLES, so somewhat similar to what you'll get with openSUSE at the OS
    level, but at the enterprise level with a lot of additional tools to make
    it easier, for example a directory (eDirectory) powering everything rather
    than a Samba database that needs manual work for each user.

    > What you outline is what I need, but I am unable to find a source that
    > is accurate, current and provides enough
    > detail to accomplish what I need securely and without massive registry
    > hacks on windows.


    You'll need SOME kind of hacking on windows in order to get drives mapped;
    I do not know of a way around that without using what you already have,
    which has the Novell Client (probably) for that purpose.

    --
    Good luck.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by GofBorg View Post
    Also interested in any tales of woe trying to use Linux as a fileserver with Windows,
    specifically in environments where MS Office docs are opened and saved which always
    seems to be an issue.
    AFAIK,
    Issues are no different than connecting to a Windows Server.

    On Windows file systems,
    There is a standard "check out" process where the first User who opens a shared file directly has read/write permissions, and "locks out" any other Users who connect so their access is only read-only.

    This is to prevent file modification conflicts, where 2 or more Users may submit modifications which might require merge conflict logic.

    Linux/*NIX does <not> have this requirement at the system file permissions level, but is often implemented at a higher level to similarly avoid file change conflict.

    If you want to allow multiple Users to have read/write permissions to a file simultaneously...
    - You can implement an application gateway to the shared resource. SharePoint is an example of this, which forces Users to save their own versions of files when necessary.
    - You can deploy a versioning file system. Plenty has been written recently that git, svn and similar versioning file systems normally used only by Dev should be used for ordinary file sharing as well.
    - You can force(or encourage) Users to check out read-only shared files, and save their own versions as standard practice. Of course, once you create your own version it's no longer "shared" but the User has exclusive read/write permissions.
    - You can use a special real-time document sharing and editing app like Google Docs.

    HTH,
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    > Have you tried Open Enterprise Server (OES) 11 or 2015?

    Yes I have done some testing with OES. The question has always been the
    level of commitment the product receives from MicroFocus (formerly Novell).
    I was a beta tester for OES back in the early days when Novell was Novell and it had legions of problems
    compared with Netware that it was supposed to replace so it was a non-starter.
    OES has also lagged behind its SLES brethren in many regards.
    It still does and without maintaining a perpetual licensing contract you lose access to critical
    updates. Again, a cost benefit analysis for a small business, if all it is being used for
    is as a central file repository, well there are many options for that. The question is which is
    easy to use, reliable and doesn't break the budget.

    Thanks for the insights.

    **EDIT** I should also mention that most of our employees have been here for 15+ years so I don't
    have to deal with employee 'churn'. eDirectory is nice, but is a bit of overkill for our needs.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by GofBorg View Post
    I am looking at using Linux as a fileserver for windows clients.
    I can find all manner of details specifying how to connect Linux to Windows but
    not Windows to Linux.

    A lot of the SAMBA information I am finding seems to be quite dated.

    Also interested in any tales of woe trying to use Linux as a fileserver with Windows,
    specifically in environments where MS Office docs are opened and saved which always
    seems to be an issue.
    Still no replies with any info regarding connecting windows PC's to Linux servers? Is it really that complicated or
    did I post in the wrong place?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by GofBorg View Post
    Still no replies with any info regarding connecting windows PC's to Linux servers? Is it really that complicated or
    did I post in the wrong place?
    Think I found a good place to start. If anyone else stumbles on this thread, start here:

    http://www.oregontechsupport.com/samba/

    5 minutes after finding this thread, I established my first usable share.
    Good luck!

    -G

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Connecting from Windows to Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by GofBorg View Post
    Still no replies with any info regarding connecting windows PC's to Linux servers? Is it really that complicated or
    did I post in the wrong place?
    Maybe others weren't clear on what you wanted to do. Anyway, since it turns out you wanted to know about setting up a samba server, there's loads of how-to's online...

    https://doc.opensuse.org/documentati...cha.samba.html
    http://www.unixmen.com/install-and-c...opensuse-13-1/
    https://www.howtoforge.com/samba-ser...-opensuse-13.2

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