June 27, 2003

The Linux Chronicles, Episode XLII

Certain things in nature are cyclical. The sun rises and sets each day. The tides flow in and out. The seasons come and go. And every couple of months I dive back into the world of Linux.

This time I have a purpose. I’m building a new file server for the Resources department to keep all of their GIS and Power Point files on. We have a shared file server now, that everyone uses, and it’s only 9GB. Some of these GIS files are 2-3GB, each. So they can’t be kept on the shared server. Right now one of the ladies is keeping all these files on her workstation’s hard drive, but that’s a recipe for disaster. So they need a new file server, and this is a perfect opportunity to fold Linux into our network.

The setup I’m doing isn’t that complicated – file serving through Samba. All week I’ve been engulfed in Linux textbooks and webpages, trying to learn all the pieces that need to fall together. I was so proud the first time I mounted a hard drive (Ok, you in the back—no chuckling). And I think I have everything together finally to put the server live next week. I’m using a FAT32 partition to store the files, so that I can easily drop the disk into a Windows box if anything goes wrong. And I have pretty low security needs, because security in Linux seems to be the hardest part. I still can’t get my head around Unix-style permissions after dealing with Windows ACLs for so long. And besides, our Windows file server doesn’t have any security on it, so there’s no need for this new box to have it. You may tell me how wrong that is, but I’m sticking to it.

I wrote up everything special that I did, beyond the normal Red Hat install, just so I would remember it all in another couple of months. And since I’m always looking for content to fill this site, I published it as a little tutorial on sharing FAT32 drives through Samba. Hopefully there aren’t too many glaring errors in it.

Setting up a Linux File Server on a Windows Network

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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