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Sharing Your Home

By JC Pollman and Bill Mote

You move from computer to computer and from OS to OS but you need to always be in your home directory. This article will show you how - in both Linux and Microsoft Windows.

Disclaimer: This article provides information we have gleamed from reading the books, the HOWTOs, man pages, usenet news groups, and countless hours banging on the keyboard. It is not meant to be an all inclusive exhaustive study on the topic, but rather, a stepping stone from the novice to the intermediate user.  All the examples are taken directly from our home networks so we know they work.

How to use this guide:

Prerequisites: In order to have your home directory wherever you go, you have to have it on your server, so make certain you have an account on your server. You will also need the samba, nfs client, and nfs server installed.

Protocols: We have seen the question: how do I share a linux drive to window so many times in the newsgroups that it should never have to be asked again. But it still continues to be asked. Windows use the smb protocol to share drives - not tcp/ip. So to share a linux resource you have to run the smb protocol on linux. Samba is the program that does this. Linux, on the other hand, uses the tcpip protocol, and the nfs program is used to share the resources. The protocols are completely different, but they can be run at the same time and share the same resources. There is a serious problem with locking the files if both protocols are sharing the same resource at the same time, but for home use this really should not be a problem. Security is also a concern and we would strongly recommend that your "/home server" be behind a firewall and tcp wrappers be running.

Sharing home to a windows box

Sharing home to another linux box

Some final thoughts

Copyright © 2000, JC Pollman and Bill Mote
Published in Issue 50 of Linux Gazette, February 2000

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