Mounting a workgroup or machine

Peter Samuelson peter at
Wed Apr 19 05:48:51 GMT 2000

[catlee at]
> Is it possible to allocate a portion of your file system to act like
> Network Neighbourhood on Windows?  For example, I'd like to mount my
> work group on /mnt/samba so that I can access files by going to
> /mnt/samba/<host>/<share>/foo/bar.txt

What you want *might* be possible, if you can find the winning
combination of autofs and smbfs.  I don't have much experience with
autofs, however, so that's all I can tell you.

The Network Neighborhood is a very un-Unixy entity, though.  It works
on Windows boxes because Microsoft is able to make some simplifying
assumptions that aren't too appropriate on Unix.  Two that I can think
of: (a) There is only one possible shell, EXPLORER.EXE, and incest with
kernel filesystem internals is not considerd a problem; (b) There is
only one user logged on, so there's never any difficulty determining
which set of credentials to use.

Come to think of it, I don't know how much of the Network Neighborhood
is being provided by the Windows kernel and how much by the Explorer.
Perhaps it is *all* in userspace.  This is the approach taken by GNOME
Midnight Commander, I believe -- they simulate the entire NN experience
using smbclient.  (Which works as long as there *is* only the one
shell, mc, with which all applications are tightly integrated.)


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