[Samba] Always use the native protocol of the client -- WAS: How Samba let us down

Buchan Milne bgmilne at cae.co.za
Thu Oct 24 12:33:01 GMT 2002

Hash: SHA1

| Message: 1
| To: Jay Ts <jay at jayts.cx>
| Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 15:36:09 -0400 (EDT)
| From: "Bryan J. Smith" <b.j.smith at ieee.org>
| Cc: John H Terpstra <jht at samba.org>, jra at dp.samba.org,
| 	chris at devidal.tv, Mathew McKernan <mathewmckernan at optushome.com.au>,
| 	samba at lists.samba.org, samba-technical at lists.samba.org
| Subject: [Samba] Always use the native protocol of the client -- WAS:
How Samba let us down
| Quoting Jay Ts <jay at jayts.cx>:
|> My experience here is that smbfs isn't perfect, but works pretty
|> well, and I *really* like it!  Without smbfs, I end up having to
|> run to the Windows system to transfer files. (Sorry, but smbclient
|> just doesn't "do it" for me. It works, but is really inconvenient.)

Performance of smbclient-based frontends also doesn't match that of
smbfs. It's like comparing FTP to NFS.

| Production networks should use NFS for UNIX clients.  NFS peacefully
| with Samba just fine.  I have been using it on both Solaris and Linux
for over 6
| years.  Of course, I have always supported production engineering
| -- and need network filesystem access to be a little more "mission
| than something for just "basic file transfers."
| Which brings me to my "rule of thumb" ...
| _Always_ use the native protocol of the client.

If your server is capable of doing that sufficiently well.

| For a UNIX client, use NFS.  Otherwise expect case and codepage issues
| alone it makes it much nicer for home directory mounts and the
automounter ;-).
| For a Windows client, use SMB.  Otherwise expect Windows fits.  ;-P
| For a [pre-X] Mac client, use Ethertalk.  Otherwise expect special
file fits.
| And so forth ...
| If your server platform doesn't have a service that supports a
protocol (or does
| a poor job *COUGH*NFS on NT*COUGH*), don't use that platform as a
server.  ;-P

ie, Unix desktops don't belong in windows-based networks????

| P.S.  Please no "NFS is insecure" comments being that CIFS "password
| exchange is just as bad.  ;-P

But you have to at least sniff packets to get a password equivalent.
Give a user root on their own box with NFS mounts, and they can do what
they like ... without having to sniff passwords.

| P.P.S.  With that said, Kerberos+OpenAFS is always a nice "universal"
| filesystem as well.

With how much cost in setup?

I think some people still haven't realised the following.

- -Unix needs to grow on the desktop, or it will die a slow death (just
like Netware is doing, and mainly for the same reasons).

- -To grow on the desktop, unix desktops need to be able to be integrated
into all existing networks with minimal additional expenditure.

- -To be integrated into the majority of current networks, that means
being able to network with windows (almost) as easily as windows clients.

Winbind + smbfs are currently (almost) feasible for this. Using
smbclient-type access (for example, smb:// urls in KDE) just doesn't do it.

Secondly, try setting up Kerberos and replicated directory services on
the unix of your choice or windows 2000, and tell me which one is easier.


- --
|----------------Registered Linux User #182071-----------------|
Buchan Milne                Mechanical Engineer, Network Manager
Cellphone * Work            +27 82 472 2231 * +27 21 8828820x121
Stellenbosch Automotive Engineering         http://www.cae.co.za
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