[Samba] Construction to access Windows Network and other networks.

Stef Bon stef at bononline.nl
Fri Nov 7 19:36:55 GMT 2008


Hello all,

I've been working on a construction to make access to networkresources easier, 
using autofs. 

The construction permits user access to networkresources like a Samba/Windows 
server with cifs, FTP servers using curlftpfs and SSH using sshfs (fuse), in 
one directory created with autofs. I'm sure more services like nfs and ipx are 
possible, but I did not test that. (in fact there should be a lookup utility, 
simular to nmblookup or nbtscan and a mount helper, and of course support in 
the kernel..)

The construction creates a directory in your home directory like:

/home/sbon/Global Network

under which the different networks go:

/home/sbon/Global Network/FTP                   
                                                 SSH access
                          Windows Network

When browsing the Windows Network tree, you're able to select the workgroup, 
host and share.

/home/sbon/Global Network/
                Windows Network/

These shares are mounted when accessed, using cifs. The use of credentials is 
supported, guest access is the default.
Cifs is supporting much more than the kioslaves or the Gnome VFS. For example 
oplocks, ACL's and inotify, which play an important role in the Windows 
networks, but I think you already know that...

(and: a desktop manager should should not be involved with network 

The tree is dynamically created using nbtscan (or nmblookup) and smbclient. 
Because here mounts are used, the "remote" filesystem is accessible just like 
it's local. That's something else compared to the "vitual" kioslaves and Gnome 

I'm trying to write an article about this topic, which should soon appear in 
the dutch Linux Magazine.

What I'm asking is, are you interested in this construction? I'm very 
enthousiast about it, and I'm sure it has potential.
That's the reason I'm writing this email to you, I've posted about this issue 
on several places (OpenSuse forums, Fedora maillist, autofs maillist) but no 
reaction so far. And I do not understand. Like I said, this construction is 
imho far better than the existing ones! Or not...?? 

So please let me know what you think of it, positive or negative.
At this moment I've stopped developing this futher (documentation/website!), 
due to lack of interest, but using this construction at home, with one server 
and one workstation. 

Look for some information at the website:


Information there is not ready yet, I'm working on that. You'll get a good 
impression how it looks like on the screenshots page, of course.

If you would like to have a installable example, please let me know.

Looking forward to your reply,

Stef Bon
the Netherlands

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