[Samba] Tunneling over SSH

Kevin Bailey kbailey at freewayprojects.com
Wed Feb 25 10:30:31 GMT 2009

Michael Heydon wrote:
> Kevin Bailey wrote:
>> Also, we had trouble setting up a VPN from his house - can't remember 
>> the details apart from the fact that it was BT's fault!
> Was this using OpenVPN or PPTP? OpenVPN is much more flexible than 
> PPTP and will happily work across all but the most stubborn 
> connections  (also it doesn't rely on GRE which is what has caused me 
> the most VPN headaches).

It was OpenVPN/IPSec.  I think it was to do with the router supplied by 
BT - I would have replaced it but couldn't for some reason.

> I haven't used Sage before, but if it is opening the data files 
> directly off a share (which would seem to be the case) then you may 
> run into issues using it remotely. I have had users insist on running 
> MYOB and Quicken over VPNs, if they are lucky it is almost unusable 
> and they give up, a couple have had issues with file corruption.

This is why I was hoping to use SMB tunnelled over SSH - that way it is 
using Samba for the file sharing.  But you're making a good point.  
Initially I shared out the files over FTP and set up Netdrive on the PC 
- and this resulted in corrupted data.

I've tried various ways to enable users to connect their Windows PC to a 
network share.

Basically, the office gets assigned an 8 IP address block - their PC's 
are then behind a router on one of the addresses - and the server is 
assigned another address.  That way the Laptops are set to access the 
server via it's internet static IP address.  The nice thing is that the 
users then access the server in exactly the same way if they are in the 
office or elsewhere connected to the internet.

Of course - when they're in the office they get very fast access to the 
server and the traffic never leaves the building.

We've had reasonable success with Netdrive accessing FTP shares from 
PC's for file reading and saving.

I've tried SSH - no joy, SFTPShare is buggy and crashes Windows 
explorer.  Also, tried using encrypted data/comms channels over FTP 
using Vsftpd - again problems with the Windows client.

> Have you considered RDP? This would allow quick and easy access from 
> most connections without any setup, it would be faster than pulling a 
> large access file over a VPN and would be immune to corruption as a 
> result of interrupted connections.

That is a very good idea and will provide a fallback.  What I'm thinking 
of doing is to run tests on a test server here (old laptop) and see how 
the connection of Samba over SSH fares - but you're right in general.  
There are two problems here - Sage using crappy Access database files 
and then crappy MS networking.

Will update the list later with progress.



> *Michael Heydon - IT Administrator *
> michaelh at jaswin.com.au <mailto:michaelh at jaswin.com.au>

*Kevin Bailey*
Director/Programmer - Freeway Projects Limited
Web: www.freewayprojects.com <http://www.freewayprojects.com/>
Email: kbailey at freewayprojects.com <mailto:kbailey at freewayprojects.com>
Phone: +44 (0)1752 267090

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