Mac, Linux, Windows, Storage

5 pts.
Microsoft Windows
Storage management
What or how is the best way to present a single pool of storage to Mac clients using AFP, Windows using SMB/CIFS, and Linux/Unix using NFS? The ideal solution would be users to access all of their data whether they bounced from a Mac to a Linux workstation and then to a Windows system. Basically a storage system that treats all systems as equals while using their preferred protocols.

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Have you considered doing this remotely?

There is software available that allows you to remote using different protocols (from Linux to RDP, or to Mac, etc.). The same applications should be able to handle the files, assuming they are in a unversal format (such as is the case with WORD or OPEN OFFICE).



If your base server is a Windows type box, there are two services which will need to be active: File Services for Macintosh and Print Server for Macintosh (provided you will need to print from the Mac). Make sure both are set to “automatic”. You’ll need to set access permissions on any share(s) the Mac clients will be accessing to allow the access, and you should be good to go. Not sure about the Linux clients, but I’m sure others will have the answer.

Be aware: setting Mac access on a Windows server will enable AppleTalk – very, very chatty protocol, so set the Mac clients on their own VLAN and restrict the AppleTalk traffic on the network, if at all possible, to its’ own VLAN.


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  • Xjlittle
    We've done this before where the file server is a Linux box. We installed the Netatalk server on this and pointed it to the same file shares as the NFS and CIFS (Samba) servers that were also running on the same box. By doing so the share became available to all three OSs. A word of caution-I've heard reports that a Samba share mixed with NFS has a tendency to lockup although we never experienced this. This was also several years ago and improvements have been made in all three servers. Still I would mount the NFS share with the soft option in fstab. There is also an application that I have not used that looks interesting. OpenAFS says that they can handle all three OSs with just the single application. That might be worth looking into. hth

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