Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

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LinWinux
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Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by LinWinux »

Hi everyone. We have four computers running at all times in our home. One of them is set up exclusively as a media center in the livingroom which runs music, movies, and TV shows through an existing external USB 3.0 hard disk. This is strictly Linux Mint 17.2 XFCE and no Windows OS whatsoever. File system on the external disk is ext4. The TV is connected to the computer with an HDMI cable and the sound comes from coax that's connected to the TV and the surround sound system. The livingroom computer is also connected with an ethernet cable to our router. It all works beautifully.

Now my wife would like to be able to watch some of the shows from the hard disk that's in the livingroom, on the computer that's running another TV in the bedroom. That computer is also a Linux Mint 17.2 machine with an HDMI connection between the bedroom computer and the TV set. Main difference on the bedroom system is that it's connected via wifi.

Using applications like "Dukto" I can easily transfer files from computer to computer. That is however time consuming and you have to figure out in advance what you want to watch without being able to pick and choose from a selection. So here's my question:

Since all of the computers are ours and since we have administrative privileges on them, is it possible to share the external USB 3.0 drive that's connected in the livingroom setup, with the setup that we have running upstairs? Again, one is ethernet the other is wifi, everything is almost identical. The external drive in the livingroom would NOT be used by more than one system at a time. If such a share is possible, can someone please provide a step by step guide to accomplish this? I'm not a terminal guru but I'm not afraid of it either ...
Thanks a bunch for your help.

.
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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by Old Ruler »

NFS, Network File System may fit your requirements to a T. There are other ways, but with administrative rights on both (or all) PCs and none of them running MS Windows, I think NFS will be best.

The following page should cover it, although it's for ubuntu:

https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide ... ystem.html

The nfs-kernel-server package depends on nfs-common, so you shouldn't get the trouble mentioned at the bottom of the page.

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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by Laurent85 »

Why not using Samba ? It's currently the most versatile protocole, Samba the Linux way doesn't need Windows netbios nor workgroups. See altair4 guide http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 10#p960482

You can also use SSH quiet easily through the file manager, see http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 6#p1116982
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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by phd21 »

Hi "LinWinux",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

If you have a media server application, like the excellent and easy to setup and use, PS3 Media Server, or Kodi (XBMC), or some other Linux multi-media server, installed and running on the main system, and you have "UPnP" enabled on your router, which is a default unless you turned it off, then you should be able to access all the multimedia content from any room, and any wired or wireless connections. I use PS3 Media Server to stream (via wifi) the multimedia content from my one computer to my Samsung Smart Blu-Ray DVD player (~$130us) which is connected to my non-smart TV via HDMI, so that I can watch whatever I want (movies, videos, music, pics, etc...). If you have a smart TV, or any other smart devices, phones, tablets, Blu-Ray DVD, etc... they too can directly connect and watch from anywhere in your home with a wired or wireless connection without a need for additional computers. I had to add a firewall rule for port 5001 to allow incoming connections when using the PS3 Media Server. Works great. I did not have to setup Samba, or do any other networking. It you wan to use another Linux computer, as a connection, then you will need a UPnP client.


List of UPnP AV media servers and clients
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U ... nd_clients

Accessing upnp server from ubuntu
https://www.google.com/search?q=Accessi ... gws_rd=ssl

Hope this helps ...
PS3 Media Server screen 1 - showing it is working
PS3 Media Server screen 1 - showing it is working
PS3 Media Server - Simple Settings to add which multi-media folder I wanted to share.
PS3 Media Server - Simple Settings to add which multi-media folder I wanted to share.
My Smart Blu-Ray DVD player connected to my HDMI TV - showing my PS3 Media Server and my connected USB flash drives
My Smart Blu-Ray DVD player connected to my HDMI TV - showing my PS3 Media Server and my connected USB flash drives
Phd21: Mint 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Xfce) & KDE Neon 64-bit Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 2 in 1, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics. I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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SOLVED: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - H

Post by LinWinux »

Thanks everyone. Everything that I can find which uses SAMBA specifically has to do with sharing across machines which include either Windoze or OSX. I must have read a hundred posts and couldn't find a single one that applied to sharing systems where there was only one identical Linux OS involved. One of the posted replies involved an alternative to SAMBA which is in my opinion not a good fit either as I'm not keen on manually opening up additional ports due to security concerns ... which I admit are based more on assumptions than actual knowledge.

Found lots of stuff about using hardware I.P.s but that too is out since we have VPN installed on everything which alters the I.P. of location of our machines, thus in turn causing access problems even for ourselves. These days everything seems to have an I.P. address. If I saw a list of our I.P.s ... I probably wouldn't have any idea which number belonged to which hardware device.

I try to keep my system as clean as possible by not installing excessive software which may at some point cause conflicts (been there done that). I don't need an actual media server because I already have everything installed that will do the job. What I need is strictly access from one system in the house, to an external hard disk that's attached to the host system in another part of the house. I really thought this would be eazy peazy with a GUI, but apparently not. :(

I really like the NFS recommendation though, (thank you) except for one thing ... As is the case with many Linux based answers, there's no explanation about what you're doing to a system and how something actually works. About the provided NFS link for example, first of all it's in German (luckily that's not an issue for me). Secondly there was no problem installing NFS because it's a no-brainer. BUT ... then the configuration step calls for:

Code: Select all

/ubuntu  *(ro,sync,no_root_squash)
/home    *(rw,sync,no_root_squash)
Well, at that point I might as well be reading Mandarin or Russian. After using Windows professionally for over 18 years, I'm not comfortable at all, doing something in the terminal that I can't even begin to understand. I don't know what any of that means ... I don't know what I should be expecting to find/see on my screen or file manager if I use those commands ... and even if I did, I'm not sure that I could proceed beyond that point since, as already stated, I have no clue as to what I'm starting on the host machine. That's why I was hoping that someone would be able to provide a step by step guide with explanations.

When I browse the network in my Linux/Caja file manager (my preferred FM), the host machine is visible. So is my wife's machine, and my work computer. But for some to me inexplicable reason the machine that she wants to use from the room upstairs is *NOT* visible. Things like that just add to the confusion. All machines and screens are running right at this moment, so I can't understand why all but one of our systems shows up when I browse the network. The one that doesn't show up is the same one that's using the wifi connection. All of the machines are running with Linux Mint 17.2 or 17.3 ...
I'm sure to some people this is ridiculously simple. But to me this is turning out to be quite frustrating ... :shock:

.
Last edited by LinWinux on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by altair4 »

Thanks everyone. Everything that I can find which uses SAMBA specifically has to do with sharing across machines which include either Windoze or OSX. I must have read a hundred posts and couldn't find a single one that applied to sharing systems where there was only one identical Linux OS involved.
Samba is now a universal file sharing mechanism on all operating systems. And you did get a link to using samba on an all Linux network provided by Laurent85 : Network 2 Linux Mint 17.1 machines
Samba done the Linux way.
When I browse the network in my Linux/Caja file manager (my preferred FM), the host machine is visible. So is my wife's machine, and my work computer. But for some to me inexplicable reason the machine that she wants to use from the room upstairs is *NOT* visible.
You are either:

** In a different subnet from the machine upstars.
** Or it's this:
since we have VPN installed on everything
Or it's this:
as I'm not keen on manually opening up additional ports due to security concerns
If you are using Dukto at the moment and your only complaint is file discovery on the client why not:

Open a terminal
( note: if you have a moral / religious / political objection to using the terminal stop here and read no further )
And change to the directory that is the mount point for your external "drive"

Code: Select all

cd /path/to/mount/point
Then run this command:

Code: Select all

python -m SimpleHTTPServer
On the other machines in the network:

Open an internet browser and point to this machine using either host name, mDNS host name, or ip address of the upstairs machine ( let's call it "server" ):

http://server:8000
http://server.local:8000
http://192.168.0.100:8000

Your client machies will have read only access to everything in that directory.

Will it work with however you set up VPN, your firewall, and through multiple routers? I have no idea.
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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by Old Ruler »

Great answer above, but I'd already written, so:

You're welcome. There's more frustration to come I think. I was expecting it, but hoped you'd already fixed it as you didn't mention it initially. The machine with the Wireless connection is most likely on a different network address range and you'll need to bridge the two networks for sharing between them all, and that can be similarly frustrating.

The site I gave you a link to wasn't in German, so I don't know what's going on there and the line above the lines which confused you so much clearly says "You can configure the directories to be exported by adding them to the /etc/exports file. For example", so they are examples of lines to write in a file called 'exports' in the /etc folder. They are even a little bit self explanatory. You must have encountered 'ro' and 'rw' before? But there's always (usually) the very fine manual to consult and I hope the NFS package included one so you can type 'man nfs' for extremely accurate and fully detailed information.

I just don't get this (what seems like) fear of the command line. It is really odd that we're happy to click a button in a GUI (where we can have no idea what doing so will do, if we didn't write the program), but entering actual commands involving words which themselves provide clues to what we're doing - is to be avoided if possible. Must be something to do with believing the responsibility for any problems is off loaded to the button creator, in the first case, but user is responsible (and to blame if anything goes wrong) in the second?

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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by LinWinux »

I don't think it's so much "fear" of the command line ... as it is the valid concern of messing a command up by forgetting a space or a period or a dash or any number of things that could go potentially wrong when writing something manually on a keyboard, especially one that's located several feet away from the screen. I've had 3 keyboards so far where skipped digits at a distance of 4 - 6 feet away from the screen were a perfectly normal occurance. With a GUI there's an expectation that "The Click" (equal to a larger typed command) will magically perform all the things that someone typing on a keyboard might accidentally slip up on. Give me a break here, does this not happen to EVERYONE, especially people/techies who tend to type 100+ words per minute? Digit reversals, missed digits, etc?
GUI "point n click" makes people feel safe, especially on Linux machines since they have such phenomenal reputations ...

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SOLVED: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - H

Post by LinWinux »

Thank you altair4, but the browser is not an option for me. What I'm looking for is file manager point n click access from all systems that are being used. Progress is being made ...

I forgot who at the moment (altair4?) but someone mentioned going about it the opposite way. That got me to thinking that if I use the built-in share features of Mint17 / Caja, then I should realistically be able to get everything done directly from within the file manager without even using the console, right? So I went ahead and located the folders on the external drive which is connected to my host system ... which I want to share with the system that's upstairs. Then I enabled file sharing on all 3 of those folders, to include read/write privileges. I did not have to enter any users or passwords or IP numbers, but I did have to have an acceptable share name ... that's it.

Now here's the really weird thing. I have an Anchor USB 3.0 hub with two ports. Each port has an external 3.0 drive attached to it. Each of these (identical models) drives perform a specific, yet also related function. One of the share folders is on one of these drives. The other two share folders are on the second drive. Well, oddly enough I can now see the first share folder upstairs on the other system ... but not the other two folders.
The upstairs client system won't let me access that folder though, due to permission error ...
Even though the host share settings tell it to share read/write with others ...

At least it looks like the folder share within the file manager is getting me somewhere now. I'm wondering if I should have assigned those shares as root, as opposed to the logged in primary (only) user of the host machine ... :?:

@Old_Ruler ... Wow, that's pretty interesting. I guess that Ubuntu page automatically provided me with a German language page because of my location. May have something to do with Mint/Firefox browser settings too. Just wasn't expecting it. No biggie ...

EDIT: I give up for the day. Hours of wasted time reading things that I can't wrap my head around. I created the shares as root and as standard logged in user on the host machine (at different times of course) ... but I was never able to locate the names of the shared folders anywhere on the client system upstairs ... regardless if I used root access or standard access on the client. Those share folders were nowhere to be found. The one folder which I described earlier never gave me access either. It shouldn't have anyway, since that folder had the actual name of host's folder and even though the host machine specifically prompted me to give the share its own name. I cannot believe what a PITA it is to gain simple access across the board for something that's already "administratively" mine to begin with. I guess I'm just too stupid for this. :roll: Dukto here we go again, my friend ...

.
Last edited by LinWinux on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by altair4 »

The upstairs client system won't let me access that folder though, due to permission error ...
Even though the host share settings tell it to share read/write with others ...
I would be willing to bet that this is not a Samba issue at all but a plain old Linux permissions issue and I'll tell you why.
That got me to thinking that if I use the built-in share features of Mint17 / Caja, then I should realistically be able to get everything done directly from within the file manager without even using the console, right? So I went ahead and located the folders on the external drive which is connected to my host system ... which I want to share with the system that's upstairs. Then I enabled file sharing on all 3 of those folders, to include read/write privileges. I did not have to enter any users or passwords or IP numbers, but I did have to have an acceptable share name ... that's it.
*** The external "drive" is mounting to something like /media/your-user-name/label
*** The "your-user-name" folder is created by the system and it applies a permissions setting ( acl ) that limits access to only your-user-name.
*** When you created the share you allowed guest access.
*** The guest is not "your-user-name" so samba is allowing you access but Linux permissions is preventing it.

Simple solution: WARNING! WARNING! USE OF TERMINAL REQUIRED! :)

On the system that has the shared external "drive":

*** Edit a file with root privileges. I'm very confused about what version of Mint you are using at this point so I'm going to assume your text editor is gedit:

Code: Select all

gksu gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf
Towards the top of the file you will see a line that looks like this:
workgroup = workgroup
Right under that line add another line:

Code: Select all

force user = your-user-name
Change your-user-name to whatever your user name is on that box.
Save smb.conf, close gedit, then restart samba:

Code: Select all

sudo service smbd restart
EDIT: If you have problems with this we need to know how you are set up so that we can stop guessing. To do that we need to see the output of these two commands:

Code: Select all

testparm -s

Code: Select all

net usershare info --long
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SOLVED: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - H

Post by LinWinux »

.

Yeayyyy, I finally have it working with SSH
and it works with both, WiFi as well as direct Ethernet (LAN/Cable) connections. Hopefully this will be helpful for others. I'm including all of the details here that worked for me and it was all pretty easy to set up. Initially I tried to use this previously supplied link ... https://www.maketecheasier.com/setting- ... inux-mint/ ... which didn't work all the way, probably because some of the info. was outdated. It's still useful though and got me on the right track. I started out with the above link, as well as the following:

1. First ... I did as suggested above, by writing down all of the connection inf. on the sharing machines. Since the Livingroom setup is working as a Server in the home, I wrote down everything for that one just to make sure that I had anything & everything together that might be needed later ... while I'm in another room of the house. For the other machines I only wrote down the I.P. number and the location of the computer to avoid confusion.

2. Second ... I installed the openssh server with the command ... sudo apt-get install openssh-server
I did this on the server machine and the other (client) machines that were supposed to access data from the server.

3. Third ... Strictly working on the server machine in the Livingroom, I then tried to open up the firewall in order to configure proper access. The suggested command for that was gufw ... which did not work ... regardless if I used sudo or not. The best result that I would get in the terminal was an error message about missing arguments (args) So let's work on this issue ...

Alright, let's do a little troubleshooting. So I open up the software center and type firewall in the search box, since I was assuming at that time that perhaps the default firewall had never been installed? After all, the article was from June 2012 and since then several versions of Mint had been released. I also found a comment somewhere that XFCE (Xubuntu) doesn't permit some network related things by default. But XFCE is what I've been using for years. Awwww, bummer, the firewall was indeed installed already. I say bummer because it was nowhere to be found in my settings, system, accessories, etc. No GUI for it appeared to exist. As stated previously, the suggested gufw command didn't work either.

Hmmmm, what to do? Let's open up my favorite search engine and look for Linux / GUI / Firewall related results. That's how I found this link to http://www.gufw.org which is rated as one of the best, simplest to use Linux firewalls. Best of all, one click installation directly from within the browser tab. It just doesn't get any easier than that. I did not install the firewall on any other machine ... only on the server computer in the livingroom.
Cool, I now had a working firewall GUI in my Settings.
Click on that, wait a few seconds, and voila ... there it was! :D
(you'll be asked for your assigned user name password on that machine)


On we go with the next step. The firewall has 3 profiles already set up. Public, Home, and Work. I left all of the default settings as is, but deleted the public profile since our computers will never have any kind of public access. The default functions are ... Firewall = ON ... Incoming (Data provided to the Server) = OFF ... And Outgoing (Data being supplied to Clients) = ON.

I'm not entirely certain if this next step was needed, but according to the instructions from the earlier link the I.P. numbers of the client computers should be assigned to the server via the firewall settings. With the firewall GUI open on the screen I went ahead and clicked on ... Rules ... followed by clicking on the + (plus symbol) to add a new rule for the firewall. This opened up another small window with 3 tabs. Remember, we're looking for the ability to make adjustments with the I.P. numbers of the different machines. Neither the PRECONFIGURED or the SIMPLE tab would permit me to do anything with an I.P. number ... so I clicked on the ADVANCED (third) tab.
In the advanced section, I only filled in 3 items!

NAME .... Something for you to remember the reason for this particular firewall setting.
FROM ... The I.P. Number of the CLIENT computer, the system which will obtain the access.
TO ....... The I.P. Number from the Server computer, the one with the new firewall.

That's it. I saved the rule of course, by clicking on APPLY. One access rule per client computer ...

Then I went ahead and rebooted the server system in the livingroom just for the heck of it (old Windoze habits die hard), followed by checking the other computers for access. Although the link above calls for the use of the Nautilus File Manager, I went ahead and used my CAJA file manager without a problem. I'd be surprised if this didn't work by default with Thunar (default file manager for Xubuntu with XFCE) and Dolphin. From the File Menu in CAJA, I clicked on "Connect to Server" which opened a small window, prompting me for the I.P. number of the server computer. I also added a Bookmark Name (Livingroom) in order to have faster access to the server later on. Then I was asked for a password ... the password of the machine which you're attempting to access, the one with the firewall rule.
Once the password was entered, a folder titled "Livingroom" appeared in my Caja File Manager.

NOTE: Every time that I reboot the client machine, the same access password from the server machine will be required. It could not be saved, at least not for me. However, once the access is there you'll have it until the client machine is rebooted again. So if you only reboot every 2 - 3 weeks, you'll have access the entire time.

.
Last edited by LinWinux on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by altair4 »

So to recap you did:

Let's say the server is named: server and the client is named: client.

On server:
Install ssh:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ssh
The ssh package is a metapackage that will install both the ssh server component and the ssh client ( just in case the client part wasn't installed by default )

Open up the firewall if you have one enabled for some reason:

Code: Select all

sudo ufw allow OpenSSH
On client run in a terminal:

Code: Select all

caja sftp://server.local
Or by ip address if that's your preference:

Code: Select all

caja sftp://192.168.0.100
Change caja to your file manager name: nemo or thunar

When caja ( or nemo or thunar ) opens up to that location bookmark it so you don't have to use the terminal again.

The beauty of avahi ( mDNS - the .local part attached to the server's host name ) is that static ip addresses are not required. What is required is that both systems have avahi-daemon running:

Code: Select all

sudo service avahi-daemon start
And port 5353 be open in your firewall.

Avahi-daemon should be running in Mint and most other distos by default.
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SOLVED: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - H

Post by LinWinux »

From the point of view of a Windows i.e. GUI user, I did exactly what I wrote, step by step as described. Now you come along and re-write things in a more confusing way for anyone who's looking for a solution that's almost entirely based on GUI functions. I did not write my detailed steps for all of you, who love using your terminal. My initial post was about the lack of simplicity and I'm sure that most Windoze users would agree that my step by step is about as easy as it gets, with as much GUI as possible. Most importantly, written in plain understandable "non-techie" english. :roll:

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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by altair4 »

You know what? You're absolutely right.

I tried to condense your post into 3 easy to follow ( admittedly, from my point of view ) steps so that the average user could enable it and move on.

My apologies.
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SOLVED: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by LinWinux »

Something to consider as I just found this out ... Recently made some adjustments on our disks and device connections. I always thought - incorrectly apparently - that the device IP from the host machine was the assigned machine IP of the laptop or desktop computer itself. Well, after the shared folders from the host stopped working on the client machines, I finally figured out that the IP which was being recognized for sharing by the clients wasn't the IP of the host machine at all, but rather the specifically assigned IP of the actual ethernet or Wifi device which was attached to the host computer. Seems like darn near everything has an IP number these days ... :roll:

As soon as I removed the new device, followed by plugging in the original device, all of the shares started working properly again. This may be something to consider for anyone who's inexplicably lost their client shares, after changing an ethernet or wifi adapter on the host machine ...

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Re: Can I ethernet share drive without Samba/Windows - How?

Post by altair4 »

And had you set this up using mDNS ( hostname.local ) it wouldn't have mattered if the ip changed. That's why <fill in the name of your personal deity> invented mDNS.
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