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Thread: Time to build a server with old hardware.

  1. #11
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    I don't care about dismounting so I haven't seen this issue. The only time I dismount file systems is when rebooting.
    I use autofs with USB devices, so the lack of u-mount is a problem. Also, it is nice to not worry about rebooting the NFS server system when that is necessary. Locking up 10 NFS client machines can ruin a day. The fix for that is to use "soft" mounts, but those have repercussions. I miss the "Spongy" mounts that amd (auto-mount-daemon) provided in the 1990s. Perhaps that option still exists and I've missed it? It isn't in the mount.nfs manpage.

  2. #12
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    Thanks guys. I obviously have a bit of reading to do before the next move.

    One question comes up straight away though. If NFS is server to server sharing, why do I need it. I'm sorry if this seems a naive question, but please remember I'm at the very bottom of the learning curve. We will never have more than one server, and we have no Apple machines, just Linux and Windows. Unfortunately Windows is essential for the business activities until Word and Excell can run on Ubuntu, so I presume I will need Samba.

    Unfortunately I am just moving into an intense period of business activity, so the time I have spare to follow this thread will be limited for a while. Perhaps a week. I will keep watching it, however, and I may be able to reply occasionally. If I do not then please do not assume I've given up or gone away. I am grateful for the help. What I will not be able to do for a while is try out any of the suggestions you make.

    Thanks.

  3. #13
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    Thread moved to Server Platforms.

  4. #14
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Binner View Post
    One question comes up straight away though. If NFS is server to server sharing, why do I need it. We will never have more than one server, and we have no Apple machines, just Linux and Windows. Unfortunately Windows is essential for the business activities until Word and Excell can run on Ubuntu, so I presume I will need Samba.
    You don't. I only use samba. I use rsync for linux to linux, typicially for bulk backups or whatever.
    Any follow-up information on your issue would be appreciated. Please have the courtesy to report back.

  5. #15
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Binner View Post
    …If NFS is server to server sharing, why do I need it. I'm sorry if this seems a naive question, but please remember I'm at the very bottom of the learning curve. We will never have more than one server…
    As if you needed any more input. But FWIW, here are my two bits:

    NFS is not just server to server. It also works better as a server to client connection, provided both ends are Linux. This is because NFS, being native to Linux, preserves file attributes and permissions properly.

    While it is clear that you need Samba, you may wish to consider NFS not only for its better Linux behaviour but because it adds flexibility. Relying on just one server is risky. I have a series of cheap servers—and I mean cheap—one of which is used for daily mirroring of my main server, another to mirror as well but only periodically through manual instigation (both are old repositioned HW with the only added cost being new HDDs). These mirrored servers are a breeze to set up and maintain because they run NFS, whereas I would hate to configure them in Samba. I find this to be a big plus. The only minus is having to learn something new.

  6. #16
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Binner View Post
    Thanks guys. I obviously have a bit of reading to do before the next move.

    One question comes up straight away though. If NFS is server to server sharing, why do I need it.
    server-to-server just means that individual credentials aren't needed. The different computers are connected regardless of the logged in user.

    Sorry I used confusing terms.

    There are pros and cons for NFS and Samba. Mainly, NFS behaves like native storage. Same permissions, same access, same capabilities. If you don't really understand those capabilities, then you'll never miss them.

    OTOH, if you do not know those things, what difference does it make?

    NFS is much easier to setup. There really aren't many options to control NFS. It just works. Updates to the code through patches doesn't break NFS, at least it never has in my experience. It just works and it is fast.

    Then there's samba/SMB. Check these forums for people having issues with samba. People sometimes choose to stay with something they've heard about from Windows instead of using the native Unix methods. Unix people are smart. They tend to make the easiest, solid, solution, that is possible. Stuff that doesn't do those things dies off quickly. NFS has been around 40 yrs - perhaps more - because it works.

  7. #17
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    What I am getting from this is that I should have NFS because it is solid and reliable and will provide a good platform for whatever else I do. On the other hand, this will not enable me to do without Samba, because whatever else happens I will need Samba for the Windows machines to connect..

    So, trying to integrate what everyone has said so far, how about this for an interim plan:

    Use my existing XUbuntu machine as a server. leave the 20.04 implementation but add the additional routines to make this possible. To this end I have already followed advice from Sijisensi and run the command "sudo apt install samba nfs-kernel-server". It appeared to work, but by itself it has so far not made any difference. I guess that is what I should expect.

    Set up NFS. I presume this will require a similar terminal command to activate.

    Publish files to the new server by editing /etc/exports. I will need some interpretation of the /TV command, but I think I can see what it is doing.

    Access these files on another Linux machine by editing /etc/fstab

    Set up Samba on the server and get the windows machines talking to it.

    Populate the server with 2 4tb hard drives and format them as a raid system. Integrate them into the network.

    Build a dedicated server and populate it with mirror disks to act as the permanent server. Migrate the configuration and hard drives to it.

    Re-build my XUbuntu box as a work station.

    I have laid it out like this for 2 reasons: firstly because I want to get into this as gently as possible, and secondly because I hope you guys out there who know will free to tell me what I am doing wrong. At least this seems to be generating some interest.

    Thank you yet again.

    Phil B

  8. #18
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    I think you have a good grasp. You didn't mention checking the 'id' command for each userid involved. If there's only 1 user and they are all Linux systems, then it should just work. But if you have 5 different userids and each was added to different workstations or in different order, then some more clean-up will likely be required.

    /TV is just a directory. It is the directory that I export on the NFS server and I mount the NFS onto /TV on the client machine. Change that to whatever directory you want to export on your NFS server.

    Do you really need RAID? Solid, daily, automatic, backups are much more important. After those are working, then deal with RAID (High Availability) if you like.

  9. #19
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    What about getting started. How do I install NFS in the first place. I guess it's something like "sudo apt-get install nfs-server"

  10. #20
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    Re: Time to build a server with old hardware.

    The package name is "nfs-kernel-server".

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