Accessing a Linux box from OS X on a home network

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by annk, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #1
    I have three Macs (2 PBs and a mini), all wirelessly connected to our router, and all running Tiger. I also have a Linux box (running Suse) that I now want to use as a remote resource for the 3 macs (so that they can use the Linux's two harddiscs and, in the case of two of the Macs, the Linux's DVD-burner). In case it matters, I can also mention that the Linux box is connected to the router (D-Link DI-514) by a wired connection.

    A linux-savvy friend spent some time last night typing in the commands necessary so that the macs can all see the Linux box. He then suggested I download NFS manager, so that I could mount and access the Linux box from a point-and-click interface (I'm an idiot as far as Terminal in concerned).

    I downloaded NFS Manager, but see that I need more basic instructions than the help files give in order to use the program effectively. For one thing, I don't seem to find an option to let NFS Manager discover the computers that are online. I'll need pretty basic instructions if I have to add them manually.

    Can anyone recommend websites that I can use as resources to learn how to do this? I'm not asking for you all to hold my hand through the process, just point me to good resources for networking beginners. Most of what I can find seems to be on how to network Mac with Windows, not Linux. I do realize OS X has what's needed to to this built in, I just don't know how to make use of it.
     
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #2
    NFS is kind of a painful way to do LAN file sharing. Ask your friend about setting up Samba or Netatalk on the Linux box, it will act more like you would expect (and there should be nothing special to install on the Mac side).
     
  3. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #3
    Excuse the stupid follow-up question - I realize that using a machine on a LAN to save and access files is file sharing, but is it still file sharing when I also want to use a DVD burner remotely? I ask because I wonder if I need to be learning two separate set-up processes, or at least two separate technical terms for describing the situation - one for accessing the remote harddrives, and one for accessing the remote DVD burner.

    And I will ask him to help me with your suggestions, thank you!
     
  4. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #4
    You can mount a CD or DVD and share it like a regular disk, but burning is another story, unfortunately. For that you would need to log into the other machine (it could be remotely using ssh or X11 if you like) and running a burning program from there.

    You can burn files that are located on another machine via LAN sharing onto the local DVD, though.
     
  5. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #5
    Ok, noted and added to the list of things to remember...thanks!
     
  6. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    #6
    I did this some time ago using Suse and my iBook, and found Samba was the easiest by far. It still wasn't completely painless, especially accessing the Mac from the Linux box, as the Samba log-in dialog was very choosy about syntax.
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/answers.php?action=viewarticle&artid=395 is a good overview of the whole networking process.
    To actually connect from the Linux box I did the following steps:
    1. Assume you're running KDE - go to Control Centre, Internet and Network. Local Network Browsing and put in your user name, password and workgroup. Also check you're sharing files in the File Sharing section.

    2. Male sure Samba server (as well as client) is installed. This should at least enable you to see the Linux machine from the Mac - do Apple + K to get the connection dialog box and type in the ip address of the Linux box. You should get a password dialog- type in your linux password.

    3. Might also be worth checking that you have some files shared - navigate to the home directory and right click on the users folders, then go to share.

    (the above applies to Suse 9.1, but is probably similar in later versions.)
     
  7. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #7
    Thanks. I don't need to access the Macs from the Linux box, only the other way around - I'll never be sitting in front of the Linux box working. (Hope I'm wording this understandably.) I just want the Linux to be a repository for saving files, and to be a remote burner so the two Macs with combo drives can use it to burn (though I understand from iMeowbot's post that that's not a simple matter).

    Thanks again, I'll ask my friend about Samba and Netatalk, and about logging into the Linux box from the Macs in order to be able to burn.

    I just wish I could find a noob explanation for using NFS or something similiar, so I could deal completely in a non-Terminal environment. But perhaps setting up Samba or Netatalk is the answer.
     
  8. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    #8
    Once you've set up Samba (both the client and the server apps) on the Linux box, and decided which directories to share, you should be able to do it in the normal Mac non-terminal environment. Just Apple-K, type in the ip address of the linux box, choose the share you want to mount, type in your Linux username and password, and the share will mount on your desktop. You can then browse it like any other directory.
     
  9. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #9
    Thanks! I´ll get help setting up Samba, and go from there.:)
     
  10. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

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    Apr 6, 2005
    #10
    Zero Terminal commands needed, read on...

    The easiest way IMHO (and the one I use) is using ftp.

    Install on the SuSe box ftpd which is the ftp server.

    And then from your Mac Machine open safari and type in the address bar
    "ftp://" followed by the ip address of the SuSe box.

    A safari dialog box will pop up asking you to enter the username and pass
    for the SuSe box. Once entered correctly the whole home directory on the
    Suse machine will be mounted in finder.

    I do this all the time only using Debian instead of SuSe, but it should be
    the same.

    Good Luck
     
  11. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #11
    I never thought of ftp as a possibility here, thanks!
     
  12. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #12
    NFS isn't a pain if you export the filesystems correctly. In addition, no additional software is needed on the Mac side.

    The additional benefit you gain from NFS over Samba, is the handling of characters. I've seen Samba truncate file names and lose translation of characters in really long filenames.
     

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