Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How can I remotely access a Linux directory on my home network from a Windows machine at work?

Ultimately, I would like to map the Linux partition or directory as a Network Drive in Windows 7 so I can directly edit a single file or group of files in a project, using applications on my Windows machine. I have Samba set up and can access the files locally on a Mac OS X computer on my home network, but am not sure how to do it remotely.

Do I need to implement SSH or VPN? Does the partition have to be formatted as NTFS (or NTFS-3G)?

I have seen posts on FTP/FTPS, SSH/SFTP tunneling, SCP, WebDAV, Samba, etc., but am unsure how to accomplish what I need. I don't think FTP/FTPS or SCP are the way to go, as I don't want to have to transfer the file, edit the file, then transfer it back. I would like to mount the directory as if it were native to Windows, and be able to perform regular file operations on the contents.

Can someone give some advice on remote access?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Do I need to implement SSH or VPN?

You can't (in common case) SSSing to internal host from outside. Yes, you have to have VPN-link from WorkNet to HomeNet

Does the partition have to be formatted as NTFS (or NTFS-3G)?

No. It can be any FS, which your Linux understand

share|improve this answer
    
so i can use VPN then connect via Samba, correct? –  quietchaos1 Feb 22 '12 at 22:47
    
@quietchaos1 connect to Samba. With VPN your Workhost just became port of HomeNet –  Lazy Badger Feb 22 '12 at 22:50

Depending on the size of file contents, I think the easiest method would be to use DropBox or equivalent.

A VPN would work, but they can be complicated (even more so if your home network does not have a static IP address). Your Window's box should be able to communicate with your SAMBA server no matter what file system your SAMBA server is using.. the only issues you will run into is how Window's handles Mac/Linux file names and case sensitivity.

You could also use rsync (via Cygwin) or sshfs. These methods will require you to know your home router's public facing ip address and have the proper port forwarding setup on the router. Also, rysnc would require you to edit your files locally and then sync the changes, but this could be useful since it only sends the file differences when syncing, saving on bandwidth.

From simple to hard, I would say: DropBox, rsync/scp, sshfs, vpn.

share|improve this answer
    
I thought about using DropBox, but heard there could be syncing issues around that - say for example I don't sync the files before returning home, and my changes aren't applied. Also, I don't want the files existing on my remote computer, which is part of the sync process. VPN might work. I do have a static IP at my home network, but have registered with DynDNS for sake of my webserver, and each of the computers on the network have an internal static IP. I will do some research on SSHFS. Ultimately, I don't want to sync on the remote computer or have to transfer files back and forth... –  quietchaos1 Feb 22 '12 at 22:51

InChargeOfIT it is right. It will be complicated and setting up a DropBox is the easiest method. However, you will then need to know which files you want to view ahead of time.

You can set up a VPN with a dynamic IP by using OpenVPN and a service like no-ip.org / dyndns.com. This will allow you to connect from anywhere to your system at home. Then all you need to do to share the files is to set up your SAMBA server and make sure your files are shared. I use this method, and it perfectly acceptable for me, just make sure you have a strong key for your VPN (1024bit minimum, preferably 2048bit)

share|improve this answer
    
As in my reply to InChargeOfIT, I already have DynDNS set up, so VPN and Samba may be the way to go. –  quietchaos1 Feb 22 '12 at 22:57

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.