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I am trying to setup a "shared drive" for our lab on a university campus. I installed Debian on a spare PC we have here and the "clients" are all using Windows 7 Professional.

Ideally, they all want to be able to see a new drive on their computers, called "shared" for example, and they can read/write save/edit files etc on it just like if it was their C drive.

I thought about setting up an NFS on it but Windows 7 professional does NOT come with the "Services for Unix NFS" that would be required to mount an NFS drive. I would have to upgrade them all to Windows 7 Enterprise (out of the question).

So I'm wondering whether there is some other way to setup an NFS that I could connect to on Windows 7 Professional, or if I can just setup a Samba share. Will the Samba share essentially provide me with the same thing that is required?

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Do you want all users the see the same Shared Drive or do you want each one to have their own "home directory" on the server? Either way SAMBA is probably the best way to set up what you want. The second scenario will complicate your SAMBA configuration, but it definitely feasible.

I've set up a shared drive for my home server and it's remarkably easy. Install samba and winbind and set up your /etc/samba/smb.conf file to share the folder with whatever privileges you want.

Then in Windows map the SAMBA share to a letter from Windows Explorer.

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Ideally they would have their own home server AS WELL AS a shared drive for the entire lab. – Diego Feb 22 '12 at 23:42
How are the user logins authenticated? Are the Win7 machines part of a Windows Domain? If so I've had great luck joining the domain with the following tutorial: Essentially you want to join the Debian server to the domain, and then set up the global share as well as the auto home directory creation in smb.conf. This might also help: – asohangh Feb 24 '12 at 15:35

NFS would not work very well for windows clients. I would use samba. Make a public directory that all users have rw access to, and individual home directories that each user only has rw access to. You will need to set up your shares in the smb.conf file, and don't forget to set the smbpasswd for each user. Good luck.

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