I'm setting up my first home Ubuntu server (10.04) to share files across my other two computers (a Windows Desktop and a Mac labtop).

Ideally I'd like to have it set up so I can 'mount' (I've used with NIS+NFS with a pure Ubuntu network before) a drive to my Desktop and to my Laptop (whether I'm using it at home or at work.)

I'd aslo like to have some security (about the same level you'd have using SSH to connect to a remote SSH server - so logins and encrypted traffic).

Here is what I think I need to setup on my linux server:

  1. Share files via NFS or SAMBA

  2. Set up Kerberos or someother authentication method before allowing access to the files

  3. Get a dynamic IP address (Can't get a static IP address with comcast?), or use VPN to achomplish the same thing.

Am I missing something? How would you go about setting up a solution like I described? Which serves would use (ie: NFS vs SAMBA)?

Finally, I'm not sure it's relavent but the two things I'd like to AFTER the above is working is to set up an XMBC Media center for media files (the server will store both work files, and my media collection) and if possible sink email between my computer (or maybe just keep the email folders and rules on the server and let other clients connect to it.)

I know this is a lot, but I'm about to get started on this project and to avoid wasting hours upon hours I'd like to get some advice from all of you who have tried similar setups.

Thanks, your help is much appriciated!

PS: I found this related question, but I'm not interested in hosting websites and I've read the general guides on the Ubuntu websites. I'm looking for more specific advice / peoples experience with the type of plan I outlined above vs a general 'how-to'.


Samba can handle all of this, no NFS needed. Encrypted passwords are supported as well.

My advice would be to take a look at Red Hat's Samba Configuration Guide and see the options you have. They are using a GUI tool for configuring Samba specific to Red Hat systems, but you may be interested in one of the many other GUI configuration tools as well. SWAT (Samba Web Administration Tool) is one I've used in the past, you can get it like so:

sudo apt-get install swat
  • thanks! i'm going to look into setting up Samba on Ubuntu and let you know how it goes. – evan Sep 14 '10 at 19:07
  • I've been messing around with Samba and I've gotten it work with both my mac and windows machine at home but I can't get it to work from work. I think the problem has something to do with my router not properly forwarding port 139, but while googling I found that in general it seems like a bad idea to open up port 139 at all - is there anyways to mount a drive and insure the traffic between the two computers is encrypted? (I haven SSH working, and now how to use SCP, but I'd like actually have a drive mounted on the clients) Thanks! – evan Sep 15 '10 at 20:34
  • update: figured out the error with mounting the drive from work - has to do the smb.conf file allowing only local connections, and I can easily add my work ip address to address that. And at least then the port will only be open to certain IP addresses? Still though, is there a way to encrypt the data between the clients and the server and still have the data mounted as a network drive? thanks!! – evan Sep 15 '10 at 20:48
  • update 2: Going to try to set up Open VPN to connect to my home server and then try to mount the samba shares. Any thoughts? – evan Sep 15 '10 at 21:32
  • @evan that is a great secure solution. I set up VPN to my home network ages ago and haven't looked back since. – John T Sep 15 '10 at 22:17

You mention that you want to be able to access your server from work this question contains useful discussion about how to deal with dynamic IPs how to set up port forwarding.

  • thanks! I'm glad you posted that here - took me a lot of messing around to figure out how to do that last night and anyone else reading this post will definitely want to read that question as well! – evan Sep 15 '10 at 20:36

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