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File server alternative to Ubuntu

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by crcook84, May 9, 2017.

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  1. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Just a quick backtrack: If anyone has been following my posts, I rebuilt a file server out of an obsolete Isilon. I had a spare motherboard, so I stuck that in the chassis. The problem is that Windows Server doesn't like any of the drivers. However, Ubuntu auto-installs everything.

    The problem lies in the fact that, at some point, they disabled functionality of Samba in Ubuntu. I have read as much literature as I could about getting file sharing to work and installed as many different file sharing packages as I could find. However, no matter what I find, I got one screen that constantly says "the required package is not installed on your system." https://askubuntu.com/questions/38130/personal-file-sharing-error-cant-find-webdav-package

    The people in charge of Ubuntu claim they disabled Samba because it was causing problems with something else. So, instead of continuing to fight this problem, I'm just going to go with a different Debian OS. Amahi for Fedora looks promising. But, I'm open to suggestions.
     
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  3. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Just a quick note. I toyed with the idea of using Windows desktop for file sharing because Shares under Computer Management appeared to work quite similar to Server. However, I didn't know that desktop will broadcast that it has shared folders and potentially bog the network down, as opposed to Server which will wait for you to ask for permission to use a shared folder.
     
  4. lochlomonder

    lochlomonder

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    Debian can be a pain in the tonsils. Have you considered openSUSE? It's a really good distro, plus this walkthrough will lead you through the process of setting up samba fairly painlessly.
     
  5. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Believe me, I get it. I experimented with several Debian OSs over the years for the past 10 to 15 years. They're very nice as basic OSs to install on a single computer. But, trying to do more advanced stuff gets difficult when you try to do it mainstream alongside Windows. I think I got Samba to work once on Ubuntu. But, editing the command file to keep the drives mounted and shared every time I rebooted the computer seemed too daunting to me. And now, even though I'm ready to try it again, they disable that feature.
    I think I tried openSUSE once before. It was like 10 years ago when I downloaded a bunch of different Debians to try out. I think I stuck with Ubuntu then because it felt easier to experiment with. After my laptop died and I had to buy a new one, I just stuck with Windows because it was pre-installed. But, if Samba is still working with openSUSE, I'll try it.
     
  6. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Well, thanks for the input. Before I begin, anyone who reads this post and has their own opinion of Debian/Linux, I am not knocking Linux as a whole or as an individual OSs. This is just me voicing my own opinion. If it works for you and it does exactly what you wanted it to do, more power to you.

    After about a week of trying multiple different types of Debian/Linux installs and configuring their individual versions of Samba, I have found no consistency by which to make setting up Samba easy or efficient, nor was I able to complete a setup by which I had a working file server. I'm sure that there are people who have spent years studying it and getting it to work the way they wanted it to work. However, my own experience, plus hearing from my dad about how the company he works at spent 14 years trying to keep some Isilon servers working (of which the original software is FreeBSD based), I think I'll walk away from Samba and try NAS instead.

    As for openSUSE, every time I tried mounting a hard drive, I got an error. It was something about how the partition wasn't the right format.
     
  7. managed

    managed Allan Trusted Advisor

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    I would just use Windows, your idea that broadcasts slow the network down a lot is not true.
     
  8. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    It was info I got from someone who helps maintain their companies network infrastructure. I imagine that his experience comes from the fact that they have problems with their network on a daily basis. But, thinking about it, we have roughly 5 computers running Windows 7 or 10 at any one moment at our house and I don't think I've ever had problems either streaming YouTube or streaming local video files from one computer to another (in 1080p).
     
  9. TonyB25

    TonyB25 Banned

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    A dedicated NAS is the simplest solution. Always on. Less admin work. The major players have devices that can run apps.
     
  10. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    I finally found out from my dad the main issue they had with their servers. They use Samba and, on a daily basis, they have connection issues with that server. They have to delete a connection and reconnect just to reestablish a connection.
     
  11. managed

    managed Allan Trusted Advisor

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    I see, apart from anything else Samba is needed for Linux to work on a Windows network.

    I have streamed video between 2 laptops running Windows 7 and that works fine, even with both using wireless.
     
  12. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Actually, I decided to compare Computer Management between multiple versions of Windows. They all seem to treat file sharing and group and user policies quite similar to how Windows Server handles it. As such, along with experimenting with NAS, I'll see how 7 does long-term. At this point, the only problem I'm running into is buffering during video playback in KODI. But, I'm tinkering with an XML file to see if I can solve that.
     
  13. managed

    managed Allan Trusted Advisor

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    Actually doing it is always the best test !
     
  14. saikee

    saikee

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    I believe in a network situation the Samba needs only a reconnection if the system has been off or disconnected before. This is just a security arrangement.

    It is possible that Linux and BSD are chosen for file servers because of their robust security features.

    Personally I never store anything valuable data in a Windows machine. Normally I work with only Linux Ubuntu or Mint after trying all the big families of Suse, Red Hat, Debian, Slackware and Mandrake. My main server is a FreeNAS which is based on FreeBSD with 24TB storage running the ZFS filing system. I do not find any issue accessing my main server from any Windows or Linux machines. The FreeNAS has a Plex plugin which allows its media contents to be accessed any time (by a UPS) and anywhere in the world (by any Internet device of Smart phones, PC, Tablets and TV).

    The best of FreeNAS is everything is free and I doubt if there is any server-based filing system more powerful and flexible than the ZFS system. I pay only for my Plex account so that all my friends can go free.

    Please note FreeNAS on its own is a full blown NAS just for a private home network say within a house. Its Plex plugin is to enable its media contents to go global. Since Plex is available in every smart TV so with an Android TV-box anyone can potentially enjoy my FreeNAS server in one's own lounge as long as my Internet broadband can sustain it. My FreeNAS server has been accessed by users from UK, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Australia....
     
  15. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    After trying NAS against Windows, this is what I’ve found:

    FreeNAS will not use NTFS anymore. You have to use the ZFS partition.

    NAS4Free will use NTFS. However, I get the feeling I would need DNS or Active Directory just to be able to use User/Group sharing/security.

    Windows has it’s problems. But, I’ve found it to be the most straight forward and easy to use. On top of the fact that everyone in our household will be using this server and they’re all accustomed to Windows’ ease of use. Plus, as a basic file server, I found Windows 7 to be quite similar to Server 2008 (R2 if you want to split hairs) and just as efficient.

    This is not meant to look like a definitive answer to what I’m doing. Merely a simplified solution. If everyone else on this forum prefers Linux/Unix/Debian/NAS, more power to you. I am all for the use of open-source software and believe in the idea of free alternatives.

    I’m suddenly reminded of a conversation I has with some hard-core nerds once. I told them that I prefer Intel over AMD because their processors have built-in safety features that prevent over-heating. However, their enthusiasm made them look like they would all but sacrifice a virgin to AMD.
     
  16. saikee

    saikee

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    Personally I do not see the relevancy of NTFS filing system having an effect on a file server. A client reads data from a file server and write the same on its own device so the filing system type of the source has no bearing at all as long as the data can be read. For a Windows client this is down to the Samba link. My FreeNAS once switched on is left untouched for months. I do all the changes to the file server via networks with a Windows or/and Linux machine which use either NTFS or Ext4 filing system.

    FreeNAS only uses ZFS filing system for its own internal operation because it has many features designed especially for file servers. One of the great features is its ability to provide different levels of protection of the data using different number of spare disks.

    Just like any Linux FreeNAS has no problem of reading any source data in NTFS. In face most of my backups are in NTFS with which I just feed to FreeNAS as the source data when I build the system up.

    A plus point for the opensource FreeNAS is it has a tremedous user Forum with experts running, mainaining and developing this system. It is the help and free knowledge one can get from the forum that make FreeNAS stands out as the most popular choice.
     
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