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Best way to mount remote home directories

Posted on 2004-04-22
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Hi!

Ok, I have a difficult problem:
We have a Gentoo Linux/Solaris 2.8 environment. Our user's home directories are on the Solaris box and are being used via NFS.
We are not happy with NFS anymore, so we are looking for alternatives. We were thinking about Samba. The authentication happens via NIS.
What is the best way to automatically map the remote home directories for each user when he/she logs in. (for example via SSH or directly at the workstation).
I guess the mapping of the home directory for each user must happen before the system-logon is complete because config files reside in the the home dirs (.zprofile, for example).
Please help me with specific answers. Stuff like "you could use AFS", doesn't help, I know that myself. I need a spefic answer to my specific problem.

Thank you so much!
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Question by:teewurstmann
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12 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:da99rmd
ID: 10887686
Just set the samba to use the NIS for auth and then just run a normal mount script to mount the dir.
net use H: \\conmpname\sharename

/Rob
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Expert Comment

by:da99rmd
ID: 10887694
Sry that was windows mount :)
/usr/bin/smbclient \\\\compname\\share <pass>

/rob
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:da99rmd
ID: 10887759
I think i must be drunk :/
/usr/sbin/smbmount //your-nt-box-name/home /home/$USER
man smbmount for more details.
Dont realy know the perfect place to put the command.

/Rob
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Author Comment

by:teewurstmann
ID: 10887785
Thank you for your replies, but that's not helping.
I don't have an NT box. I only have Linux and Solaris boxes.
And the users shouldn't have to mount anything themselves, it should happen automatically when they log in.
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Expert Comment

by:da99rmd
ID: 10888087
Yes but thats the command to use in Linux but im investigating where to put it because the reason you sad your self, that some of the settings files f.ex. .tcshrc and .bashrc is in the users home directory.

And it has to be mounted before the user cwd to that dir in the login script.

Why arent you pleased with nfs ?

/Rob
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Expert Comment

by:da99rmd
ID: 10889326
I getting old the best way to mount the home dirs is to mount the all users sirectorys f.ex.
if you have your users home dir on the server in /home/users
then just mount the /home/users at startup of the clients thn you dont have to remount the dirs at every login.

This is the way they mount home dirs at work(but they run nfs):
home:/export/homes/di99   /home/di99  nfs   hard,intr,grpid,quota,proto=udp,nosuid,dev=49c16c3 1082643518
My home dir is f.ex. /home/di99/di99rmd and all this is mounted at startup.

/Rob
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:jlevie
ID: 10889406
Using Samba to access home dirs on the Solaris server is going to slower and cause a higher load on the Solaris server than using NFS would be.

Why are you "not happy with NFS anymore"?
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Author Comment

by:teewurstmann
ID: 10896840
Thanks for all of your responses so far.
Well, to be honest, I don't really know why my boss doesn't want to use NFS anymore. I think he said that Samba is "more secure". Is that true?
And Rob: Thanks for all your replies, but once again: It's not just about the starting of the client _machine_, the home dirs should also be mapped correctly if I just SSH directly into the Solaris box.

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Accepted Solution

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jlevie earned 250 total points
ID: 10901855
There is a security advantage to an SMB share if, and only if, the client is a windows box (assuming the shares are password protected). When a windows box maps a share it supplies the authentication information from the logged on user. And since a windows box doesn't provide for (in the general case) simultaneous logins only the authenticated user will be able to see the mapped drive. At logout any mapped share are unmapped and the next user can't see anything from the previous user.

However,  Linux/Unix machines do allow simultaneous logins. So it is possible for someone logged in or su'd to root to see anything the machine can see. Even if the NFS server restricts access to exported volumes so that root can't see the data root can always "su some-user" and see the data. Consequently there's no security advantage to SMB shares when using Linux/Unix workstations.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:da99rmd
ID: 10916068
>And Rob: Thanks for all your replies, but once again: It's not just about the starting of the client _machine_, the home >dirs should also be mapped correctly if I just SSH directly into the Solaris box.

They will be, because they are always mounted on all machines from bootup untill shutdown.

/Rob
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