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How to use Linux as file server

Q. How do I use Linux as file server? I have 50 Windows XP workstations and 30 Linux/UNIX workstations? I am using Fedora Core Linux 6.

A. For Windows XP workstations use samba server and for Linux/UNIX workstation use NFS server.

How do I use samba as file server?

Samba is a free software re-implementation of SMB/CIFS networking. Windows XP/2000 use samba as file server. It runs on both Linux and UNIX oses.

First install samba on Linux using yum command:
# yum install samba samba-client samba-common
# chkconfig smb --level 345 on
# chkconfig smb on
# /etc/init.d/smb start

Please refer samba configuration how to collection for configuration options.

How do I use NFS as file server?

Network File System (NFS), a protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems in 1984. NFS server use to share files and directories from Linux system to rest of UNIX/Linux and Windows (using MS- UNIX services or third party tools) workstation.
First install NFS on Linux using yum command:
# yum install nfslock portmap nfs

NFS configuration steps

1. the server implements NFS daemon processes (running by default as nfsd) in order to make its data generically available to clients
2. the server configuration determines what to make available, exporting the names and parameters of directories (typically using the /etc/exports configuration file and the exportfs command)
3. the server security-administration ensures that it can recognize and approve validated clients
4. the server network configuration ensures that appropriate clients can negotiate with it through any firewall system
. the client machine requests access to exported data, typically by issuing a mount command
6. if all goes well, users on the client machine can then view and interact with mounted filesystems on the server within the parameters permitted

Please refer NFS configuration howto for more information.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • inam November 24, 2006, 12:42 am

    how can i install an rpm through ssh from server to client

  • nixCraft November 26, 2006, 7:46 pm


    Sorry but I don’t get your question. Can you explain it in more details.

  • Michael Reincke December 13, 2007, 7:23 am

    New to Linux. Have Fedora7 Graphical. Rest of home network are XP PCs. I want to use Linux as a data depository/server for my PCs. I have Samba. I see the Linux PC but when I try to get into a “shared folder” on the Linux machine, It tells me that the folder is not accessible or I might not have permission to access it. Network access denied. I have Linux set up as SHARE vs USER so anyone should be able to log on with no passwords. Still not working! Help?

  • raj May 30, 2008, 10:02 am

    Hi i m working as a system Admin in respued Computer Center. I have Finished MCA also and now i would like do IBM Mainframe server Maintenance is it possible or not.
    other wise how we can get the job also.

    Pls tell me as soon as possible.


  • Laxmi August 21, 2008, 3:39 am

    This is really a look link to learn thinks…

    The way it has been explained with examples is supurb…..

    Hope you will continue article like this….

    Mnay Regards

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