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Setting up a file server
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:22 am    Post subject: Setting up a file server Reply with quote

Hey all,

Question:

I have a PowerMac G3 Blue&White I'd like to set up as a file server. What's the most efficient way to go about this?

I've read many, many tutorials and guides online, each have their own ideas and methods. I'm looking for some input/feedback here, from what I consider a "trusted source".

Let me know if there is any specific information you'll need. I'll happily provide it. . .

Thanks guys/gals, in advance!
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Chris..S
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is it serving the files to and what OS needs access to the files?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serving files to the machines on my LAN.

The OS's are quite a melting pot!

The G3 (hopeful server) is running Panther - OS 10.3.9

3 machines running OS 10.5.2

1 running OS 10.4.11

1 running OS 10.3.9
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Chris..S
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So no windows machines need access and security isn't an issue as there is no external (internet) access?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris..S wrote:
So no windows machines need access and security isn't an issue as there is no external (internet) access?


NO WINDOWS! Wink

...and I have internet access but, no I don't need to access anything from "afar", if you will. Just locally, between machines.

My aim is to consolidate much of the files I normally am transferring from machine to machine. If I can "host" them on the server and access the files that way, it would cut down on multiple copies of the same file and that way any changes made to the files will be accessible by all machines. I hope I've explained that correctly.

Also, some video files if possible. I don't know if file size is a limitation or not.
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Chris..S
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since everything is OSX, I think your best bet is to use Apple's file sharing. I haven't set that up so can't offer any advice.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris..S wrote:
Since everything is OSX, I think your best bet is to use Apple's file sharing.

I would agree. I haven't used Panther in a while, but here's what I would do:
• Turn on file sharing
• Make sure the server has a DHCP-assigned or static IP address
• Give the server a network name that you like in the Sharing system preference (or 10.3 equivalent)
• Optional: Create user accounts on the server if you want different users to have access to different sets of files
• Optional: Set up one or more USB printers to share over the network.
• Optional: Download SharePoints for finer control of network shares.
• To connect from other machines, just use the connect to server (or 10.5's auto discovery in the sidebar), and connect to afp://ServerName.local (replacing ServerName with whatever you named the server), using whatever user/password you setup (or Guest if you want to connect to Public folders).

It could be worth your time/money to go pick up a copy of 10.5 Family Pack and put 10.5 on everything, just to ease any weird issues with filesharing, and add extra goodies like screen sharing, etc.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
Chris..S wrote:
Since everything is OSX, I think your best bet is to use Apple's file sharing.

I would agree. I haven't used Panther in a while, but here's what I would do:
• Turn on file sharing
• Make sure the server has a DHCP-assigned or static IP address
• Give the server a network name that you like in the Sharing system preference (or 10.3 equivalent)
• Optional: Create user accounts on the server if you want different users to have access to different sets of files
• Optional: Set up one or more USB printers to share over the network.
• Optional: Download SharePoints for finer control of network shares.
• To connect from other machines, just use the connect to server (or 10.5's auto discovery in the sidebar), and connect to afp://ServerName.local (replacing ServerName with whatever you named the server), using whatever user/password you setup (or Guest if you want to connect to Public folders).

It could be worth your time/money to go pick up a copy of 10.5 Family Pack and put 10.5 on everything, just to ease any weird issues with filesharing, and add extra goodies like screen sharing, etc.


Is this in effect the same as just mounting the HD /HD's in the server on my desktop? If so, I am able to do that but, it's not very intuitive for the other members of the family. I am looking for an easy way for the family to have access to common files.

an example: I create a .pdf of a family contact list, I'd like to be able to either

a) create it on the server and have anyone on the network be able to access it easily from within finder, without having to connect, mount, search, etc. Perhaps show up in a "Server Documents" folder in Finder automatically.

b) create it on my machine and move it to the server (the rest is the same as above)

To further complicate things, I need to run the server "headless". I've tried ChickenoftheVNC but, it doesn't seem to want to play nice with Panther, although it states it fine for 10.2 and above.

Should I consider actually purchasing a server edition of OS X? Would a distro of Linux be better?
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hackersmovie wrote:
I am looking for an easy way for the family to have access to common files.

If you save the login/password in the Keychain on each client machine, then you could just create an alias to whatever folder on the server. When a user wants to drag and drop or save files, they can choose the alias, and the Finder should auto-connect and login to the server, and let the file get saved. If they want to access a file on the server, all they have to do is double click on the alias and it should connect and log them in automatically. The trick is to have all the stuff saved in the Keychain.

hackersmovie wrote:
Should I consider actually purchasing a server edition of OS X?

OS X server has a lot of features, but chances are it's way overkill for what you need, and frankly, its a lot more difficult to set up.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can set up an apple script to automount the network drive on login. I do that to mount a samba share.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here's what I've done. Tell me if this will work or if there's a better way.

I mounted the Server's HD on each machine and then drug the Documents folder to the left side of my finder on each machine. Looks like this:




Then I added all the files needed from each machine to the server's Document folder and voila! All the documents showed up on all the other machines. I have set the server to never sleep, never have the screen saver on, etc. etc. so it should be on 24/7. I haven't had a chance to see if when I shut down a machine it will automatically mount the drive and the folder from the server but, my machines are almost never off anyway.

Any thoughts on what I've done?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing I'd be concerned about would be confusing the local Documents folder with the remote Documents folder, as they're both named the same.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be worth specifying that that Documents folders is different to the machines Documents folder or it could get confusing. I'd call it NetworkDocs or something.

On my Network I have the file server set up with a shared area and also a private area for each user.

This allows everyone to keep their private stuff away from prying eyes and also it's a little more secure in that other users can't maliciously, or by accident, mess up another users files.

Keeping a common area allows common stuff to still be available to all.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
The only thing I'd be concerned about would be confusing the local Documents folder with the remote Documents folder, as they're both named the same.


Updated:


Cypher wrote:
]It might be worth specifying that that Documents folders is different to the machines Documents folder or it could get confusing. I'd call it NetworkDocs or something.

On my Network I have the file server set up with a shared area and also a private area for each user.

This allows everyone to keep their private stuff away from prying eyes and also it's a little more secure in that other users can't maliciously, or by accident, mess up another users files.

Keeping a common area allows common stuff to still be available to all.


Excellent points fellas! It just so happens that I have 2 HD's in the G3 and a few others laying around so, I think I'm going to use the small one for the boot drive, partition a 30 Gb so each user has their own "space", and a 250Gb for the "common area". Oh, and I restarted one of the machines, it apparently mounted the server drive and documents folder because it was still in the Finder and available after a reboot.

Thanks for the hints and tips! Keep em' coming!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

o.k. here's another update. I upgraded the G3 Blue & White to OS 10.4 so I could RAID three smaller HD's to one bigger drive. (there is no support for this in Panther's Disk Utility) Once I finished the RAID I installed Tiger and set it up the same way I had it with Panther. No screensaver, never sleep, never put disks to sleep, etc., etc. I then created 4 new folders on the Server, Server Docs, Server Movies, Server Music & Server Pics. These will be the "common" folders for everyone to use so they are mounted in the left pane of each machines Finder window. Now, I have a bigger drive, 250Gb, which the G3 won't be able to see. (128Gb limit here) So, I'm going to try to install it and make 5 partitions, one for each user, 50Gb each. These will be the "secure" or "private" volumes for each user.

Does this sound like the best way to make use of everything I have?

The only issue is I'll need an IDE/ATA PCI card to add the 250Gb drive. I actually added the other two by using the extra ATA connector on the ATA bus and the other on the IDE bus. (pulled the zip drive out, won't need that! Laughing ) So I have 2 drives on the ATA bus (7Gb & 30Gb) and the DVD drive and a 60Gb on the IDE bus. Cool that it worked!

I was surprised that I was able to RAID all three even though they are on different buses. Who knew! LOL Laughing
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