"Cloud" software ?

Arthur Chance freebsd at qeng-ho.org
Fri May 25 16:40:11 UTC 2012

On 05/25/12 16:12, Frank Bonnet wrote:
[big snip]
> Well ... in short I need to let our users ( students + profs ) access
> and share their data ( living in their UNIX home directories )
> The access must be easy and possible from as much devices as possible.
> Am I clear enough ? ( sorry English is not my native language ...)

That's fine. OK, so you're after basic file system visibility 
everywhere. You should look at Mehmet Erol Sanliturk's reply as well, he 
gives useful links.

As he said in his post, NFS is the first place to start. It's available 
on FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS, other Unix derived systems, and Windows 7. 
The one thing to be careful of is that it works best when you have all 
home directories on central servers and all access is on client 
machines. It is possible to cross mount NFS that machines act as both 
servers and clients but it has many problems and one server crashing can 
cause everything to lock up. (Been there, done that, cursed repeatedly.)

For earlier (< 7) Windows boxes, one possibility is running Samba on the 
Unix servers. This would seem most natural to a Windows user as they 
merely have to browse the network to find the shared file systems.

However, another possibility is running a WebDAV server that makes the 
home directories visible. Windows (>= XP) can connect drive letters to 
WebDAV servers, and there are also Android and iPhone apps that can 
access WebDAV. This would let smartphone and tablet users get to the 
shared data, if that's useful. Please note that I use Android but not 
iOS, so any IOS suggestions are from a quick Google search, not 
experience. It also seems that you have to pay for the relevant iOS 
apps. Maybe an iPhone/iPad user can improve on this?

I hope this is of some help.

Possibly useful links:

The handbook chapter on network servers. This covers NFS, Samba and 
Apache which can be used for WebDAV.


Wikipedia on WebDAV. This links onwards to all sorts of related resources.


An Android app that can access WebDAV (and much more besides). This is 
one I use, but please note that I haven't used it specifically for 
WebDAV. You may be able to find others but this is well rated. It's got 
free and paid for versions.


A (paid for) iPhone WebDAV app. Apparently iWork for iOS can also handle 
WebDAV, but I know nothing about it or its suitability.


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