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Setting up a mini Ubuntu network





welshsteve
Hi everyone. I want to start experimenting in Ubuntu networking. Does anybody know of a guide (with screenshots etc), I can use setup one PC as the file server, and another as a client PC? I'm pretty new to linux so trying to learn more. Also, how easy would it be to setup a printer, maybe using a print server?
Fire Boar
Okay, for a file server you will want NFS or, if you have Windows machines on the network, Samba. For printing you will need CUPS (which comes with every distro and their dogs).

I've never actually set up a print server for remote printing. As for a file server, I've done it before. You'll need to configure the server part of NFS on the file server to expose a certain folder. You can then modify /etc/fstab on the client to mount said folder as a remote filesystem automatically, or if you prefer and the client is a desktop machine, there will be a more user-friendly way of doing this e.g. just using the standard file manager.

Hopefully that's enough to get you started, you should be able to find exact step-by-step guides via Google.
welshsteve
Hey thanks for that. So does NFS act like active directory? If not, is there a similar product on Linux that does this? I've heard of Ubuntu server, but is this mainly for setting up Apache, PHP etc?
Fire Boar
I've not used ActiveDirectory much but from what I gather it's a bit different: for AD-like functionality I believe most people use NIS. I've never used it myself so I can't be of much use there.

NFS is just a type of virtual file system. It allows you to expose directories and their contents on your server's filesystem to clients. Configuration is quite powerful: you can explicitly define which clients should have access, or open up to a certain range of IP addresses, etc. The Windows analogy would be a shared folder. Access permissions are preserved, so provided each user has the same user ID on server and client (defined in /etc/passwd), you can use a mounted NFS folder just like any other. That's also an advantage of NFS over Samba: the Unix permissions system doesn't work on Samba, obviously because Samba uses a Windows protocol.
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