Saturday, March 22, 2008

Network File System

The NFS client allows Windows clients to connect to NFS file systems hosted on Unix servers. The client can connect to the file system exported by a Unix server using several methods. The simplest methodis to use the Windows Explorer Accessory; click on My Network Places, and select the server you want to connect to from the right-side pane. Then use Tools, Map Network Drive to make a drive letter to the NFS file share. You also can use the command line to connect to NFS file systems. To make matters simpler for a network that's composed of both Unix and Windows users, several syntaxes are supported:

net use—The standard Windows net use command can be used to connect just as you can to a normal Windows file share. The specification of the resource to which you want to connect can be expressed as a standard Windows file share (net use * \\server\sharename), or you can use a format that's similar to using the Unix mount command (net use * server/ sharename). Note, however, that the second (Unix) syntax will result in the connection being set up more quickly.

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mount—Those of you more familiar with NFS might prefer to use the mount command. Again, you can use either the Windows or Unix format to specify the resource to which you want to connect; for example, mount server/ sharename * or mount \\server\sharename.

In the preceding syntax examples, the asterisk character causes the next available drive letter to be assigned to the resource. You also can specify a particular drive letter. In either case, after the connection has been made to the NFS resource, you can then use Windows applications to access files on the resource just as if they were Windows file shares.

SFU also provides for these:

Using these components, you can grant access to both sets of clientsUnix or Windows—to files stored on the other's systems. One limitation you should note for the gateway service is that you're still stuck with the drive letter limitation. Suppose that your network has a large number of Unix servers and each exports an NFS file system. For each connection, the gateway server will use one of its drive letters that could normally be mapped to a regular Windows file share.

Korn Shell

The Korn Shell commands that SFU gives to Windows NT/2000/2003 and Windows XP enable you to use existing script files that run on Unix systems. For users trained on Unix systems, the Korn Shell commands make it much easier to add Windows computers to their flock of computers that must be administered.


Although SFU 3.5 provides a great deal of functionality to Windows that appeals to Unix/Linux administrators, there are other products that can offer similar functionality. Some are comprehensive, such as SFU, whereas others offer partial solutions.

Some of these commands, such as mkdir and find, are already familiar to Windows NT users. However, their functions in the Korn Shell might differ from those provided by the standard Windows implementation. For Unix administrators, the addition of these commands can make moving into managing Windows NT and Windows Server computers a simpler transition. You can use the Unix commands listed in Table 55.1 and, at the same time, become familiar with the Windows Script Host (WSH). WSH enables you to create scripts using VBScript or JScript so that you aren't stuck using only the familiar MS-DOS commands that have been the mainstay for creating script files on Windows systems for more than 20 years. In addition, SFU provides an implementation of Perl that can be used with WSH.

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