JP Vossen on 4 Sep 2009 12:05:53 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] data in $HOME

JP Vossen wrote:
> I don't share my $HOME dirs via NFS or anything for a couple of reasons. 
>  First, since I use a variety of Linux distros, I know the dot-files 
> will collide with each other.  Second, some laptops aren't always 
> connected, and NFS gets really unhappy about stuff like that.  Third I 
> *think* I have my U/GIDs consistent, but I'd have to check, and NFS 
> wants that.  And forth I'm probably missing some other reasons.
> My solution thus far has been to put "data" into a $HOME/MyDocs dir on 
> my main file server, and connect to that via Samba or SSHFS as needed. 
> That works great.  For me.
> Now I'm finally getting my wife to try moving over to TB and FF on 
> Ubuntu, perhaps with some Picasa (yuck) and OpenOffice thrown in.  How 
> can I most seamlessly connect her to her data from Ubuntu Hardy on her 
> laptop?  (Yes, Hardy, I like LTS versions.  But UbuntuOne sounds cool.)
> I know I could set up SSH keys and script SSHFS, but I'm not sure how 
> seamless that would be and I don't want to reinvent or have to maintain 
> any wheels that Ubuntu/Gnome have already solved.  (Remember, Ubuntu 
> Hardy...)

Thanks for the ideas thus far.  I was obviously not as clear as I'd thought.

I don't care about the Windows side at all.  That is working, and that's 
what she is moving away from anyway.  (FYI, it's a W2K VM on top of 
VMware Server 1.x on top of Ubuntu Hardy.)

This is Ubuntu Hardy on a whole-disk LVM encrypted laptop, talking 
(usually) to a file server on the LAN.

I am aware of the truly half-assed Gnome 
GUI-folder-but-not-quite-a-mount-point thing.  That's just ugly.  I've 
used it for temporary quick&dirty stuff, but I don't consider it useful 
for a "permanent" mount.  (There actually *is* a mount-point hidden 
inside ~/.gvfs, but among other things the permissions get really odd 
and I don't know why...)

After sending the above I considered Samba some more, but while that 
would simplify some aspects of my problem I really hate to add the SMB 
inefficiency & overhead to Linux <--> Linux communications.  (One could 
argue that the encryption overhead of SSHFS is also unnecessary though. 
  Hummm, too bad there isn't a 'ssh -c none'...  Oh wait, that's called 
rsh. :)

Lee, I'll have to look into syncKolab more.  I'm currently using 
"Addressbooks Synchronize" which does the same thing in the same way for 
addresses only, but it's very buggy and fragile.

I had totally forgotten about OpenAFS, and I think that sounds like too 
much work for the moment.

Thanks again for all the thought and great answers.  I am now reasonably 
sure I'm not missing something obvious (who, me?).  Unless someone comes 
up with anything better at the last minute, I will probably write a 
quick script that will just wrap around SSHFS (which is awesome, BTW).

I have a similar batch file (yes, really) on the Windows side to re-map 
drives when (not if) Windows loses them.  It's actually kind of neat. 
There's a bit of voodoo involved that I should document one of these days.

As a totally OT example, Windows lacks a 'sleep 5' command but you can 
trivially fake it like this: 'ping -n 5 localhost > NUL'.  Not 
guaranteed to be 5 seconds exactly, but...

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
"Microsoft Tax" = the additional hardware & yearly fees for the add-on
software required to protect Windows from its own poorly designed and
implemented self, while the overhead incidentally flattens Moore's Law.
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