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Date:      Tue, 22 Sep 2009 15:44:16 -0600
From:      Chad Perrin <>
Subject:   Re: network freebsd computers
Message-ID:  <20090922214416.GB11305@guilt.Savvis>
In-Reply-To: <BLU0-SMTP22DAC69001869CA07A8B4793DC0@phx.gbl>
References:  <BLU0-SMTP94A0279291FD20358E7D2E93DC0@phx.gbl> <> <BLU0-SMTP22DAC69001869CA07A8B4793DC0@phx.gbl>

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On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 02:12:48PM -0400, Carmel NY wrote:
> Presently, I have Samba set up on my FreeBSD machines. Windows can
> access the shared directories without any problems. I also have Putty
> installed on the Windows machines so I can directly access the FreeBSD
> boxes when required.
> I want the same functionality between the FreeBSD boxes. Eventually, at
> least one of them will be run headless; the mail server in particular.
> I can find a virtual cornucopia of information on networking Windows
> machines; Microsoft even includes a wizard to accomplish it. However,
> there does not seem to be as much information regarding non-Windows
> products.
> At present, all machines are connected, either wired or wireless,
> through a linksys router.

Okay, so it sounds like you want to be able to do two things between your
FreeBSD systems:

1. You want to be able to log into them remotely, as you do from MS
Windows machines using PuTTY.  This is trivially accomplished using a
tool that is already installed on all your FreeBSD machines, unless you
have a very abnormal install.  It's called OpenSSH.  Assuming you have
either DHCP managing hostname resolution on your network or all the
appropriate entries in your /etc/hosts file, you can log into remote
machine bar as username foo like so:

    ssh foo@bar

2. You want to be able to access the remote filesystem as an extension of
however you browse local filesystems (using Dolphin, Konqueror, the
shell, whatever).  To do this, you must mount the remote filesystem on
the local system.  To do *that*, you must have some kind of network
filesystem software running -- a server on the remote machine, and a
client on the local machine.  NFS is the generally accepted "normal" way
to do so on Unix systems.  If you're using Samba on your FreeBSD machines
anyway, you should be able to use Samba to do so between FreeBSD machines
as well (and others in this discussion have mentioned some starting
points for doing so).  Another option is to use sshfs, which is a network
filesystem tool that uses the SSH protocol to let you mount remote
filesystems locally.

Of course, depending on what you *actually* want to do from one moment to
the next with your remote filesystem, you could use SCP and SFTP (part of
the OpenSSH suite of remote access utilities) to transfer files back and
forth.  I use SSH and SCP quite extensively, and occasionally use sshfs
(for things like using Herrie to play music on the local machine from a
directory on a remote fileserver).  I haven't had need for Samba for
several years, because I just interact with MS Windows that much.  Your
mileage may vary.

I hope this helps get you on the track to solving the problem.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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