File Server Tasks

Rick Clark rick.clark at
Tue Aug 28 19:35:39 UTC 2007

On Tuesday 28 August 2007 14:51:49 Mathias Gug wrote:
> Hi Jamie,
> On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 02:20:28PM -0400, Jamie Strandboge wrote:
> > It is clear that there is a desire and need to provide novice admins
> > with a way to install certain server software, in this case, file server
> > software.  Installing a single package via tasks at install (eg 'samba')
> > does not really get the novice user any farther along.  Yes, the package
> > is installed, but now what?
> >
> > What is really needed is to install both the package and a configuration
> > package.  Eg:
What advantage do you see to splitting out the configuration for samba?  Are 
you thinking that nfs and samba could use the same configuration scripts?

> The configuration should be handled by debconf in the postinstall script
> of the package. For example, samba already uses debconf to gather the
> standard information from the user (the workgroup).
I tend to agree with Mathias.

> > Samba (Windows file sharing) -- task
> >   installs samba and samba-default-shares
> >
> > NFS (Unix file sharing) -- task
> >   installs nfs-kernel-server and nfs-default-exports
> >
> > Samba + NFS (Windows and Unix file sharing) -- task
> >   installs samba and samba-default-shares
> >   installs nfs-kernel-server and nfs-default-exports
> I think that three tasks is too much. I'd see only one task, named 'file
> server', that would install both nfs and samba. I model this on the NAS
> appliances you can find in the market: their features are that they can
> serve both windows and unix clients and integrate well in your existing
> network.
I think it would be a mistake to install any services that are not 
specifically needed.  I think it raises the risk profile of the system 
unnecessarily.  I don't think we are trying to compete with NAS appliances. 
I personally see samba and nfs as separate  tasks.  I think samba is more 
important, because it is more likely to be used by novice admins. 

> > Obviously, the samba-default-shares and nfs-default-exports packages
> > need to be created.  They could start off very simply by creating a
> > read-only share available to class A, B and C addresses, or could be
> > more complicated and have debconf ask questions about ro/rw, the name of
> > the share, who can connect to it, etc.
> These are the type of configuration questions and management that needs
> to be done with a higher level interface (such as ebox).
I think some CLI would also be useful.   Ebox comes with lots of requirements 
that you might not want installed on your fileserver.   I think this is 
something to think about for Gutsy +1.

None of this could be added for Gutsy.  We can only add tasks for 
functionality that already exists.  So the question is:  Could we get 
anything useful out of a samba tasksel task with the current packages?  

> May be we should define what's the goal of a task in tasksel ? I think
> it's a way to install a group of packages so that the system can be
> configured more easily.

> --
> Mathias
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