File Server Tasks

Jamie Strandboge jamie at
Tue Aug 28 19:55:08 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-08-28 at 15:35 -0400, Rick Clark wrote:
> On Tuesday 28 August 2007 14:51:49 Mathias Gug wrote:
> > 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?
My thinking was that I didn't think the samba and nfs-kernel-server
packages setup a working share out of the box.  I admit I haven't looked
at the packaging for these lately.  I also didn't think that the samba
or nfs package should setup this kind of share by default, because it
could be annoying for an experienced sysadmin to always have to disable
it or change it.

If samba and nfs-kernel-server provide all the debconf functionality to
get a working share, then you are absolutely correct to not want to
split out the functionality.  We are then back to the fundamental
question of using tasksel for one package.  Personally, while
technically a little silly, I don't see that as a big deal if it helps
users in a meaningful way.

> >
> > 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. 
I agree with Rick on not installing both unless the user explicitly
wants it.  I also think that while samba is obviously important, so is
NFS, hence the three tasks.

> > 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.
While I agree with Mathiaz in theory, getting a basic working share for
samba or nfs via postinst or the configuration packages I proposed would
be better IMO.  ebox can then handle the harder stuff.


Email: jamie at
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