File Server Tasks

Nicolas Barcet nicolas at
Wed Aug 29 22:38:39 UTC 2007

Hello list...  This is my first post here after following it for a  
few weeks.  Hope that I will not infringe any rules ;)

Le 28 août 07 à 23:09, Jamie Strandboge a écrit :

> On Tue, 2007-08-28 at 16:49 -0400, Mathias Gug wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 03:55:08PM -0400, Jamie Strandboge wrote:
>>> 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.
>> I think they provide the basic functionality. However you cannot  
>> setup a
>> share. I don't think that configuring a share should be done in the
>> postinst package. This is a task that can done multiple times by a
>> the sysadmin, on a daily basis. I'm not sure that dpkg --configure
>> should be used on a daily basis to manage your system.
> I agree-- I don't think it should be done in postinst either, which is
> why I thought a simple, small configuration package like
> samba-default-shares or nfs-default-exports *might* be appropriate  
> here.
> My thinking would be that these packages would not be how you would
> normally administer the system (eg to add/remove shares), but  
> rather to
> be used to create a simple share for users to use right away.
> Experienced admins wouldn't necessarily install these packages, but
> rather samba and nfs-kernel-server alone.  Inexperienced could install
> these (or the tasks) in order to start working right away.
> It is *only* intended to get something up and running in a sane
> configuration quickly for the novice admin.

IMHO, I beleive that we should first define what's the goal of a  
task.  I think that "to get something up and running in a sane  
configuration quickly for the novice admin" is a good start that we  
should refine a bit more.  If I may propose my 0.2 cents :

a/ A task should allow complete newbye have a basic configuration  
working out of install with a common set of guidelines between all  
subcomponent and other tasks.  For example the task for file server  
if asked to work with a previously installed ldap task, should  
automatically configure samba/ftp to use ldap for authentication.

b/ A task is a set of multiple packages that will work together to  
acomplish a single macro objective. There no point in having a single  
package task, we'd better fix the original packaging.

c/ A task is not a configuration utility, it is just a manner to  
deliver a base configuration that works in a predictable/upgradable/ 
maintained over time maner.

d/ Tasks needs to be callable after install so that you can revert to  
the base configuration if you totally messed up without having to  
reinstall from scratch or have the ability to install a task later on.

e/ Tasks should be as open (and documented) as possible, thefore  
offering (communities/ISVs/whomever) to propose new tasks that could  
be eventually included.  This would allow for a service model ISV to  
offer an easy to support config with our distro without having to  
redo their own from scratch for example.

f/ Tasks should always come common sense security enabled as well as  
default tuning.

On the theme of what tasks should come next, here are a few  
suggestions :

- Authentication server (LDAP + WebSSO + CA)
- Mail server (preconfigured smtp + pop3 + imap + spamassassin +  
clamav + webmail + mailman...)
- DB Server ( postgresql | mysql + backup + phpmysql )
- File Server ( ftp + smb + nfs with [Kerberos | LDAP] integration)

Just MHO, comments very welcome...

Nicolas Barcet <nicolas at>
« Ce qui compte, ce n’est pas qui vote, mais qui compte les votes ».  
(Attribué à Joseph Staline)

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