Confused over CIFS

Preston Kutzner shizzlecash at
Wed Jan 14 20:08:48 UTC 2009

On Jan 13, 2009, at 10:36 PM, Ted Hilts wrote:

> Preston:
> I rely heavily on SAMBA and have most of the machines in my LAN cross
> mapped with shares to each other.  I have Linux (various flavors) and
> Windows (various flavors). Sorry for the typo. I was not complaining
> about HP machines but rather I was complaining about MS XP Home. The
> machine I call "Ubuntu" is used to administrate and I use it to make
> virtual (VNC) connectionss.  For example, I am as I write this using  
> an
> XP Home machine called "cic2ext" and am communicating with it with
> "Ubuntu's" keyboard and monitor. Also, at the same time I am running 6
> machines.  None of my machines are very fast except for "Ubuntu" and
> "misty".  Depending upon the particuar project I need a number of
> machines to handle the data input requirements.  For example, one
> project is to gather and archive news reports from all over the world
> and from a number of differenct agencies in order to establish the
> integrity (a lot of bias gets into news reports both intentionally and
> unintentionally). One of my machines cannot handle this task by itself
> and the overall process requires my intervention (which is time
> consuming).  So, I end up running several machines all doing different
> parts of the overall news reporting task.  For this particular  
> project I
> have to set up each machine to run the same applications and then
> interact manually at various stages of their progress.  I used to  
> build
> programs to automate this overall process but ended up constantly
> revising the programs and spending more time building the programs  
> than
> collecting the news.  Every time a news agency changed their web  
> pages I
> had to revisit my automated programs which involved my intervention  
> any
> way.  So I ended up using the Firefox browser with various add-ons  
> such
> as Newsfox to gather RSS articles and also an add-on called scrapbook
> which captures a tree or tabbed news article.  The machine "misty"
> handles about 300 different news sources.  Another machines called
> "CICERO" handles about 50 different news sources, the machine called
> "Ubuntu" handles about 100, and so on.  Most of the machines are XP  
> and
> they archive onto the NTFS disk share (/media/sdg1)  located on the
> "Ubuntu" local system.  If this reliance on XP machines was not
> necessary then there would be no problem using ext3.  I realize that  
> XP
> machines can access ext3 but when I researched the idea I was not
> comfortable because of the number of XP machines involved.  Remember,
> "Ubuntu" is dual booted with a MS XP Home OS.  I installed "Ubuntu"  
> as a
> experiment and fell in love with it.    So that is the story. Right  
> now
> there is no problem  other than the one I reported.  I'm a little
> nervous about rsync because the files and numberous and small -- even
> the tree files.  I don't want rsync doing anything fancy such as one  
> of
> it's features where it adds to an exiting file that is changed.
> Probably this is not going to be a problem if rsync does it's thing  
> and
> after that does not alter a file.  I like the idea of compression to
> make the data transfer faster.

Alright, from the above, it sounds like you have One machine running  
Ubuntu (your "Ubuntu" machine), which is sharing its Windows  
installation as a Samba share.  If I'm incorrect about this, please  
correct me.  All of your Windows XP boxes backup to that machine.  You  
mention that your "Ubuntu" box is dual-boot, but it sounds like you  
primarily, or solely use it while booted into Ubuntu.  Do you have any  
need to have Windows installed on it anymore?  If not, you don't  
really have any reason to keep NTFS on that machine.  You don't have  
to use NTFS on a linux box that is sharing via Samba, even if it's  
sharing to a network of only Windows machines.  Samba handles all  
that, and is able to look like a Windows machine, even if it's using a  
native Linux FS.

If you're worried about preserving Windows file permissions and acls,  
you can compile a kernel with acl support, as well as Samba with acl  
support that will honor Windows permissions.  This still does not  
require using NTFS on the samba server. :)  The only reason to  
continue using NTFS on your Ubuntu box is if you still plan on  
accessing those drives through the Windows installation *on that  
machine*.  Otherwise, there is no need for it, and again, it might be  
part of, if not *the* cause of your original problem copying files.

> What would the command line look like if I used rsync instead of  
> what I
> did do?  I think if I use rsync I may have to install SHH for  
> Windows on
> all the XP Home machines as well as rsync for Windows.  I have been
> looking at "putty" for that purpose.  Also, I think that configuration
> files need to be created?  If so, I would appreciate some examples.

I haven't used the windows rsync solutions, so I don't know exactly  
how they work.  But, you wouldn't necessarily need SSH.  Since it  
sounds like you're running these machines on a private network, SSH is  
not necessary.  Rsync uses its own protocol over tcp/ip and also uses  
its own ports.  You'd just need to make sure that the rsync server is  
running on your Ubuntu box and that your windows boxes just use the  
rsync client to transfer files.

Regarding your statements about rsync in the previous section, what  
exactly are you trying to accomplish with the file transfers.  Are you  
trying to do a full copy every time?

The point of rsync is to minimize the amount of data that needs to be  
sent during the syncing process.  The first time you run it, it will  
fully copy all files specified.  Each subsequent time it's run it will  
copy file "deltas" or just the information that's changed in the file  
and will update the file on the target machine to reflect what's  
changed since rsync was last run.  You can also tell rsync to sync  
deletes, so as files are deleted from the source machine, those  
deletions are reflected on the target machine.  It is the most  
efficient way, actually, of updating a large number of files on a  
consistent basis.

Here's a decent primer on how rsync actually works:

Using rsync would save time and bandwidth during your backup sessions  
from your client machines.

> After this particular data transfer runs properly then I need to  
> create
> a universal (Windows and Linux) backup so I can restore a partition or
> entire disk. I have been researching all this but it is very time
> consuming and it might be easier to create a shell and build into the
> shell each piece needed  to handle the various data transfers, and
> various backup scenarios.  I could maybe do this one piece at a time
> instead of the whole thing in one shot. For example, to use backuppc  
> one
> has to involve perl, set environmental variables and set up
> configuration files. Then the same for SHH.  Then the same for rsync.
> And other things.

Which machine will be creating this backup?  Will the Ubuntu machine  
be doing so?  What media will you be putting these backups on?  If  
you're simply looking to create an exact copy of a partition, you can  
use the 'dd' command.  It will do an exact bit-for-bit copy to either  
another block device (hard drive), or to a file.  The file can then be  
copied anywhere you have space for it.  You need to make sure you have  
the same amount (or more) of space available on your target media as  
you have data on your source partition.  If your partition is 250GB,  
you will need at least 250GB of space available on your target media.   
Note that 'dd' will not work to back up to tape.  Also, you can't use  
it to directly write to CD/DVD.

If you're looking to back up to tape, there are some Linux solutions  
out there, but the good ones are usually pay-for applications.

> Thanks, Ted
> -- 
> ubuntu-users mailing list
> ubuntu-users at
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