Todays wow, this really works! moment brought to you by: NFS, sshfs (from FUSE) and Samba.
There’s a NFS file server in my office, from which I mount stuff into my home directory on my workstation. There’s a small FreeBSD server in my living room which, among other things, serves Samba to my Windows desktop machine. Using sshfs on the home server, I mounted my home directory from my workplace as a subdirectory of my local user, and I’m accessing it from my Windows desktop over Samba.
Before the bytes hit the drives on the server, here’s the path they must take:
[Home desktop, Windows] -- Samba -- [Home server, FreeBSD] -- sshfs -- [Work desktop, Linux] -- NFS -- [Work server, FreeBSD]
And it works. Really. I’m editing OpenOffice files on my Work server right now.
Of course it should work – all of these individual components in the chain are tested and known to work so there’s practically no real concern, but seeing all this in operation made me think how many standards, interoperability specs and engineering went into making this possible, especially since the actual connections between the components are very varying: ADSL, Ethernet of various speeds and I’m sure there’s still ATM somewhere in the telco’s infrastructure. The number of different operating systems the bytes go through (if “embedded” ones on routers and similar equipment is also counted) is probably huge.
We live in great times.
(Of course, I won’t try anything that depends on file locking )
The only problem is that sshfs basically hangs the system when the IP changes on the ADSL side (file system lookups hang).