Q

How can my Linux PCs save to my Win2K server's NTFS file system?

I have a Windows 2000 Server (NTFS file system) to which all users are saving their documents. I would like to have several PCs running Mandrake Linux save to the server as well, but I've discovered that Mandrake (I have 10.0) can only open and read from NTFS, not save to it. Is there a workaround for this? Or do my Linux users have to use some version of Red Hat? I'd like to use Mandrake because I have more experience with it than other distributions, and I think its features and reliability are excellent.
You're right -- Linux can't write natively to NTFS. However the simple answer is to use the Samba suite to solve your problem. With Samba you can access Windows file servers from Linux. Samba is an open source software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients. It also allows Linux clients to become SMB/CIFS clients to Windows servers. This allows for good interoperability between Linux and Windows.

Mandrake 10 as well as most popular Linux distributions ship with Samba. Once Samba is configured you can browse

the Windows file servers with read and write access. For your situation you should look in the Mandrake Control Center under Mount Points > Set Samba mount points. Also, check out the Samba Web page for detailed information. Fellow SearchEnterpriseLinux expert John Terpstra published a rather good book earlier this year called Samba-3 by Example (ISBN: 0131472216) that may be of help. Also, the Samba Learning Guide here at SearchEnterpriseLinux would be an excellent reference for solving your problem and understanding how Samba works.

One additional thing to consider is that Linux with Samba makes a very good substitute for a Windows file and print server. At a point that your support ends for that file server you may want to consider a Linux conversion there as well.

This was first published in December 2004

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