Friday, November 20, 2009

Second Cousin Networking

OSX and Linux both have Unix heritages. That said it isn't as easy to get them to talk to each other as I was hoping. They're really more like second cousins than siblings. (Just to stretch the metaphor, they're probably like first cousins once removed*) In the past I was able to set up a NFS server on the Mac, running both OSX Tiger and Leopard, using NFSManager and serve files to the Linux based WDTV without any trouble. I was hopeful that setting up a NFS client in Leopard would be just as easy. So far I haven't been successful. I started with this page as a reference. The basic idea is to use Leopard's built in Directory Utility to mount NFS shares. For me there is some sort of inherent problem with the permissions that I haven't been able to fix yet. I'm not sure if it is on the server or client side. One suggested solution is that since the NFS server exports the folders "securely", I can either deal with it, or disable it. The latter didn't work for me.

For the time being I'm using Windows Samba protocol to share files between the two computers. I'll probably set this problem aside and come back to it later. I don't really have a philosophical aversion to using a Windows file sharing method but it feels like NFS ought to be easier. Why is the default sharing protocol in both Ubunutu's and OSX's default file browser a Windows method and not something more native, and presumably higher performing.

* Linux is more of a direct descendant of Unix than OSX, which is derived from the NeXTSTEP operating system (itself a fork of a Unix derivative, BSD).

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