Why is this always so difficult?  Surely it should be a simple in this connected world for devices to talk with each other without jumping through various hoops?

Playing with FreeNAS has developed my network understanding, but I’m still very much an amateur when it comes to fully understanding my ‘network stack’  I need to figure out the best way to talk to the various devices I have using a combination of sharing protocols (e.g. CIFS, AFP, NFS)

I’m going to start with AFP (Apple File Protocol) as the majority of devices on my network are Macs.  I also use AFP shares on my FreeNAS box for them to connect to.

By simply installing Netatalk I can see almost all of my devices in the Files > Network, so a good start but I can’t connect to them all so I’ll need to do some more research…

$ sudo apt-get install netatalk

Also want some Samba action, so to installed cifs

apt-get install cifs-utils

Not sure if anyone noticed yet, but the first few blog posts were very much ‘live’ and I was updating things as I went on.

I parked this idea when I got to this point as some of the networking stuff is a bit ‘trial and error’ for me, although it actually surprised me how quickly I managed to setup what I need to begin with.

Some background first.  My home network consists of a number of Macs and iOS devices, 2 FreeNAS machines, and various other devices that I won’t go into.  The main hub for everything is my primary FreeNAS machine (freenas1) which I built about 18 months ago.  It’s a Supermicro motherboard (X10SL7-F) with a Xeon E3-1231v3 processor and 32GB RAM all powered by a Seasonic PSU in a Fractal Define R5 case.  It houses 9x4TB Seagate HDDs (configured in a ZFS RAIDZ2 array) and a 120GB Toshiba SSD to boot from.  It’s primarily for storage (~24TiB of usable space) but I also run a number of jails on the machine for ownCloud, Plex, openVPN, Calibre, Webserver (my WordPress blogs runs on this) and various VMs.  It runs 24×7 and never misses a beat, and was probably the best computer hardware purchase I’ve ever made.  The 2nd FreeNAS machine (freenas2) is a HP Microserver that used to be my primary machine, until I out grew it.  It’s only got 16GB RAM and 5x4TB HDD and is used purely as a backup for freenas1 (which replicates most of the datasets overnight).  One of the VM’s on freenas1 is running CentOS and CrashPlan which also provides an offsite backup for my irreplaceable stuff (e.g. pictures, documents, music, and some configuration stuff).

My first attempt at connecting to the various AFP shares on freenas1 wasn’t very successful, and I didn’t really want to break anything so thought I’d try connecting to the data on freenas2.  This has a single AFP share to the zpool, and whilst I couldn’t connect to this, I didn’t mind setting up a cifs share here and had no issues connecting to this.

So I can now connect to all my key data, albeit a nightly backup from the master data on freenas1.  This actually seemed like a safe option, so I pretty much left things there.  I did want eOS to mount this at startup, so edited the /etc/fstab file adding the following:

//localip/zpoolname /mnt cifs username=xxx,password=xxx, nounix 0 0

Whilst I’m probably not going to use the Music app (more later on that) I did want a link to the music on freenas2 so created a symbolic link as below:

$ ln -s /mnt/backup/iTunes/Music/ /home/adrian/Music/iTunes/

The other thing I wanted to do was connect to my VMs running on freenas1.  I use Screen Sharing or RealVLC on macOS, so looked for RealVLC for Linux and found it.  Not in the eOS AppCenter, so downloaded from here > https://www.realvnc.com/download/viewer/linux/

It was a simple a case of changing the permissions on the file and then running:

$ chmod a+x VNC-Viewer-6.0.0-Linux-x64
$./VNC-Viewer-6.0.0-Linux-x64

Not sure I really liked it, but it worked fine and enabled me to connect to my CrashPlan VM which runs 24×7.  Didn’t test anything else, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t work too.

UPDATE:  Found this link > http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/7-of-the-best-linux-remote-desktop-clients-716346 which appears to have some better alternatives.

Anyway, a bit if a long one, but I suspect it could have been a lot longer had a persisted with the AFP sharing.  I’ll probably come back to it, as it would be nice to connect to the drives on my other Macs from time to time, but one for another day…

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