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  1. #1

    The best distributed filesystem for home directories

    I'm looking for the best distributed filesystem to share my home directory among all my computers, and I'm interested in what advice I could get here.

    Here are my requirements:
    1) It must be completely POSIX compliant, because I've noticed that many programs will break if not.
    1a) Must support file locking (i.e. flock()) preferably sharing lock advisories between the clients
    1b) Must support hard links, and be able to recognize a hard link connection by looking at the number of references
    2) It must have encryption, and security suitable for it to be exposed to the internet.
    2a) I would like to use password-less authentication. Preferably SSL client certs (HTTPS style). Static keys (SSH style) are also fine. I would begrudgingly accept a password authenticated system if it used a fairly secure challenge/response algorithm if it met all of my other requirements. (Extra points if it supports PKCS#11 and thus supports smart cards)
    2b) Encrypted traffic must be an option.
    2c) No thanks to kerberos. It was too annoying to maintain when I tried it before and I don't like passwords.
    3) Preferably, it should be stable and fairly easy to maintain.
    4) Optionally, it should be tolerant of network drops, and reconnect automatically as needed, because my laptop wireless is a little flaky sometimes.

    Thanks to everyone in advance for your opinions and recommendations!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Generally, I would recommend NFS for this sort of requirement list. However, another option would be Andrew w/ Kerberos, though it is more complex to install and configure than NFS. Stay away from Samba. It's not suitable for home directories, other than to access them from Windows systems.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    Yeah, NFSv4 is what I'm using right now but I'd like something better, because the host my file server is on has a public IP, and I'd relish the idea of being able to access my home directory from the internet via NFS, but unfortunately there is no authentication mechanism I was willing to tolerate.

    Kerberos was a severe pain in my ass so I kicked it to the curb, host based auth (which I'm using currently) is unacceptable because of the above, and because I don't want guests on my network to be able to access it, and LIPKEY is not available under Linux and probably never will be from what I'm reading.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The Netherlands
    sshfs comes to mind.
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Freston View Post
    sshfs comes to mind.
    Yes that's a great one. Sadly it doesn't support hard links and inode counts, which causes problems with evolution, and KDE 4.

    You can patch in (On the server and the client side) hard link support but I don't think it counts the inodes on the server to show there are hard links in place, also there are some stability problems and its response to the network going down is very ungraceful. You have to unmount and remount.

    It's a good choice. I used it for a while and it's the one I'd choose so far if NFS wasn't available, but it doesn't quite meet my needs.

    Edit: Also it's slower.

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