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Hey everybody. I have a Windows computer (back-up needed NOW!) and also an old Pentium 2 HP Pavillion 8360 with 63 Ram, 40 GB and a 7 GB HD, and ...
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  1. #1
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    A challenge-samba + ? ...


    Hey everybody. I have a Windows computer (back-up needed NOW!) and also an old Pentium 2 HP Pavillion 8360 with 63 Ram, 40 GB and a 7 GB HD, and an extreme need for help here. I had Mandriva on it, but I don't want to put that back on (too big). I would like to use something like Damn Smal Linux + Samba with (except for the OSs location on the HD) Fat32 partitions so that I can use the computer as a back-up for the files on my Windows computer. I need suggestions, help to install and configure, etc. Heck, I don't really even know how to mount partitions, and I haven't ever had to use a Konsole [or whatever] yet. Messed up hugh? Really, linux is awesome, but it's in no way user-friendly yet, it's lacking any newb documentation (saying "ok, to start type mnt/usr/dev/hd1/hm f dsk/ chk.....) or whatever will never be helpful to any non-programmer or person without outside help. I just need to back-up my files, and learn how to configure it etc. and use the set up. I figure I'll take linux classes in college (maybe programming just so a non-programmer can come up with something without the d*** konsoles and geeky-stuff for outsiders to be able to enter). After someone can help with this, then I'll move on to using apt-get (please don't flame me, it's not my fault, all I've ever had was Windozzzzzz...). If someone is really caring and patient (and wants to make a convert) then please help me; also, you never know, I can't divulge much, but I may be able to make significant contributions and promotions to linux in the future....

    On a side note: I wish Linux developement would drop the feature-race with Microsoft and just work on making the system user friendly to EVERY USER. The "Unix Way" is no excuse, any product designer will tell you that you cater to the majority of users of the dominant product in order to win converts. If Linux could altogether do without the endless need for hand-entered commands it could probably gain an immediate (massive) marketshare.

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie ihayhurst's Avatar
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    Don't panic, 'Linux' is all about choice, up to now you've been using a system that makes all the decisions for you you're bound to feel a little agorphobic at first, 'where do I start?'

    It helps to understand that linux isn't a single entity, It is a kernel OS that boots your machine and handles the interactions between all the electronics and the software, then a plethora of tools (mostly GNU) that look like unix (mostly) and interact with you and the kernel.
    The windowing system, X is just another tool that provides a common basis or environment to allow graphical output from the tools or a visual way in which to use them.

    A distribution makes some of the descisions for you in that a compatible collection has been assembled together. you can still customise this if it's not quite to your liking. Understandably with so many choices comprehensive on cohesive documentation is difficult. In a modern Linux distribution if you dont want to you dont have to mount anything by hand.

    Can I suggest that you buy a boxed distribution (like Suse 9.3 for example), take the books / manuals that come with it away from the machine and browse them. do the install and perhaps opt for changing things along the way, read the choices available and make your descisions accordingly (which filesystem EXT2, ext3, jfs xfs reiser they all have strengths and weaknesses, ) it's your system use it for your purposes. It's a long journey with no ending, (up a very steep road to start with). It's also the most satisfying thing you'll ever do, to understand and master the tools you have... and maybe you'll make some new ones along the way.

    I'm sorry for all the metaphores in here, (and any inaccuracies) but it's well worth investing a little time, and taking everything one step at a time.
    Relax Stay cool, and above all have fun,

    Cheers Ian
    Registerd Linux user #119296

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie ihayhurst's Avatar
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    My first reply was mostly about your side issue,

    now do you want to share some of the linux disk to the windows machine,
    or mount some of the windows share on the linux box to run the backup scripts?

    If you want to share out the linux disk (unlikely id you're building it on a small box) then you need samba.

    If you want to mount some of the windows filesystem (shared out) on your linux box to make a backup you dont need samba

    just to test you can do this from a X running KDE with konqueror,
    in the url box put smb://windowshostname/share

    then if all is well (and there are a fair number of factors that may need fixing)
    you could progress to adding a line to /etc/fstab that will allow you to mount at boot time or on demand

    mine looks a bit like this

    Code:
    //windowshostname/sharename   /media/windows    smbfs username=myusername,workgroup=workgroup,rw,user,exec,noauto
    that's only an example your mileage may vary,
    that will mount files shared out as sharename from windowshostname to appear as a dir on the linux box /media/windows

    there is no password so when I type mount /media/windows as a user it prompts me to add a password.

    the extra parameters at the end make it read/write mountable by a user rather than root only, exec allows any linux binaries or scripts to be run from it if required and noauto stops it mounting automatically at boot time (and thus hanging about waiting for a password.

    At home I do it all the otherway round and do use samba to share disk to my wife's windows machine, then a script runs on the linux box at 11:55 pm to tar it all up (like zip) name it with a date suffix, keep the previous copy and delete the oldest one, then move a copy to another disk...
    ...

    That's obviously not a complete recipe, only a pointer that you might not need full samba, just depends what you want

    Cheers Ian
    Registerd Linux user #119296

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    oops

    I just re-read the post and it was a bit confusing. My main computer is a Dell that has Windows. I'm trying to use the HP (old one) as a place to manually back-up files (the Dell has a 100 GB drive, the HP on 47 GB total) onto the disks in the HP. I've personally installed teh 40 GB HD and even bought a linux compatible modem for the HP in order to do this. All I need to do is be able to have the HP on, and connected to the Windows Compuer. Once I, for example, write a document and save it to "My documents" I'd then manually open a partition on the HP (from the Dell through networking) and then drag or copy the file to the partition on the other computer. I'll look into back-up scripts if and when I have an extra computer with bigger HDs and a better processor. With that particular machine I have to keep things on it as small as possible. THanks!

    Still need help, but you've been quite helpful too. Thanks a lot.

  5. #5
    Linux Newbie ihayhurst's Avatar
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    Sorry for any confusion,

    to avoid getting into a complex samba setup and having to remember to backup the file once you've written it on he windows machine, share out the directory on windows, you can mount it on the linux box as I described,

    then (the bit to avoid you having to remember) the slightly more tricky bit
    writing a script to run every few hours and take a copy of the info on the windows share to a local disk on the linux machine

    a program called cron will run scripts at specified times (i'm sure there is a graphical tool you can use to set it up)

    crontab looks like this
    Code:
    -25 0 * * *     /root/jointbackup.sh >/dev/null 2>&1
    here's a url that explains the fields
    http://www.adminschoice.com/docs/crontab.htm
    (there are many I just picked one that looked straight forward)

    The script I run is
    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    # jointbackup.sh
    #Move the previous backup onto another physical disk
    #
    cd /data2/Backup
    if test -a joint.tar.gz ;
            then mv joint.tar.gz /data/Backup/previousjoint.tar.gz
            fi
    tar zcvf joint.tar.gz /data2/Joint
    exit
    the script changes to the backup dir
    first it checks for the last backup, if it exists, move it to another backup dir on another disk and renames it previousjoint.tar.gz
    next it 'zips' up the windows dir that would be mounted on the linux box and stores it in the backup dir

    Hope that is a little better
    Cheers Ian
    Registerd Linux user #119296

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    Just to be sure...

    Okay, so if I'm reading correctly, you can mount a disk not even on the HP inot linux? Cool. Second, the drive on my Windows machine is NTFS. [Unfortunately, being that it had OEM software out of the box (besides my additions) there aren't more partitions (that's why I'm backing things up on the HP.)] I know linux has only limited NTFS support (though there are people working on drivers for it) so will it be able to read, at least, the drive? Also, will I still be able to access the HP box from the Windows commputer? Thanks again for all the help.

  7. #7
    Linux Newbie ihayhurst's Avatar
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    If you mount the disk on the linux box (that's shared from your windows machine by network) the filesystem doesn't matter, the host OS (windows in this case) does all th elow level work with the filesystem. Linux communicates using a protocol thet used to be called smb (now cifs I believe).

    You wont need to access the linux box to use the file system as it is on your windows machine... (though an ssh connection to the linux box will give you all the benefits of a lovely unix like console commandline access to your filesystem... but just ignore this I'm just making a commandline plug)

    Cheers Ian
    Registerd Linux user #119296

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