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Okay so here's the setup. I have a desktop that dualboots between Windows 8 and Ubuntu(Actually Linux mint 15 but I don't think that matters for this question). I will ...
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  1. #1
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    Help setting up file server


    Okay so here's the setup. I have a desktop that dualboots between Windows 8 and Ubuntu(Actually Linux mint 15 but I don't think that matters for this question). I will have a shared fat32 drive that both windows and linux will automatically mount at boot.

    I want to share that drive from Windows and from Linux. I want to be able to connect over the internet (relatively securely). I also want to connect using exactly the same precedure for Windows or Linux. In other words if I am connecting from work, I shouldn't need to know if my pc is in Linux or Windows mode.

    Also I am behind a router.

    I was thinking of using Samba/SMB along with a VPN for when I am connecting over the web.

    Is this possible? I have never set up a VPN, is it hard? Is there any better way to do this?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    You can use the Linux Samba server to expose the drive as a CIFS/Windows share. If you configure it properly (user ids, passwords, etc) then it should be accessible from other systems on your LAN (or VPN) pretty much identically. To connect over the internet, use a VPN. Anything less is not secure at all and PDQ you will be pwnd by black hats. Linux supports the OpenVPN protocols, both server and client. You can even run the VPN server in a virtual machine, in either Windows or Linux, so you don't need a separate system to host it.

    All that said, I don't recommend dual booting for this scenario. Choose a host operating system - either Windows 7 or Linux, and if you need to run another OS, do it in a virtual machine. I use VirtualBox for this all the time. That will GREATLY simplify your work to get this set up.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I have to dual boot because I play games on both platforms and the performance hit is pretty big from running in a VM. That is fine though as I can just create a VPN VM and store it on the shared drive that way it can be open no matter whether I'm in Windws or Linux.

    Do you know a good guides for setting up a vpn? There seem to be alot and they don't look super simple. Also will it be a problem that I am behing a router?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    If you want to run a VPN server behind your router, then you will need to create a pinhole (a port) that the router will let through to a specific local IP address. Also, some routers have VPN software built-in, or can install it as an option from the manufacturer (at a price). For Linux we use OpenVPN, which is pretty easy to set up, but you will need to read the man pages pretty carefully. There is free windows client (and perhaps server) software from here: Community Downloads
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Just one port is enough for a vpn?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DmobbJr View Post
    Just one port is enough for a vpn?
    For incoming connections, generally. You may also need to get a static IP address from your ISP to assign to your router, otherwise you may have connectivity issues when the DHCP address assigned to it expires. Some ISPs will reassign the same one, others won't.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    The dhcp won't be a problem. My router reserves an IP for my desktop. And as for the address given by comcast, I have a script that emails me whenever it changes which it hasn't so far.

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