Guide to creating a multi-OS shared Linux Cloud Drive with SAMBA using SME

SMEStorage provides a Linux cloud drive that can be mounted on the file system and then used as a normal drive. Samba allows file and print sharing between computers running Windows and computers running Unix. Samba sets up network shares for chosen Unix directories (including all contained subdirectories). These appear to Microsoft Windows users as normal Windows folders accessible via the network.

A SMEStorage Cloud Drive can be set up as a shared drive on a Linux file server allowing you to share it amongst many users on your network. This is useful if you want to share cloud resources from a single user account across many users.

Here is a step by step guide to configuring Samba and SMEStorage Linux drive. First, make sure you have installed Samba. Samba is included with most of the Linux distributions. For this we are using CentOS 5.5.

1. Make a backup of your /etc/samba/smb.conf file and then edit the smb.conf file (Make sure the workgroup is the same as the workgroup windows machines belong to.). It should have the following:

[global]
workgroup = WORKGROUP
encrypt passwords = yes
[smedrive]
comment = smedrive mount
path = /export/sme
read only = no

For further information on Samba configuration file please see http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch06.html

2. SMEStorage Linux drive uses the open-source Fuse code and the out-of-the-box settings do not allow sharing in this manner. Therefore we need to  create a file /etc/fuse.conf with the following one line content and after we do that the machine needs to be rebooted for it to take effect.

user_allow_other

For further information on Fuse please see http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/fuse/index.php?title=Fuse.conf

3. Create the directory where we will mount the drive:
# mkdir -p /export/sme
# chmod 1777 /export/sme

4. Add linux and samba users:
# groupadd smeuser
# useradd -m -n -ppassword -gsmeuser smeuser
# smbpasswd -a smeuser

New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Added user smeuser.
#
5. In SMEStorage Client select File →Advanced and check share your drive check box. Mount the SMEStorage Linux drive make sure the mount folder is /export/sme. By default SMEStorage mounts with the “allow_other” option enabled.







6. Start the samba services

# service smb start

Starting SMB services:                                     [  OK  ]

Starting NMB services:                                     [  OK  ]

#

7. Test the samba services.

8. If everything has gone correctly so far you can now mount the shared drive in windows and from the Finder in Mac OSX (using ‘Connect to Server->Go’) and any platform that supports SMB protocol

For windows make sure the workgroup is the same as defined in smb.conf file and you can ping the Linux machine.

9) Open a command prompt and run the command

net use t: file://localhost/smb/::172.16.195.161:smedrive /user:smeuser password

10. Open explorer you will see the drive appear in explorer







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Linux Cloud Drive Update

Beta 4 of the Linux Cloud Drive will be released soon. This will add the ability to share the Linux Cloud Drive as an SMB/CIFS resource via Samba to networks that can mounts SMB/CIFS shares such as windows.

This provides a very easy mechanism to share clouds mounted via the SMEStorage Cloud Gateway to multiple network resources. Many public storage clouds can be shared this way, such as Amazon S3, Google Docs, RackSpace CloudFiles, MobileMe, Mezeo and many more. Importantly, SMEStorage also supports WebDav Resource endpoints which give companies an easy way to share legacy resources within a cloud files system environment directly from the desktop or command line.

The Linux Cloud Drive beta 4 will be released before the end of May.

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Mac Cloud Storage Virtual Drive Update

We continue to work on the Mac Virtual Drive. We know that we are a little behind on this as to when we wanted to release it but you have probably seen from many of the recent blog posts that we have been working on a lot of things in Parallel !

We hope to be in a position to release the first beta towards the end of next week on our site, so keep checking back for this. It will be on our labs page.

In the meantime there are some screenshots below to show progress:

VirtualDrive

VirtualDrive2

VirtualDrive3

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Using SME with your Mac. Upload your Cloud Files direct from the Finder

For many of use in the office using Mac’s we’ve yearned for some tighter integration with SMEStorage and the Mac. You can choose to use the Windows explorer via Crossover or WINE with the Mac and it works nicely, and you can also use the Firefox plug-in which also works really well, but having OS level integration is always nice.

Snow Leopard has enhanced the integration of the automator services into the OS which makes it much easier to provide contextual functionality.

Using this method there is now available an add-in for users of SMEStorage to be able to upload their files directly from the Mac to their chosen cloud of choice (and we now support over 10 storage clouds), and after the file has been uploaded a unique link for the file will be copied to the clipboard.

You can view a video below that show this working with Google Docs:

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Share your Cloud Storage files using Joomla Components

Recently we pushed out some WordPress plug-ins that enable you to backup your wordpress blog to any of the 10+ storage clouds we support, and a separate plug-in to enable you to share your cloud storage files easily from your blog via file links.

There are now two Joomla components created by Roman Gelembjuk. One mimics the WordPress component which easily enables you to share your Cloud Storage files on your Joomla site, and the second is a rich component that displays a file directory and enables you to easily manage and share files within the directory that are hosted on your choice of cloud storage. Below is an example of this directory. You can see this for yourself here.

picture-12

SMEStorage File Directory download
SMEStorage File Share Download

Storage Clouds supported are Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, Google Docs, Box.net, Microsoft Live Mesh, Microsoft SkyDrive, Box.net, Apple MobileMe, GMail, Email Clouds, FTP, and any WebDav enabled Cloud.

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