[OpenAFS] How to store homedir for Linux, Solaris, Windows, OS X win AFS?

Sergio Gelato Sergio.Gelato@astro.su.se
Sun, 9 Apr 2006 21:43:46 +0200

[Copying you since I'm not sure you're subscribed to the list.]

* Jose Calhariz [2006-04-08 20:30:50 +0100]:
> I would like hear experiences about the best way to store the homedir
> for all OS inside the volume of the user, and others special dirs like
> web, mail, backups.  I am searching in Google, but I didn't find
> anything interesting until now.
> In my campus the solution was to create individuals directories inside
> the volume: linux, mac, sun, win, web, public, private, old_files,
> Maildir.  

And $HOME points to the linux/ subdirectory on Linux, to the mac/
subdirectory on OS X, etc.? While this may help with some applications
that store platform-specific pathnames in their dot-files (e.g., the
Solaris and Linux builds of GNOME may have different filesystem layouts)
I'm not sure the duplication is desirable for the vast majority of
applications. The average Firefox user may be upset to find that his
collection of bookmarks is not shared across platforms.

This is by no means an AFS-specific problem; you're going to face this
issue with any kind of network share. I think most people would go for
using the same home directory everywhere; among other things, it
saves one from having to massage the "home directory" information from 
LDAP/NIS/whatever in a different way on each platform.

AFS has an advantage over some other network filesystems: a pathname
that contains @sys as a component can point to different directories
on different platforms. So if you need to keep, say, your 
$HOME/.mozilla/plugins/ directories system-specific you can just 
"ln -s @sys/plugins $HOME/.mozilla/" (and create the required

> But the University is implementing a new AFS cell, and is considering
> a different design.  Give full permissions to the root of the user's
> volume and place inside the special directories.

There is an AFS-specific difference here: the owner of the root of a
volume can always obtain full access to directories in the volume.
This might save you a few support calls (if the users involved have
at least half a clue, which is by no means guaranteed).
> I am asking for your's experience as a way to judge the pros and the
> cons of the various approaches.
>      Jose Calhariz