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

Jose Calhariz jose.calhariz@tagus.ist.utl.pt
Mon, 10 Apr 2006 18:39:25 +0100

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On Sun, Apr 09, 2006 at 09:43:46PM +0200, Sergio Gelato wrote:
> [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.
> >=20
> > In my campus the solution was to create individuals directories inside
> > the volume: linux, mac, sun, win, web, public, private, old_files,
> > Maildir. =20
> 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.

In the campus where this system is working, for more than 3 years,
they don't complain about it.  Because is the only place in the
University where the homedir are stored in a network filesystem.  I
wasn't working here when this system was designed, but I have been
told that GNOME in Solaris was incompatible with GNOME in Linux in the
same homedir.  That's way there is 4 homedirs.  I don't know if in the
present GNOME in Fedora, Debian, Gentoo, Mandrive, Solaris play nice
between them.  Anyone have experience with it?

> 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=20
> LDAP/NIS/whatever in a different way on each platform.

The LDAP have 4 fields with the diferents homedirs, no problem with it
in the campus, where I control the LDAP, AFS and the clients.  A big
problem in the University where exists much more labs and OSs, and the
labs are managed outside of the administration of AFS/LDAP.

> 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=20
> $HOME/.mozilla/plugins/ directories system-specific you can just=20
> "ln -s @sys/plugins $HOME/.mozilla/" (and create the required
> subdirectories).

I have think about it, but I would like to know if anyone is using it,
and how are using it for anything diferent that bin dirs.

> > 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 believe that AFS volumes don't have ownership, authorization is only
regulated by ACLs and the three bits of read, write and execute.

> =20
> > I am asking for your's experience as a way to judge the pros and the
> > cons of the various approaches.
> >=20
> >      Jose Calhariz
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   Jose Calhariz

	A alegria esta na luta, na tentativa, no sofrimento=20
	envolvido.  Nao na vitoria propriamente dita.
		--  Mahatma Gandhi=20

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