Coda File System

Re: Question regarding user management in CODA

From: <>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 22:12:29 +0100
Hi Chitta,

On Thu, Feb 15, 2007 at 11:40:46PM +0530, Chittaranjan Mandal wrote:

> We are currently using NFS with NIS and autofs. So, we already
> have a pool of users and their individual home directories
> which they get after they log into a client host.
> We would like to somehow replace the autofs-NFS mechanism with
> something like "autofs-CODA". We would like the existing pool
> of users to get their files via CODA.

I want to put it straight:

Coda gives you freedom from the problems which autofs tries to solve.

They are from different worlds and you do not want to mix them,
it would be counterproductive.

If you want to make the files available via both Coda and NFS,
then you are out of luck. NFS and Coda are not compatible either
because of different conceptual design.

If you mean loopback/bind mounts of Coda directories on, say, /home/foo,
that would be a really counterproductive design. As soon as a host
can access Coda, the files are there, at known paths.

Be warned that Coda administration and usage is remarkably different
from NFS practises. The Coda paradigm is different and it takes time
to get used to it, especially when one is accustomed to NFS and when
autofs used to represent the natural way of things.

We also warned that you can _not_ give your users the same experience
with Coda as with NFS. There will be differences, some of them might
become a showstopper in your particular situation.

For instance, the users must authenticate themselves against a Coda realm,
which is very different from authenticating against the workstation itself.
NFS has no such step at all, so it becomes less convenient.
On the bright side, you users will be able to access their file from anywhere,
which NFS cannot offer.

Unfortunately, there is no "Coda best practises" document yet to rely upon,
even if there are some howtos about setting up servers and clients.

Some day CMU might want to arrange courses on Coda administration (?),
then of course the topic should be discussed there.

My advice is to set up a test Coda realm and play with Coda. Look at
the wiki and the mail archive to solve problems and then possibly try to put
home directories on Coda.

Received on 2007-02-15 16:14:18