NFS Server on Windows; What a pain!

We use a nice open source package called BackupPC.   It is a nice system with a powerful web interface that has many capabilities to interact with other nix and windows based hosts.

We had been using smb (Samba) to do most backups from windows hosts, however there was one problem with our Exchange Server.  The backup file was huge, roughly 16GB using ntbackup.  Samba has a limitation of 2GB files for transfer, so that was a killer.

Initially I took the “quick and dirty” route.  I created a batch file that ran the backup and use the split command to split the backup file into 500mb chunks.  It worked, but what a hack!  Recovery means restoring the files and using join to get them back together.  Not a fun prospect.

I recently ran across the the Windows Services For Unix (SFU) on a different server and found that it had the ability to add NFS server functionality to a Windows 2003 server.  Hallelujah!  No more 2GB limitations!

I looked up documentation on installing and configuring things.  I found that I had to implement User Mapping in order for Windows to translate UNIX users to Windows accounts.  No problem, it all seemed very straight forward.  I set up my shares, made sure my permissions were correct and that my users were mapped.   The drive mounted on my Linux box perfectly!  Then I tried to list the contents:

Permission Denied

Dang, so close!  I must have mucked up permissions, right?  Wrong.  I went through all of the standard troubleshooting, opened the share up to everyone including root access, mapped, remapped and changed other settings.  Still nothing.  Ugh!   Time to search Google.  I found many similar issues, but nothing that was what I really needed.  Many people had permission denied problems that turned out to be issues with user mapping or root access.  Not my problems, although I tried everything I found.

Finally I went directly to Google Groups and began searching.  After a few pages of things I’d seen before, I ran across a post that pointed me to this TechNet article.  I do not know why it was so hard to find this.  Searches at the MS Knowledge base did not yield these results.

Anyway, it turned out the only problem was a single initial setting all the way at the top of the SFU snap-in.  It is under the Settings tab and it simply says Server Name.  It was blank!  I would have thought that it would put the default name of the server in there, but it did not.  No biggie, I changed it and viola, everything worked!  I backed out of all my troubleshooting changes to give access only to Backup Operators and no root access to the share and things ran very smoothly.

Hopefully someone may find this pointer faster than I did, if so then my work here is done!  Until the next problem of course.  🙂

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