[plug] making linux desktops consistent

Ben Jensz plug at jensz.id.au
Thu Apr 29 11:59:23 WST 2004

Craig Ringer wrote:

>NFS doesn't. Things just block indefinitely. You can use soft NFS
>mounts, but if I remember correctly that'll just cause it to give up and
>return an I/O error - which would be even more annoying.
>There are network file-systems designed to handle disconnected operation
>(coda, afs?), but they don't seem widely used or tested.
I know even LANs should be reliable.. but user intervention (stupidity?) 
never fails to surprise me at times. :)

As can the utter idiotic mentality of some workmen who don't seem to 
care about ditch witching straight through a couple of white conduits in 
the ground, even though they could clearly see they were there before 

>It's not too bad in my experience, so long as the server has a
>reasonable amount of RAM. It'll keep all regularly used files in memory
>anyway, so only writes will actually incur real disk load. Network load
>can be significant, but doesn't seem to be _too_ bad.
But how would that scale?

In the first instance I'm dealing with 30 users who use computers on a 
daily basis.. but that could grow and be extended for other purposes 
down the track.

>This gives you the Windows problem of "your profile was modified while
>disconnected. Would you like to overwrite the remote profile with the
>local profile? <yes> <no>" (or something very like that)
>Users inevitably choose the wrong thing, overwriting their work, or call
>you to ask.
Haven't seen that since we were using Win98.  XP Pro at least seems to 
handle that a bit more sanely... but we are still talking about MS 
software.  Buggy by design, buggy by nature.

>Seems to copy everything, in fact, at least under Win98. This is a pain
>when the staff think folders on the desktop are an ideal way to store 4
>years of word processing documents. I try to replace them with links to
>network volumes, but they're always recreating and re-sorting so it
>never lasts. *sigh*.
Doesn't seem to do this with XP Pro either.  We have one building that 
is on 10Mbit.. and they'd know about it (and consequently I'd know about 
it) if their profile was being loaded fully everytime they logged on and 
off.  It doesn't appear to copy some things either on log on or log off 
that are already there, but some things it seems to still.

>With difficulty, I suspect, unless you just decide that the client
>_always_ overwrites the server (or vice versa) when syncing. Both
>approaches have problems. Prompting the user is both somewhat tricky,
>and likely to confuse them. 
But.. we are talking about rsync here... in my (albeit minimal) usage of 
rsync, it appears to sanely handle synchronising only the necessary data 
between machines.

Of course you'd have to make sure a user didn't logon twice.  But yeah, 
I'm talking purely in regards to a Linux desktop / Linux server 
arrangement (removing Windows from the picture altogether)... so user 
prompts.. nah.. leaves them too many options to stuff things up, I'd 
rather have an expected course of action everytime that the user can't 
muck with. :)

/ Ben

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