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I'm setting up a fileserver, and I want lots of clients to easily access it. Up to now I've always used SSHFS to share between different PCs, but since I'm setting up a single fileserver, I'm looking for other common alternatives. Up to now I've seen:

AFS: It seems it has no security, traffic is unencrypted, so it would require an SSH tunnel. If I'm to use SSH, I'd just use SSHFS.

NFS: Same as above. Also, setting up the server is not so straighforward, it doesn't seem to be KISS enough - at least not for my liking.

SMB: Same as AFS. It also seems not to be too well documented, and technically, seems a bit poor. It also seems the protocol isn't formally standardized.

SSHFS has security, but as a downside, requieres every user to have an account on the server - there's no way to make a certain directory PUBLIC either. I don't think it has locking, and isn't very fault-tolerant.

Are there any alternatives I've missing?

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closed as off topic by John Gardeniers, MDMarra, mdpc, Magellan, TheCleaner Dec 2 '12 at 1:45

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Who are the clients, and what software will they be using to access the data? What are your security requirements - sounds like you're very interested in encryption, but not in authentication (or at least not having different credentials per user) - what's the reason for that? We can make you a list a mile long, but it's hard to know what to suggest without knowing your requirements. – Shane Madden Dec 1 '12 at 1:33
What makes you think I don't care about authentication? All of the above offer authentication, and per-user+per-device credentials. The client software will depend strictly on the protocol used. – Hugo Dec 1 '12 at 6:08
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For truly secure Filesharing, use transport-mode . At that point, it won't matter what you're using for a transport since it'll be secured. You can use SMB, which darned near everything supports, and get pretty fast throughput with it.

The downside of IPSec is that it violates the "easy to access" part, since whatever they are will have to be part of your IPSec certificate system. Unfortunately, this is one case where ease, secure, and performant can't be found in the same package. You can get two of 'em.

  • NFS Fast, easy, insecure (unless you kerberize it, then it's secure)
  • AFS Fast, don't know about easy
  • SMB Fast, easy, insecure
  • SSHFS Easy, secure, slow

IPSec would add 'secure' to all of those.

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I'll consider ipsec (probably with AFS - I disagree in NFS being easy), though I'll have to properly test to see how easy/complicated it is to give new clientes access. It'll be a good deal of reading though, since I only know the basics of ipsec. :) – Hugo Dec 1 '12 at 22:43

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