Life used to be simple: Your company was a Mac shop or a Windows shop. These days, the line between the two platforms is blurring, with many organizations using servers and workstations of both platforms for various functionalities. Ryan Faas explains some simple ways for system administrators to reduce the headaches of a multiplatform business.
Easy Ways To Integrate Mac and Windows Servers
About The Author
Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli
2005-12-05 7:22 amAnonymous
If I wasn’t anonymous myself, I’d rate you higher for this.
Is it so right it hurts.
A few years back, we tried to use SMB in-house to make life easier on the Windows users while keeping Linux users happy.
Everyone just ended up using scp clients to share files, the SMB was so unreliable and slow.
2005-12-05 9:22 amAnonymous
>Use Macintosh servers if you want to make sure that both >Mac and WIndows users are fully interoperable.
Couldn’t agree more.
Current Macs (Mac OS X) are *very* interoperable with anything-but-the-kitchen-sink.
(however there’s still the myth that Macs aren’t, but that one is outdated and plain wrong anyway 😉
2005-12-05 12:04 pmhal2k1
“Use Macintosh servers if you want to make sure that both Mac and WIndows users are fully interoperable.”
That is one way. Or you could use Linux servers. Or you could use both Linux and Macintosh, on the servers and/or on the desktops.
The latter is the very best way – keep Windows out of the scene altogether. By far the easiest and best way to achieve multiplatform interoperability.
2005-12-05 1:14 pmDevL
“The latter is the very best way – keep Windows out of the scene altogether. By far the easiest and best way to achieve multiplatform interoperability.”
Not to mention keeping grief out of the scene. 🙂
2005-12-11 10:26 pmAnonymous
I wonder how are you scoring this…
Not that long ago not only windows, but also BSD and linux boxes could not connect to OS X samba server. This was fixed, then the problem was with TCP stack… and so on.
Samba really works better on linux or BSD. Apple “customized” too much (for no reason).
OS X 10.3 SMB was unbearably slow. 10.4 is somewhat better, however SMB over VPN is too slow and far from SMB performance on onther Unix(like) boxes.
Tiger/AD can’t keep settings in smb.conf: each time when one uses Workgroup Manager, smb.conf settings are reversed to default (auth methods = guest opendirectory) and so on.
So this statement:
“Use Windows if you want to give Mac users on the network grief.”
should be corrected:
“Use OS X if you want to give Mac users on the network grief.”
OS X will work great in Mac only shops however in the mixed environement it is still pain. Instead of replacing anything it would be great if OS X could simply fit well to existing networks.
Anonymous (IP: 24.71.83.—) : Well, Macintosh servers use SMB, which is reliable and fast (much more than NFS)! A few years ago, it could have been different, but now, be sure that Samba is a killer app for the Unix-like servers.
Since MS continually tries to “improve” it’s SMB protocol in a way which makes it incompatible with current SAMBA releases, they also tend to break compatibility with everyone but themselves.
If you have to have a SMB network with multiple platforms on the clients, better use SAMBA or Apple servers.
I remember at least eleven years regularly using Mac workstations neworked by Alpha servers running Windows NT Server 3.51. In addition, there were Jupiter workstations in the same place which was a custom-built OS running on a SunSPARC box. I recall trialling a Savannah prepress system which was using some version of NeXTStep. Cross-platform has never been unusual in high-end print and prepress shops.
Samba is actually faster than Windows as a server, at least if you know how to set it up properly. Not long ago, benchmarks were released showing Samba as fast as 250% compared to Windows running on the same hardware.
My experience has been that Mac’s do a very, very poor job of connecting to and using Windows servers. Connecting is problematic, and if anything goes wrong with the connection (e.g., either machine goes to sleep), I generally have to reboot the Mac to ever connect again. There are also issues with directories that don’t update and files that stay locked permanently, etc.
Connecting to shared folders on the Mac from a PC works perfectly every time, and is easier to set up. From a user’s point of view, they generally don’t need to know where a shared folder is physically located anyway.
Now if they could just do something about USB printer sharing. I have never successfully shared a printer crossplatform (and I’ve tried quite a few OS/printer combinations.) Mac-Mac and PC-PC printer sharing, is of course, trivial.
2005-12-05 10:08 pmAnonymous
“Now if they could just do something about USB printer sharing. I have never successfully shared a printer crossplatform (and I’ve tried quite a few OS/printer combinations.) Mac-Mac and PC-PC printer sharing, is of course, trivial.”
Connect the USB printer to a Linux machine. (HP printers generally operate under Linux pretty well). On the Linux machine, run CUPS and SAMBA. Under SAMBA configuration, allow the USB printer to be shared on the local network.
On a PC, obtain a generic postscript printer driver. Adobe offer such a driver for free download.
Finally, with the Linux machine also running, install the generic (perhaps from Adobe) postscript printer driver on the PC, and select the networked Linux CUPS printer.
Even I have got this arrangement to work, so it can’t be that hard.
I do note however that the main components of this interoperability have nothing at all to do with Microsoft.
Let me add my voice to say that it is usually better to use Samba on Linux (or Mac) servers than actual Windows servers. Not only is it cheaper, but it is faster and you are guaranteed that it will interoperate better.
On my home network (4 machines), the only one that has trouble sharing files with others is the Windows XP Pro box. It has no problems browsing shares on other machines, but for some reason will refuse to list its own shares to the Linux clients (you have to specify the share by name when accessing it).
Have you ever looked at how Macs perform as servers? Running Apache, a P3-500 running Linux outperforms a dual PowerPC G5. It’s awful.
2005-12-05 11:51 pmAnonymous
Macs aren’t meant to be servers… they’re creative slates on which the luminaries of our time can let their dreams run wild. NASA scientists use Macs, Marvel comic book artists use Macs, even Bill Gates is rumored to have a Mac for his own private use. Leave the serving to the unix nerds and the production of useful material to the Mac!
2005-12-05 11:56 pmAnonymous
Mac has Unix so its really the same thing. And with technologies like Darwin and AGP, it runs even faster than Unix hardware. Get with the digital revolution.
Actual link to story is
Use Windows if you want to give Mac users on the network grief.
Use Macintosh servers if you want to make sure that both Mac and WIndows users are fully interoperable.