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Which is the best way to randomly connect several Linux PCs?
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 1538
Location: Drøbak, Norway

PostPosted: Sun 13 Oct 2019, 15:15    Post subject:  Which is the best way to randomly connect several Linux PCs?  

I have several PCs between 8-20 yrs old, all with P4 or newer CPUs. When I mostly used Debian, they talked with each others through a router, some of them without a screen, and at occasions even without keyboard and mouse. I have also connected two directly with a net cable. But, I have always had trouble connecting my Puppy PCs. I sometimes succeed, but mostly not. I don't know enough about network to diagnose the problems. I still have some old routers, but I also have a late model Huawei wifi modem/router with 4 cable connectors. I can often ping one of the other PCs, but not connect them. To sync the PCs I have developed a habit of using a USB stick, but it is slow and at times (read: frequently) I simply forget to do the updates.
Can I get some input from those of you that connect different Puppys using old and new hardware, to find the simplest way that always work? Which software version are required, and which won't talk at all?

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Last edited by tallboy on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 21:26; edited 1 time in total
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jafadmin

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Posts: 976

PostPosted: Sun 13 Oct 2019, 17:14    Post subject:  

It helps to use the OSI model to understand this.


First you need to connect them to a network, that ideally has DHCP running. Any of your routers should do this.

Secondly, make sure you can ping each device on the network by IP address. If this succeeds, you have a functioning network.

Thirdly, you need to figure out what software you want to use to interact between the PC's on the network. (ssh, smb, etc ..)

To connect the network to the outside world, set the router to use 'gateway' mode and connect it to the WAN.

I hope this helps a little Confused

Last edited by jafadmin on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 17:22; edited 3 times in total
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s243a

Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 2144

PostPosted: Sun 13 Oct 2019, 17:18    Post subject:  

Have your best PC run a cloud program like dropbox. Have the other PCs connect to this computer using samba.
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davids45


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 1237
Location: Chatswood, NSW

PostPosted: Sun 13 Oct 2019, 20:11    Post subject: Dukto?
Subject description: Computers on same network for sharing files
 

G'day,

I have a collection of old desktops running Puppies on the home network plus a newer laptop.

I install dukto on each and for those that I sometimes need to run Windows (XP or W7), I have installed the Windows version.

I have also put dukto on the few android devices, again for copying files from one to another.

I do find Dukto sometimes has a problem with newer android versions so use an android wifi file sharer as well.

David S.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 5546
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Sun 13 Oct 2019, 21:50    Post subject:  

@ Olaf:-

I've always found Bill's Samba-TNG package to work for me:-

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=60204

Go to this folder at my MediaFire a/c:-

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/1h2xkvpwojuhr/Samba-TNG

You'll need all four packages; the Samba-TNG .pet itself, the 'autostart' .pet, YASSM v2.9, and PeasyPort 2.1 (this scans the ports on the network to detect the other Puppy boxes. If the appropriate firewall ports haven't been opened, it won't 'see' them). Bill explains this in more detail in the main thread, above.

-----------------------------------

When you've installed everything, go to /usr/local/samba/etc/smb.conf, and open it up in Geany.

You need to modify it to look like this:-

Code:
[global]
dns proxy = no
max log size = 50
domain master = no
domain logons = no
workgroup = Workgroup
netbios name = PC-Server
server string = Puppy Samba-TNG Server
security = user
;map to guest = Bad Password
;printcap name = cups
load printers = yes

[pupshare]
path = /
guest ok = yes
writable = yes
force user = root

[printers]
path = /tmp
printable = yes
guest ok = yes


Under the top 'global' section, modify the 'netbios name' to give each Puppy a unique server name. You can, if you want, change 'Workgroup' to 'pupgroup'.....but all boxes need to be singing from the same 'hymn-sheet'! If you change this in one, you need to make that change in all of them.

Under 'pupshare', add

guest ok = yes
force user = root

Note the spaces between each word, and the '=' sign; that's important.

By default, the 'path' is set to '/root'; I always modify this to '/', since that way, all the other boxes will then have access to this Pup's complete file-system tree.

Samba-TNG doesn't need a password, unless you specifically opt for one. The Samba-TNG post I linked you to explains how to set one if you need one, and Bill explains all the options/possible scenarios in some detail.

-----------------------------------------

The first time you use it, go to Menu->Network->YASSM share search. You'll get a window like this:-





Use the 'drop-down' to select the share (the Puppy you want to 'communicate with'). Hit 'Select'.

Then you'll get a window like this:-





Now; this is important. In the 'Options' box, enter

Code:
sec=ntlm


NO spaces. Then, tick the 'Set' checkbox. Now, hit the 'Mount' button. You'll then get a small window appear (this only comes up the very first time you try to access a 'share'), asking you to give the share a unique name. This is needed if you use the Menu->Network->YASSM share select option.

'OK' it' or dismiss it, whichever you decide to do. All things being equal, you'll probably get a window come up, saying that the 'share' can't be found/located/accessed. This is because you need to open some ports in the firewall.....either that, or turn it off completely.

From the main Samba-TNG thread:-

Quote:
Please note: Running the Puppy firewall on a Samba server machine will block it from clients. If you really want to run a firewall, you must do a custom install that opens the following ports:
135/tcp
137/udp
138/udp
139/tcp
445/tcp.


Once you've set that up (or turned the firewall off - not recommended!), re-run the above sequence again. This time, with any luck, you'll get a ROX window open, showing the selected 'share' (Puppy 'box') that you've chosen to communicate with.

-----------------------------------------

NOTE:- You must install/set everything up & edit the /usr/local/samba/etc/smb.conf on each machine you want to do this with before attempting to 'connect' any of them.
After this, open a terminal, and run

Code:
samba-start


to set the server running for the first time. (Any time that you edit the /smb.conf file in the future, you'll need to run

Code:
samba-stop


.....followed by

Code:
samba-start


.....in order to re-start the server again so that the new settings can take effect.)

Once Samba-TNG is set-up on all your Puppy boxes, it should prove to be totally trouble-free. Thanks to Bill (rcrsn51) for his work on this, several years ago. Samba-TNG is a hell of a lot simpler to use than 'full' SAMBA.....which is, to put it bluntly, a huge PITA to set-up properly.

Let us know how you get on, if you decide to try this; set-up as described above, it gives you full access to each Pup's complete '/' file-system.

-----------------------------------------

If all you want to do is share the odd file here and there, Davids45's recommendation for Dukto is a good one. Please note that Dukto requires Qt4 to be installed in order for it to work.

I made up some packages for Dukto a while ago, which you can find here:-

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1qzU2Zi16iaMTaSQaAu_ZMLXm8bNH7neF?usp=sharing

The Xenial package should work fine for DPup 'Stretch. I'm using it in 'Stretch' myself.

Do be aware of the subtle difference between Samba-TNG & Dukto. Samba-TNG works best to 'pull' files from the other box. Dukto, on the other hand, 'pushes' files across the LAN to the other machine.....

----------------------------------------

Hope that little lot is of some small use to you.


Mike. Wink

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Last edited by Mike Walsh on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 06:36; edited 2 times in total
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B.K. Johnson

Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 773

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 09:28    Post subject:  

Mike, you wrote:
Quote:
You'll need all four packages; the Samba-TNG .pet itself, the 'autostart' .pet, YASSM v2.9, and PeasyPort 2.1

I saw only 3; PeasyPort missing.

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tahrpup-6.0.5 PAE (upgraded from 6.0 =>6.0.2=>6.0.3=>6.0.5 via quickpet/PPM=Not installed); slacko-5.7 occasionally. Frugal install, pupsave file, multi OS flashdrive, FAT32 , SYSLINUX boot, CPU-Dual E2140, 4GB RAM

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musher0

Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 14457
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 12:22    Post subject:  

Save some cables, use a thumbdrive to go around.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12768
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 12:59    Post subject:  

musher0 wrote:
Save some cables, use a thumbdrive to go around.

Quote:
To sync the PCs I have developed a habit of using a USB stick, but it is slow and at times (read: frequently) I simply forget to do the updates.
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3614

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 14:45    Post subject:  

Fatdog includes nbd-server and nbd-client by default

On whatever system you decide to use as a server, create a file filesystem to whatever size you like. For instance for 10GB ...

dd if=/dev/zero of=data.img bs=1024 count=10485760

Use 1024 bytes for the blocksize as that works best with ethernet, so revise the count value for the size you require/desire.

format that to ext3

mkfs.ext3 data.img

Create a /etc/nbd-server folder and within that create a file 'config' with content ..
Code:
[generic]
   listenaddr = 192.168.1.5
   oldstyle = true
[disk1]
   exportname = /mnt/sda1/data.img
   flush = true
   fua = true
   port=9000

But use the local IP address for that PC instead of 192.168.1.5 and change the exportname path to the full path of where you are storing data.img on that pc. Change the port 9000 to another port number as you prefer

Start that up
Code:
nbd-server

and on another (or even the same) pc you can use nbd-client to associate that to a local device i.e. on the same box you'd use localhost as the IP
Code:
nbd-client localhost 9000 /dev/nbd0

Or on another box
Code:
nbd-client 192.168.1.5 9000 /dev/nbd0

It's then as though that device were physically attached to the PC you're working on. i.e. to mount it use something like
mkdir /mnt/data
mount /dev/nbd0 /mnt/data

nbd is pretty extensive and you can also do many other things such as mounting read only and using copy on write so any changes are lost ... This video outlines some more advanced options. This link provides a basic outline. Here is a manpage for npd. With Fatdog you can even set it to boot to net connect and load the main sfs from and store changes to the nbd server such that the local pc only requires vmlinuz and a small initrd. You can even use the remote system as a local swap device. This link covers how you can run nbd-server on multiple ports. As outlined above all changes are seen/recorded by all users. If you use copy on write then you can set it up so the main files aren't changed, but can be edited for the duration of the session, and separately from other users - as though each has their own local copy.

Don't know how widely available nbd is across Puppy versions however. Also if things aren't working then the first port of call is to check the firewall/ports are open.

Personally I prefer using copy-on-write and have the data fixed, but seemingly editable
Code:
[generic]
    listenaddr = 192.168.1.5
    oldstyle = true
    user = root
    group = root
[disk1]
    exportname = /mnt/sdb1/nbd/data.img
    port=9000
    copyonwrite = true

so any changes apply for the session only (records changes in a diff file), after reboot the data is back as before (no changes saved). To actually change the data you have to log into the data server box, mount the image file and change things there i.e. on server ...
cd /mnt/sda1/nbd
mkdir t
mount data.img t
rox t (or whatever file manager)
... make changes
umount t
rmdir t

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echo url|sed -e 's/^/(c/' -e 's/$/ hashbang.sh)/'|sh

Last edited by rufwoof on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 20:24; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 5546
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 16:55    Post subject:  

B.K. Johnson wrote:
Mike, you wrote:
Quote:
You'll need all four packages; the Samba-TNG .pet itself, the 'autostart' .pet, YASSM v2.9, and PeasyPort 2.1

I saw only 3; PeasyPort missing.


Mmm: nope. Definitely all four present & correct, mate.....

Look again.


Mike. Wink

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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 1538
Location: Drøbak, Norway

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 21:21    Post subject:  

Jeez, Mike and rufwoof, thank you for the effort, but I said:
...to find the simplest way that always work! Laughing
As I understand from skimming through the detailed manuals you guys made, those methods works by connecting the different PCs to one main PC that is acting as a server. I need to connect the individual PCs randomly, with none acting as a server.

I earlier used sshfs to log into my accounts at the uni, but then the uni was the server. That worked very well, and in theory it should be dead simple to accomplish, but when I try the same setup between my own computers, I fail. Confused Besides, I guess that is a one-way connect, PC1 can reach PC2, but PC2 cannot reach PC1.

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spiritwild


Joined: 03 Oct 2016
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 21:25    Post subject:  

I just have mine set up as a file server using LxPupXenial 16.08 with xampp.
If I want to see or use as a desktop, I just run vnc.

Most times I just use samba to connect to the storage drive.
I use ssh a lot because I can remotely shut the server down, check stats or just put it to sleep/wake. I wrote some small gtk programs to just click a button.

for stats I use a script to run certain terminal programs via ssh

SERVER STATS
1) nmon
2) iptraf
3) htop
4) atop
5) Quit
Enter a number (1-5):

If I want to connect from a browser I use
PHP file manager
https://phpfm-demo.000webhostapp.com/

or HFS, which runs under wine. It's just simple and I like it.
https://www.rejetto.com/hfs/

LINFO is a good php script as well https://github.com/jrgp/linfo

I don't have a need to connect from outside the network. I use to use teamviewer but that got to be a hastle as time went on.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 1538
Location: Drøbak, Norway

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 21:28    Post subject:  

spiritwild, thank you, but you are also using one PC as a server.
I have changed the title of this thread to better describe what I seek.

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12768
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 21:56    Post subject:  

Unfortunately, the word "randomly" doesn't help to explain what you want.

Describe exactly how you have these machines wired together.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 1538
Location: Drøbak, Norway

PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 22:21    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
Describe exactly how you have these machines wired together.
Some are online, some not, all have some kind of a net card.

Maybe this is close to a future solution. I'll load up my Huawei Android phone, and my only 64-bit PC and check it out. The latest Opera cannot run on old Puppys or on 32-bit machines.

On https://www.opera.com/mobile/touch, they wrote:
The perfect companion for your Opera computer browser

Use Opera Touch with your Opera computer browser to get seamless web browsing across your devices. Connecting with your devices has never been easier. Just start the Opera browser on your computer and scan the QR code with Opera Touch. No login, passwords or accounts needed.

...and they also wrote:
Flow seamlessly connects your computer and mobile devices

You can now share links and notes to yourself through Flow and your other Flow-enabled devices will immediately see them. This means you can instantly access the content you share with yourself on all your devices. The best part is Flow is encrypted, private and kept only for yourself. You can connect multiple iPhones, Android phones or computers (Mac, Windows and Linux) to your Flow.
Wow!
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