Linux File Server Problems

Ok I just spent the last few days trying to configure a simple Linux file sharing server via SAMBA. This is usually a trivial task installing CentOs but for some reason this time round it was a joke. These are the problems I faced and overcome eventually.

  • First the on board NIC card just wasn’t working after install, issues with drivers. So tried installing the latest version of CentOs 6.0 but still it didn’t work. (Fixed it by having to admit defeat and buy a new NIC PCIe Card)
  • Then I noticed once trying to install a second hard drive that the system was treating them as IDE with /dev/hda /dev/hdb etc. The drives are SATA so should be referred to as /dev/sda /dev/sdb. The transfer rate was ridiculously slow so due to this being set wrong on install. Finally I found out this was down to a BIOS setting. The SATA controller was set as IDE and the only other option I had to try was ADHCI. I chose this option reinstalled again and finally the drives were being read as /dev/sda /dev/sdb and the install completed in a bout 15mins. About a million times quicker.
  • Then when setting up SAMBA I could see the shares on a windows machine but couldn’t access them. Very annoying, eventually this was down to SELinux which is an additional security protocol that was preventing other users from accessing the share. I disabled this completely and it fixed the problem.

The above problems seem small but the time it took with trail and error debugging was ridiculous, plus I think I installed CentOs about 6 times before finally having success. I have never had this issue before with other Linux file sharing box’s I have made. I guess this motherboard was just not that Linux loving. Hopefully now I will have the answer if these issues ever arise again.