TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Common Shared folders for all appliances?

Hi,

I'm a new user (of Turnkey and of server environments in general) so I apologize if my questions are very stupid and have very obvious answers. I wasn't able to find relevant information in the documentation, though. The question is this: how can I get different appliances to communicate with each other and share common data folders? If there are instructions or tutorials on how to do this, please just point me to them.

Here's why I want to do that. I have two TKL appliances (and I'm planning to install more) running within the Proxmox VE. One is the Torrent Server Appliance and the other one is the File Server Appliance. The purpose of the Torrent Server Appliance is obvious. With the File Server what I want to do is to manage the backup copies from all the computers connected to my network. What I want, though, is to be able to gather all those files (the downloads from the torrent server and the folders with all the backup files) in a single folder so that I can make periodical backup copies of this folder on to an external drive or NAS.

I imagine that this shared folder would have to be within the Proxmox VE since now this is the only thing I have installed on the server hard disk. I'm planning to add some more hard disks to the server, though, so the shared folders could also be (perhaps preferrably?) in an independent hard disk or partition. How does one go about doing this, though? How about saving or synchronizing this folder with a NAS in my network.

I was thinking that one possibility was to have File Server appliance copy the completed files from the Torrent server appliance and then backup all the files on to the external hard drive or NAS but how can one appliance communicate with the other to do that?

Again, I think this is very simple but I guess I'm not using the right keywords to do the searches and I can't find the relevant information in the available documentation. Thanks in advance for your help.

JM

Jeremy's picture

Firstly the Torrent server appliance is built on Fileserver

So in effect the Torrent server appliance is the Fileserver apliance but with the torrent stuff on top (although I don't recall whether it still has eXtplorer as well?).

Anyway there are many different ways to skin this cat. As both the Fileserver and Torrent server have Samba installed SMB/CIFS is one option (Samba shares can be mounted on boot if you so desire). As it is a common fileshare protocol/filesystem (Windows native filesharing) it may be a good option in that regard. Personally I try to avoid SMB when doing Linux to Linux transfers although I don't have a really good reason (I have read stuff but never actually checked for myself).

If you run both appliances as OVZ then you can actually use symlinks on the Host OS (ie in PVE). I'm not sure whether this is actually a good thing or not, but I have done it and it seems to work, although it screws with the disk quota that the VMs report and may not be 'best pratice'.

NFS (native Linux file sharing) is another option but personally I have not been able to get the PVE host to load the NFS kernel module successfully (so it won't work for me in OVZ containers - they don't have their own kernel). Should be fine under KVM though.

SFTP is installed & configure by default in all TKL appliances so is a great option IMO. My personal favourite ATM is SSHFS. Instead of connecting to the remote server, it allows you to mount a folder on a remote SFTP server as a local filesystem. The beauty of that is that you can configure it to mount on boot. I've had zero issue with it (It's how my Linux XBMC HTPC connects to my TKL Fileserve).

Torrent and File Server

The SFTP option looks attractive but I was thinking of running backups automatically. I had thought I would have some cron jobs running Rsync periodically. I have never used rsync but reading about it seemed the best option. Pardon for my ignorance but if I implement the SSHFS system you suggest, would it be possible to have unatended transfers between the different machines in the network?

By the way, both File Server and Torrent Server have eXtplorer. I know because I get into it often by mistake. I want to get into Webmin but I forget to add the port (:12321) and then get eXplorer instead.

Speaking of Webmin and wegGUIs, do you know whether there is more than one administration web gui for Proxmox? I can start and shutdown the appliances with a web gui that I get by typing the IP in my browser but in this web gui there is no option to configure the running appliances or kvms.  When I installed the TKL OVZ I allocated very little disk space and with the stuff I installed in the appliances I am running out of space. I imagine you can allocate more RAM, more cores and more disk space to the OVZs but this would have to be done in Proxmox. Proxmox is great but their documentation is really poor.

JM


Proxmox 2.0 Web gui

OK, I would still like you to answer my question about unatended backups with SSHFS but I found an answer for the other question concerning Proxmox. It turns out that in the new interface you have double-click on the container to change the parameters. This wasn't obvious to me but somebody answered my question in their forums.

 

JM


Jeremy's picture

Glad you got the PVE 2.0 question sorted

I think that because v2 is quite new, radically different to v1.x and is under such heavy development is why the docs are so lacking. I suspect once PVE v2 goes stable (end of this month/early next month IIRC) the documentation will improve.

Thanks for the pointers too though. I'm sure it will come in handy when I finally start playing a bit more about with it.

As for your question: Yes Rsync is another one that I didn't consider. Rsync is probably a great way to go on reflection. SSHFS is great and I'm sure would work well, however Rsync is fine. I was considering a consistent connection rather than something like Rsync (where the connection is made when required). But that is more to do with my usage scenario and how I do things, nothing wrong with Rsync at all.

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