Idiot guide to file server?

Bryan's picture

I was wondering if there was a good guide to setting up the file server, one which deals with configuring users and shares?  I've been fighting with TKL file server, to no avail.  My end goal is three separate shares, each accessable by different user groups (I'd prefer to manage at the level of groups, if at all possible, as some users may be in multiple groups).

The TLK is virtualized under virtualbox, with four folders shared which I want the TKL to use as the server storage.  All four of these appear in the /media folder, so I know they're mounted in a way TLK can access them.

I used the webadmin to first set the samba server name and workgroup, and then set the various folders as separate shares, and at the same time I removed the default shares.  I then went and created linux groups (after setting things up to auto-sync linux and samba groups/users); three groups in total.  I then created users, assigning to each user the appropriate group(s).  I then went back to the shares and set them to be read/write accessable to the groups I wanted access to each share.

AFAIK, that should work.  However, I am unable to see the shares on the network, nor can I map the drive directly via "Add Network Drive" in windows or via the "Connect to Server" dialoug in linux.  If I use the later I can sign in, but no shares/files are visable.

Any help - or an idiots guide - would be greatly appreciated!


Jeremy Davis's picture

Have the users got access to the files/folders?

Others have had issues with the setup too and really it needs some better documentation. IIRC I struggled with this when I set up my TKL Fileserver (a few years ago now), but got there in the end...

I would also double check user sync (between Linux & Samba) because I found the auto-sync a little flakey in the legacy version of TKL (v11.x may be better but not sure...).

Bottom line is though that TKL v11.x is built on Ubuntu 10.04 so any of the Ubuntu docs regarding Samba should apply (although it won't explain how to use Webmin - just commandline).

Bryan's picture

I think I know what is going on.  I can connect via sftp, and when I do so I gain access to the root of the VM.  I can browse around on anything within the VM itself, but the folders I've linked to on the host (using virtualbox's guest additions) are not accessable - I get a "you do not have permission" error.

Thing is, the UID I sftp'd in with is one which should have access to those folders (I've checked, and the user is listed as having read/write access) which thinks the problem lies on the host side of things.

If anyone knows a good way to fix this, I'd like to hear.  I may just have to setup the folders on the host using samba, which seems a pretty round-about way of doing it.


edumax64's picture

Hi Brian, I agree with what you wrote in the post. I downloaded the ISO of the Appliance file server, and created a KVM virtual machine on ProxmoxVE. Works well I have access via sftp, but I can smb shares and to create ne'm Noj find traces of samba installed. I tried to install the modules for webmin samba, but we need the next version and updated. How do I create shares? The firewall and 'set to Accept. From the command line I can not install on Ubuntu SMB packets. You have no idea about, 'cause this appliance and' a really nice program! Thanks to everyone for their work.
Best Regards!

Jeremy Davis's picture

So I'm not really sure whats going on there for you?

PS if you're using Proxmox, check out the new OVZ appliance templates (and TKL channel).

rema's picture

Please is there a dummy book i could read for starter using Turnkey File Server, am kinda new to this stuff. Any help will be appreciated.

Jeremy Davis's picture

That might sound silly but it's true.... Once you know how to do something it's actually really hard to remember what it was like when you couldn't. It's called the "Curse of Knowledge". So I'm not sure how keen or motivated you are, but if you have the time, energy and inclination then that'd be a super awesome thing to do! :)

The TurnKey docs are fairly good place to get started for a general overview and the TurnKey specifics. This page is probably a particularly good place to start...

Essentially TurnKey Fileserver is a headless (i.e. no desktop/GUI) Debian (Wheezy aka 7) server, which includes a web admin UI (Webmin) and a neat web file manager (the version installed in TurnKey is called Ajaxplorer but has since been renamed Pydio). It also has SFTP preconfigured as well as Samba3 preinstalled.

If you do some googling and reading around the underlined terms in the above paragraph then you should be able to start getting your head around a lot of it...

Also the other option is to just install it as a VM and play with it... Document everything as you go (so you can redo the stuff that works and avoid the stuff that doesn't). Then when you break it, delete it and start again. You can google any specific issues and you'll probably find answers. And if you don't break it, you're not playing hard enough! :) Once you have your head around it, then set it up for real (using the documentation you made...

And if you have specific questions that you can't find the answer too then start yourself a new thread here on the forums...

I set up the FileServer as a VM via ProxMox.  

I used the interface in ProxMox to add a hard disk for storage. 

I then setup Turnkey Fileserver by doing this:

  1. Install it from ISO.
  2. Create the disks inside the VM, put ext4 on the disks, I called them oldfiles and newfiles. (instructions way below.)
  3. SSH to the VM, #chmod 777 /newfiles; chmod777 /oldfiles
  4. Go to Webmin.  
  5. Samba, Windows Networking, Security- Share level
  6. Servers, Samba, Create a new file share. 
  7. Share name oldfiles, Directory /oldfiles, 777
  8. Select oldfiles, Security, Wireable-yes
  9. File Permissions, can delete readonly files - yes (if you want to ever delete a read-only file). 
    1. Set file permisssions as 777, 777 if you want to be able to execute files, for example, if you are using this as a remote disk with programs, apps, or whatever on it (even just the install filess). 
    2. Set file permissions as 666,666 if you want to ensure that nobody executes one of these files.  For example, if you know that they are all photo/video/documents.  This is slightly better security than 777. 
  10. Restart Samba -- Servers, Samba, Restart.  


Further details about adding a disk to a VM: 

After adding it to the VM in Proxmox, then ssh to the vm and do:

fdisk -l #to see what disks you have.  Maybe the new disk is /dev/vdb

fdisk /dev/vdb



select defaults

w #to write out changes

kpartx -u /dev/vdb #if you don't have kpartx, then apt-get install kpartx

fdisk -l /dev/vdb to see it

mkfs.ext4 /dev/vdb1 (if it says it is busy, the shutdown -r now), then re-ssh to the box and do the mkfs command. 

In Webmin, go to Hardware, Partition, give the filessystem a label like oldfiles, save it

In Webmin, System, Disk, Create mount, ext4, label oldfiles, mounted as /oldfiles. 

Now, you can share it, above.  


YMMV, all disclaimers apply. 

I am not a Linux or Proxmox expert.  I'm just an idiot who took the advice to figure out something that works, document it and share. 

I set up oldfiles and newfiles as disks in the VM so that I can backup the entire qcow of oldfiles once, and then backup newfiles qcow upon demand.  And, i can move them, if I want/need to.  Is there a better way?  Probably.  If there is, let me know. 

Jeremy Davis's picture

Thanks for sharing, I'm sure others will find it useful! :)

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