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Gatorboxes and Symbolics NFS

    Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1992 14:49 EST
    From: barmar@Think.COM (Barry Margolin)

	Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1992 12:23 EST
	From: gadbois@MCC.COM (David Gadbois)

	I looking for some way of getting an ethernet-equipped Macintosh to talk
	transparently to the Symbolics file server where we keep all our
	sources.  I have tried NCSA Telnet, which works OK but is too manual,
	and the Wollongong NFS client software, which just does not work.

	Several folks have recommended getting a Gatorbox, which translates the
	Apple file protocol into NFS.  Has anyone tried using one of these
	critters to mount a LMFS via NFS?

    There was a discussion about a month ago about doing this with
    NFS/Share, which is Macintosh NFS client software.  I haven't tried it,
    but my gut feeling is that there's a good chance it won't work.  I can
    send you the messages in the discussion, if you'd like, but the
    following is a summary.

As I mentioned in a private message to Mr. Gadbois, Cayman Systems, the
makers of the GatorBox, successfully tested a version of their NFS
client against the Symbolics NFS server at Connectathon '90 (an event
sponsored by Sun every year to allow vendors to test their NFS and X
implementations against each other).  Cayman Systems did not attend
Connectathon '92 and I did not attend Connectathon '91 so I do not have
any more recent results.

    The problem is that both Symbolics and Mac NFS implementations expect
    the other system to be Unix (or Unix-like), because many aspects of the
    NFS protocol are Unix-specific.  In particular, both of them need to
    translate user names to Unix userid numbers, so they want to look in the
    other system's /etc/passwd, or ask the other system where its NIS server
    is.  I think it will check the namespace to make sure that the other
    system is Unix before trying this, but if it isn't then you need to put
    all this info in the namespace.  The NFS protocol really only works well
    when at least one of the ends of the connection is a Unix system.

It is true that NFS is mostly Unix-specific but most implementations
recast their native pathnames into Unix format for use with NFS.