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Gatorboxes and Symbolics NFS

    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.

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.

There's a Macintosh program called XferIt, that provides a nice,
window-oriented interface to FTP.  Unfortunately, it seems to have
trouble understanding LMFS directory listings, so it doesn't work too
well with Symbolics servers.