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File protection & Why NFS?
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 89 13:40:33 EST
From what I understand of it, NFS provides to unix machines
essentially what Lisp machines have had for a long time; the ability to
access each other's file systems, and with logical pathnames even to
do so transparently. (I've raised the hackles on a couple of Unixers
with statements like this).
A Un*x wizard I used to work with had an interesting experience one day when
his Sun console became unusable due to hardware short cuts taken at the site.
Since he had a Symbolics on his desk, he simply assigned the Sun's console IO
to a remote terminal window on the Symbolics. We both had to laugh when he
found himself, out of habit, invoking Gnu Emacs on the Sun (via the remote
terminal) to edit a Symbolics file! That day he became a convert to generic
We've got DNA and can access vax files pretty straightforwardly
(usually), but (users on) the vax cant get at the symbolics. My guess
is that it would be the same with TCP/IP & Suns. We intend to get TCP/IP soon
and I'm wondering whether we should consider NFS too. Am I right in
assumming that with NFS this becomes bi-directional, ie. the suns can
access the symbolics file systems too? If so, NFS seems relatively
useless for the regular symbolics users but pretty good for the
occasional users who normally work on SUNs. Is there anything
else it provides that I should know?
Yes, NFS for Symbolics gives Suns (and other Eunuchs) the ability to access
Lisp machine files just as if they were installed in the local Unix file
system (thanks to Sun's ability to mount remote file systems), and makes
access to Un*x files from Lispms much faster than under TCP alone. NFS is a
worthwhile thing to have on a file server of any brand, in my experience.
I say this from the viewpoint of a former customer of Symbolics. The fact
that I currently work for Symbolics has nothing to do with this opinion
(although the company can always use the revenue). A third party software
house (ILA) actually developed this, and they did an excellent job.
If the above is correct and we do decide to get NFS, then I suppose
its high time to learn about the Rel.7's protection schemes. Actually
even w/o NFS; re telnet: `User JOE BLOW is not known. Shall I just
invent a user named JOE BLOW and give this user access to everything?'
I haven't yet done my homework on the protection scheme; Anybody got any
Sorry, security isn't my specialty. There is a facility in Release 7 called
Access Control Lists (ACL), and there's also subnet security which prevents
access from outside the local network(s). Symbolics does support DES
encryption for text files, if that's of any help.
-- Chuck Fry