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Mounting University of Lethbridge "P," "R," and "W" drives under Linux

Posted: Feb 19, 2014 14:02;
Last Modified: Jul 20, 2016 16:07

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Here’s how to mount “P” (Personal), “R” (shared research), “W” (web), and department/committee drives at the University of Lethbridge.

Contents

“P” drives

Your “P” drive is the windows share that represents your standard network desktop (i.e. the thing you see if you log into a classroom or other computer on campus).

The address is ulhome.uleth.ca/$USER where $USER is your account username (the same as the lefthand side of your uleth email account, or, in my case, daniel.odonnell.

ulhome is a CIFS drive. To mount it, you seem to have to use the commandline (I can’t seem to find the right protocol to use to use the GUI that comes with the file navigator in Ubuntu. I found instructions that worked for me here: http://www.tonido.com/support/display/cloud/Howto+properly+mount+a+CIFS+share+on+Linux+for+FileCloud

And, to solve the permissions problem that first arose, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1409720

One-time mount

To mount the drive by hand for a single session, do the following:

  1. Make sure cifs-utils is installed
  2. Choose a mount point. This can be an existing directory (if the directory has local content, it will not be available while the network drive is mounted). Or you can create a custom mount point. I did the latter: mkdir ~/ulhome
  3. Mount the remote drive. sudo mount -t cifs -o username=$USER,password=$PWORD,rw,nounix,iocharset=utf8,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777 //$REMOTEURL $MOUNTPOINT (where $USER = username; $PWORD = password; $REMOTEURL = url of CIFS drive; and $MOUNTPOINT = the directory you chose or created in step 2. Note: your IT department may not give you the full remote URL, since Windows can use the first part of the subdomain; at the U of L, for example, IT tell you the share is called \\ULHOME. I guessed it is probably in the University’s main domain and was correct: \\ULHOME is the same as //ulhome.uleth.ca/)

Automount

To permanently mount the drive you need to create a password file and use that in /etc/fstab:

1. Create a file /root/.smbcredentials with the following content:

username=$USER
    password=$PWORD

p.2. Change the permissions such that only root can read the file.
sudo chmod 700 /root/.smbcredentials

3. Now add the following line in /etc/fstab file.

//$REMOTEURL $MOUNTPOINT cifs default,uid=1000,gid=1000,credentials=/root/.smbcredentials,rw,nounix,iocharset=utf8,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777 0 0

nb: the default,uid=1000,gid=1000 part comes from http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1409720 This is to answer the problem of them mounting RO. When I tried this out, I then had to go into the directory on my local machine and manually change the permissions from access only to read and create.

4. Test if the line added in the fstab file works.

# sudo mount -a

5. Now the remote share should be mounted at /mnt/storage.

Your “R” drive

The “R” or research drive is a shared drive you can use for collaborative research projects. It is found at uleth.ca/research/$DRIVENAME where $DRIVENAME is the name IT gives the space (e.g. genee_students).

You access this using smb (Microsoft’s workgroup protocol)

  1. In Nautilus, choose “Connect to Server”
  2. In the dialogue that pops up enter the network name, prefixed by the smb protocol (smb://uleth.ca/research/$DRIVENAME).
  3. In the authentication dialogue, your username is your (full) uleth email address; password is the same as your uleth network password.
  4. That’s it.

Your “W” drive

The “W” or public drive (the drive your web files are on) is found at files.uleth.ca. This can be ssh’d into and so is a lot easier to use.

ssh $USER@files.uleth.ca

Department and committee drives

A third kind of drive is department and committee drives. These are often made by IT with spaces in the name (grrr). An example might be: cifs://uldept.uleth.ca/ResearchServices/BoGRC Committee

There are different ways of handling spaces in file names depending on how you are mounting things. For use from the commandline for one-off mounting, several normal options (e.g. \ , \040, and %20) don’t seem to work. What does seem to work is putting the whole directory with the space in quotation marks. So in the above example, the following works (where $USER is your uleth username) : sudo mount.cifs //uldept.uleth.ca/ResearchServices/"BoGRC Committee" BOG -o username=$USER

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