Subject: Re: Keith Bostic: MS Press Release - Common Internet File System (CIFS) (fwd)
To: None <>
From: Justin T. Gibbs <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/23/1996 23:42:53
>Sure, NFS has been around for a long time, and it does what they are
>saying "CIFS" (really SMB with a new name) does. But:
>1) NFS uses Sun RPC which makes it difficult to get through a firewall
>in any kind of reasonable fashion without potentially allowing lots of
>other (non-RPC) stuff.
>2) CIFS is already in place on millions of desktop machines all over the
>world, while NFS is still an addon ($$$) option for them.
>I think, though, that none of this hoopla could have been at all
>justified without the existence of Samba, which brings the protocol to
>Unix servers, and so provides a freely available reference
>implementation and completes the loop. (Even Novell used Samba to do
>their SMB compatibility NLM for Netware).
>Hype? Yes. Useful and a "Good Thing(tm)"? Also yes.

Samba isn't quite enough though.  I don't know of any publicly released
software that gives you the ability to generically "mount" a remote SMB
volume and challenge each user on the system for their password when the
attempt to access it.  I've never read the spec, but I thought that the
protocol assumes a single set of credentials per machine, so it's very
difficult to get SMB to behave in the same way as NFS.  I know that
Novell had to jump through some serious hoops to get this to work in

Justin T. Gibbs
  FreeBSD: Turning PCs into workstations