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Linux tips and tweaks

Mount a Buffalo Linkstation NAS

Network Attached Storage or NAS for short is basically an external hard disk drive that is connected to the network using a LAN cable rather than a computer via a USB lead. It works pretty much the same way though and you can access the NAS disk drive as if it was directly attached to the computer. It will be a bit slower if you use a wireless connection because of the limited speed of Wi-Fi, but if the drive has a 1Gbit/s network interface and you plug it into a router with 1Gbit/s sockets and then connect your PC with a 1Gbit/s then it really flies. So how do you access NAS from Linux?

After spending an hour on the internet searching for a way to do this and trying varous Terminal commands, I discovered that it is actually a lot simpler than I thought. A few mouse clicks and it's up and running, with no software to install. I'm using a Buffalo Linkstation Live with a 1Gb disk drive and Ubuntu 10.04, but other NAS devices are probably similar.

All you need to do in Ubuntu is to go to the Places menu and select Connect to server. In the dialog that appears, choose Windows Share for the service type because the NAS default setup is for Windows PCs. Enter the IP address of the NAS in the Server box. (How do you find this out? It'll be something similar to your router. My router is 192.168.2.1 and the NAS is 192.168.2.2.) Finally, enter the share name in the Share box. This is the folder that is shared on the NAS and on my NAS its name is share, which is convenient.

NAS on Linux

It's actually a lot easier to see the IP address and shared folder names on a Windows PC because you get software to show this sort of thing. Once you know the IP address though, you can type it into a web browser and log on to the NAS and see all the settings.

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