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File Server that Serves Files the best?
denyasis commented on 2 January 2018 at 4:44 pm UTC

Hey all,

wanted to thank you ask for the suggestions and let you know what I ended up doing (for now).

I generally like NFS, so I tried some experiments. Stan, I liked your ping script for sshfs and a found one for NFS on the archwiki. I implemented it using a systemd timer and it seems to work. I found it was generating a ton of syslog output and tagged that down to the systemd idle timeout for my mounts (basically systemd was now configured to fight itself). I changed the script to only unmount (since systemd handles the automount and timeout).

I tested it out while taking apart my server for about 2 hours. No freeze on shutdown! A slight freeze when opening the file manager, but not obnoxiously long like before.

Only weird thing is Thunar. My device and mount timeout ate set to 10 sec, so I'd figure a maximum freeze of 20 sec. I can see in the logs when I open Thunar, it tries to mount the shares, but the freeze time isn't consistent. Sometimes 20sec, sometimes minutes (I got up to 5). Pcmanfm is fine. I forgot to test how long it freezes if I click on a share.

On the server side, I completed my upgrade, replacing the 2008-9 Intel atom 330, with an AMD a8-5545. I also upgraded from 2gb of ddr2 ram (the Intel board's max), to 8gb of ddr3. It's so quiet! And fast! Itx has come a long way in 10 years! The only original parts left on that old server are the power supply and the 16gb sata ssd (summer project).

Now that I have a speedy server, I'm gonna try out sshfs and webdavs on my next day off. Seafile looks cool too. I'll admit I'm probably too invested in Nextcloud to switch out right, but I'm gonna keep it in mind should I start having problems with Nextcloud.

Thanks again for the suggestions! Happy New year!

stan commented on 2 January 2018 at 6:38 pm UTC

Glad that you got it at least somewhat working .

damarrin commented on 3 January 2018 at 11:10 am UTC

I know I'm late to the party and your problem is solved, but I'd also like to recommend own/nextCloud. It runs as a regular cloud service, syncing a folder in your home but, at least in Gnome, if you set up your account, it'll show a tab in the left column of the file manager that works just like a network share. From my experience, it works very well.

Edit: in other environments, which may not have ownCloud/nextCloud integration, it's enough to do "connect to server" in the file browser using davs:// protocol. You'll need to supply the correct directory, but it's all explained in the online documentation.

denyasis commented on 4 January 2018 at 8:33 pm UTC


Thanks for the info. I do have a Nextcloud implementation on my server to access stuff over the web. I did my server upgrade and found that Nextcloud runs much much faster.

I took an old 2005 laptop that I use in my office for websurfing and tried out davs and sshfs. Its wireless and only a few feet from the server. Using PCMANFM to connect to the server with davs and sshfs. sshfs was super fast, worked with my ssh keys, and was pretty responsive. My only issue with it was that it mounted the servers root directory (Most likely user error on my end). Davs was a little disappointing. It was not as responsive, although moving files around seemed to be just fine. I also got some weird keyring pop-up error, when I entered the password, it gave an error saying it could not mount the share and then it mounted it anyway.

I'll probably try to mount them in fstab in the next day or so and see what it looks like.


stan commented on 4 January 2018 at 9:15 pm UTC

I’m not sure if you’re talking about davfs2 or not, but just in case, it has the problem that it copies locally any file that you access before you can actually read or write it, which can make things slow and use a lot of disk space.

And yes, with sshfs you can mount any distant directory you want, not just the root dir!

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