Would anyone please explain a bit about sharing between Unix and Windows?

From my understanding, Unix can only see windows's share/print by Samba. However, I was googling around and found many pages talking about mounting Windows CIFS by just using regular "mount" command. Is Samba outdated now?

Is it right that NFS (network file system) is for Unix while CIFS is for Windows? Can the terms be interchangable?

If I have created a Windows share folder, is this folder considered NFS or CIFS? What would be the easiest way to access this folder from Unix?

What about mounting a Windows box's CDRom?


CIFS - Common Internet File System

This is the updated version of SMB (Server Message Block), or Samba. Linux systems use CIFS to mount Windows shares, but will use a Samba server to provide shares to Windows systems. CIFS is the protocol. Samba is the application/server code. So, yes Samba per se has been outdated by CIFS, and you can indeed directly mount Windows shares in Linux. I do it all the time. Likewise, vise versa for Windows mounting Linux shares.

What about mounting a Windows box's CDRom?

I don't bother with that, since I only run Windows these days in a virtual machine on a Linux host... :-) If Windows shares the drive, then it should work just fine.

yes, CIFS is really handy (just tried a couple of win sharing)..
I also found out from someone that Win2008 is now supporting NFS.. I haven't looked into NFS much but I know NFS used to be for Unix and Linux. Does anyone know the diff between NFS and CIFS? Sharing a folder on windows would be cifs,, sharing the whole drive is cifs i think.. then what is nfs? is it just a diff protocol which does the same thing?

Windows has supported NFS, as a client at least, for a long time, since Win2000 anyway, with their SFU (Services for Unix) package - a free download from MS. NFS would be most useful when your Unix/Linux servers are not going to run Samba. If Unix/Linux is the client and Windows is the server, then I would advise using CIFS since that way there is better preservation of Windows file/directory permissions, ACLs, and such. Anyway, staying with CIFS/Samba just keeps your Windows users from needing to futz with all the *nix cruft. All they need to do is share folders as usual, or connect to a group share on the *nix system(s) like they do to another Windows box.

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