Samba / Filesharing of USB Drive $150.00



  • Connect a USB Drive and make it a samba share.  Should be in package form.  Should support NTFS, FAT, FAT32, FATEX, HFS

    At the least, it should support NTFS and FAT derivatives.  This would allow for basic filesharing functionality and give people a place to send their backups (or stream movies inside their LAN)

    Ability to Bind the Samba process to Any Interface.





  • You might be more interested in FreeNAS.



  • Well… many cheap home firewall support this feature (of course we're not talking about a corporate environment), but at home we could easily share the content of an external USB hard disk or pen (imagine how handy could be for an Android tablet for example).

    I know it sounds strange to make a firewall to act as a NAS, but if a lot of other (home) routers/firewall do that there must be a reason...



  • $20 from me to support this feature


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    So your willing to put up $150 when you could go and buy say a pogoplug for like $50 and there you go nas for your USB.  Shit I picked up one for $25 a while back.

    You don't have any other computer on your network to do this from?  Be it windows or linux or bsd?  All of them can share out a usb stick via smb/cifs.

    Now if pfsense was meant for the typical home user that does not have clue one - then ok maybe might be a useful package.  But I really just don't see this as something I want to do on my router/firewall when there are plenty of easier ways to do it.  Be it any other computer on my network, a dedicated box (cheap as hell - pogoplug, etc) or pretty much any decent wireless router that I might be using as AP also has this ability already.

    How about a raspberry pi to do this with, again way cheaper than your $150 bounty.


  • Netgate Administrator

    I take it you've all read this: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,10201.0.html
    The consensus of opinion on this is that doing this is so bad from a security standpoint it outweighs any benefit to functionality. If you really want to you should run pfSense and Nas4free (or whatever) as VMs on a single host. As Johnpoz said you can pickup a low powered NAS box very cheaply these days.
    Perhaps use a wireless AP that has a USB sharing facility, mine does though I don't use it.

    It's an interesting dilemma/proposition. If you consider pfSense as a Cisco ASA replacement/equivalent you would never consider adding file sharing. However if you are using pfSense as a home router instead of OpenWRT, for example, then it seems like a natural addition. In many ways pfSense is a victim of it's own popularity and flexibility.  ::)

    If this did happen I would probably use it!

    Steve



  • Hi stephenw10 and johnpoz,
      yes, I agree, pfSense in this case is victim of its popularity and flexibility, I mean that you can really use in different environments and purposes, and still it's pfSense with all the features we are used to have.

    If you see it as a "Cisco ASA" replacement, of course you will never think about a file sharing feature, but (just to stay in the Cisco field), if you see pfSense as a "home router", and compare it with some other Cisco product (for example the Cisco X3000), then you realize this feature has a sense.

    Why this makes sense in stead of having a dedicated PC/device? Because I don't want to turn my home in my servers' room, I have no space, I don't want to have a machine always on, I don't want to get a cheap NAS with its settings/bugs/problems, I don't want to have different devices to manage, I don't want to spend in electricity, I don't want to have the noise of a fan workining. So a cheap SSD HD or a small 2.5 HD (as quiet as possible) would allow me to store some Gigs of data and to share them with my tablet or whatever.

    Also: this feature will be a package (I mean something that can optionally be installed), so I don't see the problem in terms of "forcing everyone to have something unneeded and potentially dangerous", but will allow pfSense to have a feature that is becoming a market standard for the home product segment.

    All above is just a thought, of course there are some security issues that need to find a solution (like binding Samba to specific interfaces or adding some custom firewall rules and so on), but it doesn't look impossible to solve.

    Ciao,
    Michele



  • I believe people are just trying to say pfsense is a firewall first, router second, and everything else third. SOHO routers are routers before they're firewalls. For $150 you should be able to purchase a router that would suite your needs which likely takes up equal or less space than your pfsense setup. Your "want" for that type of setup is the reason the products you describe exist, simply because companies can make a dollar where there's a market. Just keep in mind that even SOHO setups are attacked randomly.

    SAMBA is often exploited, just look at the amount found in metasploit. You're going to run a SAMBA service on your firewall that'll never get updated and likely give a random somebody elevated rights to your firewall. Maybe a neighbor hacks your wireless, maybe the developer doesn't follow best practice, or maybe you on accident screw the firewall rules - you're cooked.

    That said, sure if you find an interested developer who will be more than willing to take the $150 to convert your firewall into a file sharing device, why not? Where there's a market there's going to be somebody willing to do it. I hope you find a developer able to get you what you want. Just to help with what little knowledge I have, I've heard of freebsd ports being converted/brought over to pfsense. Depending on which version of pfsense you're using, you'll have to find the corresponding version but here's a starting point:
    http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/ports.cgi?query=samba&stype=all

    In conclusion, I would do the legwork of which port you specifically want, and modify this post. (2.0.1 runs off of freebsd 8.1 I think)



  • @stephenw10:

    In many ways pfSense is a victim of it's own popularity and flexibility.  ::)

    If this did happen I would probably use it!

    Steve

    Exactly.  I think people should just stick to what the OP wants and the other poster who offered up another $20.  If it doesnt suit YOUR need then so what?  If this ever comes to be, then dont install it.  Obviously there is a demand out there for it as this is not the first thread I've seen that came up with this.

    I have a pfsense box at the office.  But I also have a dedicated NAS there.  I also have a pfsense here at home that connects site2site vpn.  I'd love to install something like this on the one here at home.  I'd use the crap out of it.



  • Hi,
      yes… ok, I personally add $20 for this feature, and I offer myself as a tester.

    Actually, I already tried to install it manually on a virtual machine and it works, I was just thinking how to integrate it with the pfSense user manager, since Samba uses a own password file, but unfortunately I don't have any free time to put on nothing... :(

    Ciao,
    Michele



  • I've sucessfully installed Samba on my 2.0 pfsense awhile back but never got around to configuring it.



  • Also, the package should be integrated with an auto-mount feature in order to be able to use external drives/pens attached via USB…

    There is an automount script here http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=29895 , is there anything easier to manage an automount feature?

    Thanks,
    Michele


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