IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding the file-sharing protocols used by Mac OS X Server
Setting up AFP, SMB, FTP, and NFS for secure access to file sharing
Determining who can access shared data
The standard version of Mac OS X lets any user share files over the network using any combination of AFP (Apple Filing Protocol), SMB (Server Message Block), and FTP (File Transfer Protocol). It also lets you modify the permissions of files and folders as well as define the ways in which users and groups can access certain resources. Mac OS X Server inherits all these capabilities but adds many additional features.
For one thing, Mac OS X Server also supports serving files using the NFS (Network File System) protocol. The standard version of Mac OS X can function as an NFS client but not as a server. In addition, for every supported protocol, Server Admin offers extensive control over settings and permissions, making it much easier to create ACLs, work with users and groups, choose authentication methods, limit resource usage, and tweak numerous other parameters.
As usual, the full details of how Mac OS X Server's file-sharing features operate and how to configure them optimally could fill a book — and they do: Apple's free PDF guide File Server Administration (for Snow Leopard; the Leopard version is called File Services Administration), available at www.apple.com/server/macosx/resources/documentation.html. In this chapter, I want to introduce you to the basics ...