Time Capsule As a File Server

With so many Apple devices now interacting with my family, I made the decision to install a Time Capsule as the principal wifi presence. I have always believed in heterogeneous networks. Yet, other vendors of wifi routers have resulted in performance variability for the Apple products. So, now the onus is on Apple. Guess what? Apple clients work much better with the Time Capsule. Really I should not be surprised, but it does make me wonder what goes on behind the scenes that makes the difference. Hmmmm.

The Time Capsule (TC) has a USB 3 port on it, so we now have a 2TB external drive connected to it. This disk, apart from the internal drive on Time Capsule, is used for central storage. How can one access it via Linux? The TC shares this disk via CIFS, so Windows and Linux computers can utilize the export as well. To get a list of what is available on the TC:

# smbclient -U "USER NAME" -L IP ADDRESS|hostname
Enter USER NAME's password: 
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Apple Base Station] Server=[CIFS 4.32]

	Sharename       Type      Comment
	---------       ----      -------
	USER NAME       Disk      
	IPC$            IPC       
	Data            Disk      
	USB Drive       Disk      
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Apple Base Station] Server=[CIFS 4.32]

	Server               Comment
	---------            -------

	Workgroup            Master
	---------            -------

And to mount it, the option that provides the secret sauce is the option “sec=ntlm”:

# mount -t cifs -o user="USER NAME",sec=ntlm --verbose //[IP ADDRESS|hostname]/"USB Drive" /path/to/mount

Now that the mount command can be issued manually, it can then be integrated with the Linux automounter. Now that Linux has access to the drive, the doors are open.

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