Remotely access Linux directory from Windows

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How can I remotely access a Linux directory on my home network from a Windows machine at work?

Ultimately, I would like to map the Linux partition or directory as a Network Drive in Windows 7 so I can directly edit a single file or group of files in a project, using applications on my Windows machine. I have Samba set up and can access the files locally on a Mac OS X computer on my home network, but am not sure how to do it remotely.

Do I need to implement SSH or VPN? Does the partition have to be formatted as NTFS (or NTFS-3G)?

I have seen posts on FTP/FTPS, SSH/SFTP tunneling, SCP, WebDAV, Samba, etc., but am unsure how to accomplish what I need. I don’t think FTP/FTPS or SCP are the way to go, as I don’t want to have to transfer the file, edit the file, then transfer it back. I would like to mount the directory as if it were native to Windows, and be able to perform regular file operations on the contents.

Can someone give some advice on remote access?


Do I need to implement SSH or VPN?

You can’t (in common case) SSSing to internal host from outside. Yes, you have to have VPN-link from WorkNet to HomeNet

Does the partition have to be formatted as NTFS (or NTFS-3G)?

No. It can be any FS, which your Linux understand

Depending on the size of file contents, I think the easiest method would be to use DropBox or equivalent.

A VPN would work, but they can be complicated (even more so if your home network does not have a static IP address). Your Window’s box should be able to communicate with your SAMBA server no matter what file system your SAMBA server is using.. the only issues you will run into is how Window’s handles Mac/Linux file names and case sensitivity.

You could also use rsync (via Cygwin) or sshfs. These methods will require you to know your home router’s public facing ip address and have the proper port forwarding setup on the router. Also, rysnc would require you to edit your files locally and then sync the changes, but this could be useful since it only sends the file differences when syncing, saving on bandwidth.

From simple to hard, I would say: DropBox, rsync/scp, sshfs, vpn.

InChargeOfIT it is right. It will be complicated and setting up a DropBox is the easiest method. However, you will then need to know which files you want to view ahead of time.

You can set up a VPN with a dynamic IP by using OpenVPN and a service like / This will allow you to connect from anywhere to your system at home. Then all you need to do to share the files is to set up your SAMBA server and make sure your files are shared. I use this method, and it perfectly acceptable for me, just make sure you have a strong key for your VPN (1024bit minimum, preferably 2048bit)

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