Tag Archives: filesystems

Mac OS X Finder Deleting Files on a Linux Share (Solved)

Last week I connected to my Linux desktop from my Mac laptop, and Finder wouldn’t let me copy files over to the Linux box. Even stranger, it would delete the original file on the share after stating that it didn’t have permission to access it!

The error message it kept popping up was:

The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to access some of the items.

So it didn’t have permission to access or save the items, but it had permission to delete them? Clearly the error message wasn’t telling the whole story!

Even stranger: if I opened a file with an application like TextWrangler or NeoOffice, they had no problem saving it! It was only Finder that had the problem!

Now, I’ve successfully transferred files back and forth between these computers many times before, but I had changed two things recently:

  • Upgraded the Linux box to Fedora 13.
  • Installed the Mac OS X 10.6.4 update to Snow Leopard.

I didn’t have much luck searching online, maybe because I was looking for the wrong terms. The closest I came up with were discussions like this one, but they all involved a server using netatalk or other AFP file sharing implementations. I’ve been using samba (Windows-Style SMB shares) on the Linux box ever since I had some problems with Netatalk and decided that since the Mac would connect via Samba, I wouldn’t worry about it.

I idly posted the problem on Twitter. My brother replied that he’d run into the same problem (on Ubuntu, IIRC), and suggested turning off Unix extensions in Samba. That meant opening up /etc/samba/smb.conf on the Linux box and adding the following line to the “Filesystem Options” section:

unix extensions = no

I restarted Samba on the Linux box, and that was it. The Mac was able to copy files over without any errors!

I hope this post helps someone else solve the same problem.

%@$* Networked File Systems!

You’d think with the number of years we’ve been sharing files across networks we’d be able to do it somewhat reliably.

Windows: Try to connect to a computer that’s down or misconfigured, and sit for at least 30 seconds, unable to use an explorer window, click on your desktop, or, if you’re really unlucky, use the taskbar or Start menu, until it realizes it can’t connect. (I don’t know if this has been fixed in Windows XP, but it’s still a problem in Windows 2000.)

Unix: On one hand processes are separated better so you don’t normally get a full system lock-up unless it’s trying to connect while starting up…but if you have a modern GNOME desktop, and you have a file in your recent documents list on an auto-mounted NFS share that isn’t available anymore (say, because you turned the computer off), it can lock up your desktop while it tries to connect to create a thumbnail. (This happened to me last night.) And don’t get me started with trying to disconnect from an NFS share that isn’t available.

Mac: Have you got a folder on a server with lots and lots of files in it? Especially images? Hope you can wait for it to transfer every single image over the network and create a thumbnail, because you aren’t going to be able to see anything in that Finder window until it does. (To be fair, I’m basing this on connecting to a Linux box via Netatalk, which implements Mac file sharing. For all I know, connecting to an actual Mac would pull thumbnails out of the images’ resource forks or something.)

Hmm, now that I think about it, generating thumbnails of files on network shares seems to be a problem in itself.