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SLC6: Accessing CERN DFS from Linux

Accessing CERN DFS /dfs/ from Linux

CERN uses Microsoft DFS file system for storing users and application data for Windows systems.

This documentation outlines the setup process allowing Linux clients to access this file system.

While the configuration may be specific to CERN SLC6 Linux distribution, it should be applicable to a modern Linux platform, providing it features at least: samba 3.5.X, Gnome 2.28 and Kerberos 5.

Mounting CERN DFS as a Linux file system

Starting with SLC 6.2 it is possible to mount DFS as any other remote file system (with some limitations): please see documentation for details.

Access via native SMB/CIFS protocol


Nautilus can access CERN DFS filesystem using pre-installed gvfs smb addon. SLC6 nautilus/gvfs is an kerberized application allowing access to CERN DFS using Keberos credentials, without the need to type username/password.
Open Nautilus from Places menu, Select Connect to Server ... from File menu.
Select Windows share as Service type.
Enter as Server
Enter dfs as Share.
DO NOT fill in User Name nor Domain Name.
(your SLC6 Linux system will use Kerberos authentication with your valid Kerberos credentials - to check validity of these run
# klist
Optionally check Add bookmark and enter Bookmark name
then clck Connect to open connection.
From there you can browse CERN DFS file space.
Note: Due to a bug in current GVFS/Nautilus implementation it appears that creating new Folders/Files in a DFS path - to which access is granted - is not possible. As a workaround you may open a second Nautilus window on your local filesystem and drag-and-drop files from there.
Nautilus uses GVFS (virtual filesystem for GNOME desktop) as its backend to access diverse types of filesystems. It is also possible to access GVFS-mounted filessystems from command line.

To mount DFS from command line use:

# gvfs-mount smb://
To list DFS content:
gvfs-ls  smb://
Other useful gvfs related commands are:
gvfs-cat            gvfs-less           gvfs-monitor-dir    gvfs-move           gvfs-rm             gvfs-trash
gvfs-copy           gvfs-ls             gvfs-monitor-file   gvfs-open           gvfs-save           gvfs-tree
gvfs-info           gvfs-mkdir          gvfs-mount          gvfs-rename         gvfs-set-attribute


Smbclient is an ftp-like client to access SMB/CIFS resources on servers. SLC6 smbclient is an kerberized application allowing access to CERN DFS using Keberos credentials, without the need to type username/password.

To access CERN DFS using smbclient type:

smbclient -k //
For smbclient commands please see:
# man smbclient

Access using Web DAV clients


Nautilus can access Web DAV using built-in Web DAV protocol handler.

Open Nautilus from Places menu. From the nautilus windows File menu you can select Connect to Server, this will bring up a dialog box. Select/enter the following:

Service Type: Secure WebDAV (HTTPS)
Folder: dfs
DO NOT fill in User Name (or it will prevent password authentication).
optionally check Add bookmark and enter a Bookmark name
, next click Connect to initiate connection.
Provide your CERN account login
and password,
Select if the password should be: immediately forgotten, stored temporarily or permanently.

DFS Explorer (CERN Web DAV DFS gateway)

CERN DFS Explorer can be accessed with all browsers at: