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This falls under Kazuhiko's list of why the general public will never (be able to) use Linux.

The Linux way of sharing files appears to be NFS.  To run NFS you must:

One could argue that you don't need to bother with hosts.allow / hosts.deny on a firewalled LAN, and they don't provide enough security for the public internet since people can theoretically spoof IP addresses; you are, in fact, in exactly the same situation you would be with Windows shared folders/printers - use it on a private network or use a VPN, or the world will be able to see it. - MoonShadow
You can nadger /etc/fstab so that ordinary users can mount/unmount things - just slap user in the options field for the thing you want to give access to. Like this:
 nyo:/media  /mnt/nyo-media  nfs  user  0 0
..not very user-friendly, though, I'll admit. - MoonShadow
OK, I'm not in love with /etc/fstab, but adding remote mounts is just the same as adding local mounts. Oh, there are some nfs options you'll want: "hard,intr", so that network I/O doesn't time-out, but is interruptable by signals. --B
Wait.. the firewall is *between* the two machines? - MoonShadow
Hmm, NFS can use a selection of ports, as it runs over a protocol called SunRPC?.
The firewall in question is whatever comes installed on Fedora 4 machines by default (it's the firewall on the machine that is being the NFS server --K

Just to clarify, a standard Windows user would have stopped at step 1 (and I don't blame them)

You can use the standard windows methods of sharing files on linux, using Samba.  But it's no easier.  However, all of the above steps are abstracted away by using a control-panel alike system, which both of the current major desktops offer.  --Vitenka
The problem with all of these GUI control-panel-alike systems is they don't appear to be documented on the 'net. Google doesn't find them, but does find the command-line HOWTOs. I don't actually run either desktop - I use FVWM in a minimalist configuration. I do have the GUI tools installed somewhere, but have no easy way of discovering them! - MoonShadow
The point at which someone says "I run in a minimalist configuration" is the point at which I stop having much sympathy for wanting windows user-friendliness.  Well, kinda.  I do agree that the documentation is well behind where it should be - and am annoyed at how often the 'older' way of doing things stops working.  Having said that, there's something a bit pants about things when you realise it's easier to set up an ftp server and use that (which most file managers manage to browse to just fine) --Vitenka
Not sure "wanting windows user-friendliness" is quite the gist of my complaint. The functionality exists - it's just not AFAICT advertised anywhere, so there's no way to find it except by trial-and-error stumbling-through-desktop-menus, or to know it exists except by having accidentally stumbled across it while looking for something else (which Kazu hasn't done - so didn't know!). It's almost as if the people that wrote it are a little ashamed to have done so, perhaps like Microsoft with its [Windows Services for Unix].. - MoonShadow
It's probably in the interactive tour.  But again, you're not using a full distro.  In general though, I agree, linux doens't advertise itself very well.  --Vitenka
Interactive tour?  I am using a standard distro, one of the most standard infact.  If there is an interactive tour, I haven't found it (and how many people actually do the tour thing anyway?).  I think my point is an extension of what MoonShadow was saying.  A tool for every job is all very well and good if you can find that tool.  Even knowing such a tool exists would help.  Unfortunately (in my limited experience) the Linux tools lack any sort of coherence so 'finding' a solution just be clicking around is almost impossible.  Maybe I should try Ubuntu and see if that's any better. --K
Nope - you're using Fedora, you said above - which is the CheapAss version of RedHat.  The full RedHat does come with a tour.  I agree that it is generally a problem.  But clicking randomly does fix it.  After you've broken everything a few times ;)  --Vitenka (or it did, anyway)

It's the same basic process with Linux as with Windows:

If things go wrong and you don't understand the system, you're screwed either way.

I will admit that Windows makes file-sharing and workgroup-based networking very easy to setup. MS have catered for that common case quite well. As soon as you need to do anything complex as a network administrator, you need to go on courses to learn how to do it. e.g. I had to go on an Active Directory course, prior to which I was just stumbling along inefficiently. At least on Linux I had the HOWTOs, and I could have gone on a course if I'd wanted to.

My point is that basically Linux and Windows users are in the same position, once they have gone beyond the default common provision.

If that sounds like a rant, it is, based on bitter experience of Windows networking going wrong. (Think multi-homed domain controllers, multiple subnets, firewalling between subnets, mixed Linux, NT4 and Win2k environment. Gives a whole new meaning to "Terminal Server".)

That said, I shall dig out my old Pentium, load up my Ubuntu CD and see just what procedure I have to follow.

P.S. NFS is a complicated beast, and only quite recently does it work properly on Linux. You need to investigate using NFS over TCP if possible (especially if peers are on networks running at different speeds), and what are you doing about locking, what other OSes are involved, and where you want to strike the balance between interactivity and data-integrity (i.e. can users interrupt network IO, can it time-out?)
NFS has the advantage (compared to SMB/CIFS) of being native to Unix, so supports the standard permissions, UID and GID.

No, I disagree (but it's early, I'm tired and this might not be very coherent).  The process under Windows is:

And I am not going to claim that troubleshooting is any simpler than under Windows but for my particular problem, I believe there is actually a way to get to the local firewall settings from that dialog. --K

Well, I do agree it's basically easier to guess your way through Windows than through Linux, for common cases like setting up file shares :)

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