timothylegg
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What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:13 pm

I can't believe I'm here asking this and I'm very unhappy with my experience.

I have 500MB to transfer to my Raspberry Pi that is 9000km away. It has a static IP and a domain name.

I had a friend insert a USB drive into the PI. I formatted it as type 0x=0B because a Win32 partition is the only filesystem compatible off the shelf between MacOS, Windows, Linux and BSD. I mounted this new device to spare accelerated wear on my SD card.

The ridiculous insanity begins...

The mountpoint is owned by a standard user and has 777 permissions.
I mount the device. Now it is owned by root. Ok, I've dealt with that problem years ago. I superuser up and use chown to give the user write permissions.

chown: changing ownership of 'mountpoint/': Operation not permitted

That is unreasonable.... Unacceptable. I am root and I must be allowed to give this user write permissions. It won't do this anymore and I've been doing this for years without a problem. This is absolutely enraging. I am superuser and I must be able to assign permissions for standard users.

I give up. I assign a root password as only root can write files to a friggin legacy DOS partition. I friggin cut and pasted the password. The scp tool won't accept the password for root. This is unreasonable.

What am I supposed to do? Use friggin netcat to copy a file across the ocean? This isn't the Debian I learned on. What the hell is going on with this? How do people mount partitions and write data to them from afar?

I switch to Linux 20 years ago to get away from the insanity-magic of Microsoft products... I've been doing these things for years. I've been connecting as root since the 1990s. I haven't needed to in ages until I was forced to, and that doesn't work either. How do people do such mundane tasks like moving data in 2020?.

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:19 pm

This isn't a copy problem, it's a permissions problem. scp or rsync should work fine once you get the permissions right.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:19 pm

You're using a toy filesystem and expecting Unix semantics out of it. That isn't going to work.

man mount, and scroll down to the 'Mount options for fat' section. Also, read the manpage for sshd, and enable PermitRootLogins in its config file. Not rocket science.

timothylegg
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:36 pm

dickon wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:19 pm
You're using a toy filesystem and expecting Unix semantics out of it. That isn't going to work.

man mount, and scroll down to the 'Mount options for fat' section. Also, read the manpage for sshd, and enable PermitRootLogins in its config file. Not rocket science.
This is just ridiculous. Yesterday was the most enraged I've been at a computer since a scandisk filesystem hosing back in 2001. I should be allowed to define ownership after the fact with a chmod command. This is particularly egregious since the FAT16/32 structures don't even have a permissions system as part of the specification. Root is god. When root wants to chown or chmod, there should never be talking back. Of course the filesystem can be mounted with a specific user ownership, and that's great for fstab, but I shouldn't be forced to on routine usage, and have never had this be an issue with other Linux distributions.

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:15 pm

I don't recall ever wanting to change the ownership of a FAT FS before, but I can't imagine that chmod would ever have done it. FAT doesn't have any concept of users or groups, so there's nowhere to store it other than to make some exception. Root directories aren't special: they're handled just the same as any other, so a mount -oremount or edit to fstab would seem to be the sanest way of doing it.

But yes: don't use semi-functional toys for serious work. It will just hurt you at some point.

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:49 pm

dickon wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:19 pm
You're using a toy filesystem and expecting Unix semantics out of it. That isn't going to work.

man mount, and scroll down to the 'Mount options for fat' section. Also, read the manpage for sshd, and enable PermitRootLogins in its config file. Not rocket science.
That's a horribly arrogant and insulting response. OP appears to have a valid reason for using FAT.

@timothylegg:
What you're seeing with permissions on the mount point is correct and applies regardless of the filesystem being mounted. With nothing mounted on it, it is just a directory and has whatever permissions the filesystem it is on grants. With something mounted on it the permissions you get are those of the root directory of the file system you mounted (which may actually come from the driver if the filesystem doesn't support linux permissions).

Microsoft file systems (FAT, NTFS, etc) don't support linux style permissions and ownership so they're faked in the driver at mount time. Consequently they cannot be changed later.

The simplest and least secure fix for your issues would be to add umask=000 to your mount options. For example:

Code: Select all

sudo mount -t vfat -o umask=000 /dev/sda1 /mnt
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:59 pm

timothylegg wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:36 pm
This is just ridiculous. Yesterday was the most enraged I've been at a computer since a scandisk filesystem hosing back in 2001. I should be allowed to define ownership after the fact with a chmod command. This is particularly egregious since the FAT16/32 structures don't even have a permissions system as part of the specification. Root is god. When root wants to chown or chmod, there should never be talking back. Of course the filesystem can be mounted with a specific user ownership, and that's great for fstab, but I shouldn't be forced to on routine usage, and have never had this be an issue with other Linux distributions.
You might want to talk to the kernel devs.

Yes, "root is god" but even root can't change what doesn't exist. To allow chmod/chown on FAT the driver would need to keep track of each file and the desired permissions. However you do that there's going to be a performance hit and if that data isn't written to disb it'll be lost on unmount. Even if it is written to disc, there's no guarantee that the next system you plug in the drive will see or be able to make use of it. And no real way to hide it from the end user.

"mounting with a specific user ownership"? Easy enough, just use the -o argument to mount along with the list of desired mount options.

"never had this be an issue with other Linux distributions."? I have. Pretty much every linux system I've used FAT with does things this way. The only exception I can think of is when logged into a GUI and relying on that desktop's automounter to handle mounting USB devices. That'll mount them as the currently logged in user.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:55 pm

thagrol wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:49 pm
dickon wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:19 pm
You're using a toy filesystem and expecting Unix semantics out of it. That isn't going to work.

man mount, and scroll down to the 'Mount options for fat' section. Also, read the manpage for sshd, and enable PermitRootLogins in its config file. Not rocket science.
That's a horribly arrogant and insulting response. OP appears to have a valid reason for using FAT.
He may well have had a good reason for it -- I can't answer to that, as I have no idea what the use-case is and whether something better is actually possible, albeit with possible hoops to jump -- but my point still stands: FAT is a toy FS. It's a series of bodges on the original 12b filesystem shipped with DOS 1, it's utterly unsuited for anything even faintly modern (size limits alone render it broadly useless, and the filename restrictions are a sick joke). But ranting like that doesn't help and if he'd bothered to actually read the various manpages and config files, he'd've found -ouser and PermitRootLogins by himself. If he's been doing this for 20 years, he damned well should have.

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:18 pm

I think I recall both DOS and Win, in the early days, were neither multi-tasking nor multi-user.
WinNT was the first real muti-user Windows OS from Microsoft. It came with NTFS.

No big surprise that FAT doesn't manage user rights, and nothing to do with the Pi or Raspbian.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:23 pm

Yes. As the saying went:

Unix is an operating system with a graphical user interface bolted on as an afterthought. Windows is a graphical user interface with an operating system bolted on as an afterthought.

A lot of Windows' troubles can be attributed to that, from the malware problems it's always suffered from, to the horrible filesystem performance (at least in part caused by fragmentation due to the underlying assumptions you can make with a single-user, single-process OS), to its atrocious timezone handling. There are some advantages: the GUI is better-integrated than X ever will be, but the downsides are, IMHO, not worth the trouble.

That you can't set useful ownership or permissions on a FAT filesystem object should come as no surprise. It is, as I've said, a toy: any competent teenager could probably write a better filesystem than that over an Easter holiday -- and in the current lockdown, I'd encourage any sufficiently bored example to try, just as an exercise -- that is wildly unsuited to modern workloads. The only reason it's persisted is because Microsoft required it for removable media support in Windows, which meant the SD Card association and similar groups felt obliged to go along with it, and let Microsoft claim royalties from them from their bogus patents. It should have died twenty years ago.

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:44 am

dickon wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:55 pm
thagrol wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:49 pm
dickon wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:19 pm
You're using a toy filesystem and expecting Unix semantics out of it. That isn't going to work.

man mount, and scroll down to the 'Mount options for fat' section. Also, read the manpage for sshd, and enable PermitRootLogins in its config file. Not rocket science.
That's a horribly arrogant and insulting response. OP appears to have a valid reason for using FAT.
He may well have had a good reason for it -- I can't answer to that, as I have no idea what the use-case is
From the original post: "Win32 partition is the only filesystem compatible off the shelf between MacOS, Windows, Linux and BSD"
and whether something better is actually possible, albeit with possible hoops to jump -- but my point still stands: FAT is a toy FS. It's a series of bodges on the original 12b filesystem shipped with DOS 1, it's utterly unsuited for anything even faintly modern (size limits alone render it broadly useless, and the filename restrictions are a sick joke).
I think a lot of consumer device manufacturers would disagree with you there. Whether you like it or not, FAT (especially FAT32) is the defacto cross platform file system. I'm not just talking about Windows, Mac OS, and Unix/Linux but things like your games console, your cell phone, your digital camera, your TV, your router, ...

Yes, its lack of security is a problem on a true multi-user system. Yes, its filesize limit is a potential problem for a small number of users. Filename restrictions only seem to be a problem when your system doesent suppot the long files names "bodge" introduced more than twenty years ago.
But ranting like that doesn't help
Neither does your aggressive and arrogant tone. I get it. You loathe FAT and would consign it to the dustbin of history. I'm not that found of it either.

It's what we have. Not every one wants to jump through hoops for something slighty better when a flawed but workable solution for their needs exists.
and if he'd bothered to actually read the various manpages and config files, he'd've found -ouser and PermitRootLogins by himself. If he's been doing this for 20 years, he damned well should have.
Using USB drives for twenty years doesn't mean he's a linux admin. OP could have been using a linux/unix/BSD desktop gui which handles the mounting for him and is only now hitting problems trying to mount without that.

Oh, and I suspect PermitRootLogins may not help. In the default setup root on raspbian does not have a usable password nor does it have any ssh keys. So if you can't login to the remote machine and elevate your privilages you're stuffed and permitting sshd to allow root logins won't help.

I'll shut up now. We're not likely to reach agreement on this topic.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:55 am

One more thing.

Let's assume for a moment that ext4 was the universal replacement for FAT.

How are you going to cope with the issue that:
  1. User A may not exist on all of the boxes you plug the device into?
  2. If user A does exist it may not have the same numeric UID and/or GID on all boxes?
  3. User C who just happens to have the same numeric ID as user A (on different boxes, obviously) has completely different privilages, including sudo rights?
You'll rapidly end up being forced to grant at least Read (and eXecute on directories) to all users which largely defeats most of the security features anyway.

So for removable storage that can be connected to multiple devices an insecure filesystem like FAT probably is the way to go.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:01 am

thagrol wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:44 am
dickon wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:55 pm
and whether something better is actually possible, albeit with possible hoops to jump -- but my point still stands: FAT is a toy FS. It's a series of bodges on the original 12b filesystem shipped with DOS 1, it's utterly unsuited for anything even faintly modern (size limits alone render it broadly useless, and the filename restrictions are a sick joke).
I think a lot of consumer device manufacturers would disagree with you there. Whether you like it or not, FAT (especially FAT32) is the defacto cross platform file system. I'm not just talking about Windows, Mac OS, and Unix/Linux but things like your games console, your cell phone, your digital camera, your TV, your router, ...
Yes. Because Microsoft more or less bribed them to support it -- there's a lot of documentation around on that. If the market had been free and spoken as a free market should have done, I very much doubt it would have chosen FAT as its solution. It might, and I'm not disputing that, but I find it unlikely.
Yes, its lack of security is a problem on a true multi-user system. Yes, its filesize limit is a potential problem for a small number of users. Filename restrictions only seem to be a problem when your system doesent suppot the long files names "bodge" introduced more than twenty years ago.
But ranting like that doesn't help
Neither does your aggressive and arrogant tone. I get it. You loathe FAT and would consign it to the dustbin of history. I'm not that found of it either.

It's what we have. Not every one wants to jump through hoops for something slighty better when a flawed but workable solution for their needs exists.
It's what we have because its owner forced it upon us. *That*'s what I hate.
and if he'd bothered to actually read the various manpages and config files, he'd've found -ouser and PermitRootLogins by himself. If he's been doing this for 20 years, he damned well should have.
Using USB drives for twenty years doesn't mean he's a linux admin. OP could have been using a linux/unix/BSD desktop gui which handles the mounting for him and is only now hitting problems trying to mount without that.
Then perhaps he should have said that.

Oh, and I suspect PermitRootLogins may not help. In the default setup root on raspbian does not have a usable password nor does it have any ssh keys. So if you can't login to the remote machine and elevate your privilages you're stuffed and permitting sshd to allow root logins won't help.

I'll shut up now. We're not likely to reach agreement on this topic.
He explicitly stated he'd set a root password. I did actually read the post before commenting.


And my apologies: it's PermitRootLogin -- not PermitRootLogins. I can and do get things wrong, and please, please tell me when I do...

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:12 am

thagrol wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:55 am
Let's assume for a moment that ext4 was the universal replacement for FAT.
I wouldn't do that. ext4 isn't the right tool for this job.
How are you going to cope with the issue that:
  1. User A may not exist on all of the boxes you plug the device into?
  2. If user A does exist it may not have the same numeric UID and/or GID on all boxes?
  3. User C who just happens to have the same numeric ID as user A (on different boxes, obviously) has completely different privilages, including sudo rights?
I'm not. Removable media's filesystems' job isn't that. What removable media's filesystems' job *is* to do is to facilitate data transfer. FAT doesn't do that, because of the already-discussed ludicrous limitations. It's also utterly irrelevant to the OP's apparent problem.
You'll rapidly end up being forced to grant at least Read (and eXecute on directories) to all users which largely defeats most of the security features anyway.

So for removable storage that can be connected to multiple devices an insecure filesystem like FAT probably is the way to go.
An unencrypted filesystem is by definition insecure. These are broadly red herrings.

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:13 am

Anyone tried using Samba? It's been called samba/samba-common/samba-utils/samba-server in the apt store.
After installing it you then add a network share in /etc/samba/smb.conf with the right permissions.
If set to browseable=yes then it can be seen on a Windows machine with private network file sharing enabled.
I've used it since the original Pi, it's changed a lot since then but still works the same.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:49 am

Samba is not a solution when your Pi is 9000Km away on it's own public IP address as the OP stated.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:12 am

Heater wrote:Samba is not a solution when your Pi is 9000Km away on it's own public IP address as the OP stated.
timothylegg wrote:How do people do such mundane tasks like moving data in 2020?.
Samba across OpenVPN is how I do it in 2020. Either that or just a web staging server running apache and wget https:// on the client.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:19 am

TheMindVirus wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:12 am
Heater wrote:Samba is not a solution when your Pi is 9000Km away on it's own public IP address as the OP stated.
timothylegg wrote:How do people do such mundane tasks like moving data in 2020?.
Samba across OpenVPN is how I do it in 2020. Either that or just a web staging server running apache and wget https:// on the client.
Not in the world I live in. I don't do that and I don't know anyone who does.

Samba only exists to support inter-operation with Windows, so nobody needs that to operate a remote Pi 9000Km away. OpenVPN is useful but not required if you have SSH access. I find OpenVPN too complex, in 2020 I use wireguard.

One might require a web server on ones remote devices, but that introduces a world of complexity and opens one up to all kind of security issues. Better not to run a web server unless one needs it.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:42 am

Heater wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:19 am
TheMindVirus wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:12 am
Heater wrote:Samba is not a solution when your Pi is 9000Km away on it's own public IP address as the OP stated.
timothylegg wrote:How do people do such mundane tasks like moving data in 2020?.
Samba across OpenVPN is how I do it in 2020. Either that or just a web staging server running apache and wget https:// on the client.
Not in the world I live in. I don't do that and I don't know anyone who does.
Why not, it works. I've had samba/cifs running over 14,500Km with a OpenVPN tunnel. It was a copy now, check tomorrow process.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:24 am

I do NFS over Wireguard from London (Docklands) to Reading, over 200Mb/s of Virgin Media. That works well: it's enough to play blu-ray images with a GB or so of buffering for the bandwidth peaks.

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:32 am

For bulk transfers like that Syncthing qualifies as 2020 I think. Nicely cross-platform and works well.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:17 am

I like Syncthing as well. Even simpler is wormhole. Both of these punch firewalls. I think this makes them very 2020.

Code: Select all

sudo apt install magic-wormhole
man wormhole

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:10 pm

i have fiber with a "external" fixed ip. i put a pi3b on my friend house, he does not have a external ip (is a sub-network from the fiber provider)

after a lot of digging, i did a "reverse tunnel" from his pi to my pc. now i can connect to the pi from my pc and vice versa.

the simple solution was a ftp server, vnc server, and ssh.

so i can remote control his pi from my pc, transfer files via ftp from/to the pi, ssh the pi, etc.

ftp is reliable and secure (can use sftp). transferred this week hundreds of gigabytes. i also put a usb extension on the pi, and he put his pendrive on it so i can send files directly to the pendrive. i also can eject an reconnect if needed (for safe removal or reconnect if need to add more files.

i do parallel transfers to maximize speed (ISP limits per-file transfer speed) and when single file, i use lftp/aria2c to do segmented transfer, so i get around 9MB/s (from a 100mbits/s up/down fiber)

everything works fine as hell. thanks pi! ;)

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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:10 pm

That is great when you can do it. It's not the 2020 way. Fixed IP addresses are in short supply. If you can get them at all. Impossible on mobile connections.
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Re: What is the 2020 way to copy a file to a Raspbian device via a network?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:41 pm

That is great when you can do it. It's not the 2020 way. Fixed IP addresses are in short supply. If you can get them at all. Impossible on mobile connections.
I think that it is possible to use an VPN on a mobile and connect via a service like dyndns to create a link between the two devices.

I`m using Openvpn on my android to connect to my home when I`m in on the other side of the pond and it works great to transfer my digital pictures.

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