Fixing file permissions on network shares in Cygwin

Are you seeing question marks on network shares in mapped drives?

See this page for more information. Basically, modifying the /etc/fstab fixes the problem:

# For a description of the file format, see the Users Guide

# This is default anyway:
# none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,posix=0,user 0 0

# noacl = use the ntfs permissions
C:/cygwin/bin /usr/bin ntfs binary,auto,noacl 0 0
C:/cygwin/lib /usr/lib ntfs binary,auto,noacl 0 0
C:/cygwin / ntfs binary,auto,noacl 0 0
none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,posix=0,user,noacl 0 0

Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 – Adding network share to library

Ok, so you got Windows server 2008 R2 having some shares you want to add to your Windows 7 library. Here’s the guide to make it to work (without having the files available offline) [from here]:

  1. On Windows 2008 R2 server, do NOT install the indexing service! It’s a Server 2003 version that is not recognized by Windows 7 clients. Instead, install the ”Windows Search Service” – you can only pick one or the other so make sure you select Windows Search Service – it’s one of the roles under File Services.
  2. The install wizard should ask you which folders/drives you want to index – choose any data drive (recommend NOT selecting the system/boot drives) that contains files you want to include in your Windows 7 library on the workstations. If you missed this during the install, you can go back to CONTROL PANEL and type ”indexing” into the search box to find the indexing options and customize it there (exactly the same way you do with Windows 7).
  3. As soon as the drives have been added, you can now include any locations on those drives in your Windows 7 workstation libraries (even before the server finishes indexing). You will no longer get any warnings that ”some locations are not indexed”…everything works as it should!
  4. Make sure the SYSTEM account has full access to the folder you are trying to index

I noticed that the above steps might not be enough. If you are trying to add the network share to library using the computers smb name (e.g. someserver) it should work. Also the ip address should work all right according to my tests (I’ve read somewhere that it might cause problems…). However, In my case I have a dynamic dns service ( set up. Using that domain name (e.g. does not work when adding share to Windows 7 library. So always use the ip address or smb-name (not the domain name) when adding share to Windows 7 library.

Note that you can find some symbolic link trickery to fool windows to add unindexed folders to library. However, that just adds the folders to the library, but the searches will be slow!

PPTP VPN connection from ubuntu

Connecting to windows pptp (VPN) server can be done from Ubuntu too! All you need is pptp-linux and network-manager-pptp packages.

After installing the packages, PPTP support is integrated nicely in the ubuntu UI. To see the VPN settings, click on the network icon in the tray bar and choose VPN Connections -> Configure VPN…

Gateway should be the ip address (or host name) of the vpn server. User name doesn’t have to contain the doman. I don’t like to use the password remember feature because then it is so easy to find out the password using the ’show password’ checkbox.

I found out that advanced settings need some adjustment for optimal performance. I disabled PAP and EAP authentication methods by unchecking them. I use Point-to-point encryption (MPPE) with 128bit security and allowing stateful encryption. I’ve also checked BSD, Deflate and TCP header data compression. Send PPP echo packets is also enabled.

Now we still need to configure routing settings for the vpn connection. Without configuring routing I found out that the connection was very slow when surfing the internet. Routing settings can be found from the IPv4 Settings tab and click ”Routes…” button. I’ve added route with following properties: