Random thoughts shooting out of volatile mind
Have you gone fishing in Linux ? !!
Surprised by the heading of this article ?? Well the fish i'm referring here has nothing to do with living creature. The fish actually stands for FIles transferred over the SHell and it was originally developed by Pavel Machek. Now lets see what is this fish all about. I came across this fish few weeks back when i needed to copy more than 2GB of software from one of my project PC to other. I didn't had any USB device to copy these softwares so that I can transfer them to other PC and our sir took the DVD containing these software to provide it to other students. My brain started thinking about sharing the files as we do in Windows so we can access files from any where on LAN so I tried to share the files using NFS but it didn't work then I tried using scp,ssh,ftp well nothing seemed to help me. Then I asked our sir how can I transfer the files to other Desktop over LAN he told "fish it out !!" well I was not sure what to tell I just asked what he actually meant.Then he told its a protocol which allows you access and modify the files across the world!! only you need to know the domain name and password for a specific user.
Now lets have a look at the detailed usage of FISH. To use this protocol your Linux version should have KDE3.1 or higher Desktop environment. FISH is incorporated into Konqueror web browser/file manager
Now start the Konqueror(if you are using GNOME Desktop) (in case you are using KDE Desktop just click on the home icon to launch the Konqueror). Once konqueror is running just type following line in the address field
fish://username@computer_name(or host)
Once you are connected to the machine you specified You will get a message box asking the password for specified user. See the following image
Once you enter correct password you are in the home folder of specified user on the remote machine. And you feel like you are in your machine's file system no command prompt or commands required to access files or modify files, isn't it cool.
Now to access your files or create a new file on the remote machine you just need to follow normal procedures you used to do, i.e to create a new file just right click on Konqueror window and select required type of files under Create New. To open a text file just double click on the files which will open the file in Konquerors corresponding embedded application. If you want to open the files in application of your own choice just right click on the file and select applications under the Open with. See the following images

You can also edit or create rich text documents using the FISH in konqueror. Konqueror is a 'drag-n-drop' style file manager i.e you can copy or move files by just dragging the things arround. So you can create a rich text doccument in your machine and then drag it over the network to remote machine really cool rite no ftp no ssh nothing simple 'drag-n-drop' works even for remote machines. For such drag n drop thing to be made easily just split the konqueror into right-left or top-down views. This can be done from Window tab option. Following image shows top-down splitting of konqueror window.Set one of the view to your machine file system other to refer remote machine, to transfer files drag files from one view to other and konqueror provides you option asking whether you want to copy files and move files

Well...  coming back to editing of rich text files, just right click and open files with Open Office writer after you are done editing is done konqueror will prompt for uploading the changes. Following set of images illustrate this.


Thus Konqueror along with FISH protocol provides us a way of doing remote computing. Note that FISH is not same as remote desktop which is there in Windows where remote user will be logged off if you try to access the remote machine. With FISH the remote user will not even know you are accessing his Machine, again note that this is not a security threat because without knowing the user name and a password you can not access the remote machine unlike Windows file sharing where shared file can be seen by any one in the network without any authentication.
Well this is all about a small fish which lives in Linux. With this technology I was able to transfer all of 2GB file without any problem to my other machine across the network. Hope you will also try fishing in Linux :).
Courtsey: Linux.org
Posted by: copyninja on Saturday, 25 October 2008

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