Mac-Linux Connectivity (netatalk, atalk, Appletalk)

Connecting from a Macintosh to Linux
I did this already a while ago, but just for documentation purposes: You need to install a Appletalk server on your Linux machine. The package you need is called netatalk. Things worked OK, I just had a problem concerning Appletalk zones. Despite setting the default zone in the atalkd.conf file as "Biomedicum cancerbio" (the zone I want to be in), netatalk overrides this upon service restart. Thus my linux machine ends up always in the default zone (which is called in Finnish "Kadotus").The atalkd obviously has to negotiate the zone somehow with the router, but how?

Macs obviously manage to stay in the zone that they specifcy in their Preferences. They only end up in "Kadotus" when they do not specify a zone, consequently it should be possible to do so as well under Linux. By try and error I figured out that changing the zone in /etc/atalk/atalkd.conf doesn't do the trick. One has to delete the default entry in /etc/atalk/afpd.conf and replace it by another entry (in Suse 9 the location is /etc/netatalk instead of /etc/atalk):

"Michael's Linux Box@Biomedicum cancerbio" -transall -uamlist, -nosavepassword

and then the definition of the shares (in the AppleVolumes.default):

"Public" -uamlist -loginmesg "Welcome guest!"

However, netatalk is actually only needed in order to connect from older Macs to Linux. Mac OS X can run SAMBA and to my experience file sharing using SAMBA is more reliable than netatalk. Long file names (I think >31 characters) got netatalk to choke in several cases, while SAMBA did the trick without any problems. Both Mac OS X and Linux support filenames >31 characters, but apparently netatalk doesn't.

Connecting from Linux to Macintosh
Now this depends on whether you want to connect to a Mac running OS 9.2 or below or Mac OS X. To be able to connect to a Mac running OS 9.2 or below, you need the afpfs module. This module is not maintained and the last compilation has been done for the 2.1 kernel. Meaning: you are most probably out of luck unless you are a real geek (or you use the still the 2.1 kernel). In order to connect from Linux to Mac OS X, you just should use SAMBA. In GNOME you just need to type smb:// into the Location field of the Nautilus browser window and you will see the domains/workgroups/computers that are visible on the network. I admit network discovery is quite slow. So if you know the workgroup or domain name (e.g. mcbl as in my case), just type smb://mcbl