(Answer) (Category) distributed.net Faq-O-Matic : (Category) the Client software : (Answer) Can I share the buffer files across a network?
Yes! The clients are designed for this and the file locking that exists in network file systems will prevent multiple clients from updating a buffer file at the same time. The client implements file-locking and automatic retrying so that it is pretty safe to allow multiple computers access the same buffers at the same time time.

Examples of supported file sharing mechanisms include Windows file-sharing (SMB/SAMBA), UNIX NFS, Netware server volumes, AppleShare, and others.

This is in fact one of the recommended ways if you have a small number of machines that are not directly connected to the Internet, but have at least one machine that is connected and can share a buffer file to the others.

However, if you have more than 20 or so machines, then you may want to consider running a personal proxy on the "Internet-connected" machine, and allow all of the other computers to retrieve blocks from the proxy.

Be sure to understand that while it is possible to share input and output buffers between multiple clients over network filesharing, checkpoint files must not be shared! This is very important, because doing so will cause all of your clients to do the same duplicated (wasted) work.

To work around this, you can either disable checkpointing entirely, or set the checkpoint file to be saved to a path that is local (or at least different) for each machine.

SAMBA note: Samba supports "opportunistic locking", which implies that the Samba client's view of the remote volume is cached. This option is on by default. Consequently, if you are accessing data on a samba mount both via Samba and via the native-FS, you must put "veto oplock {paths}" in your Samba configuration.
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