Using the Client

Information in this topic includes:

Interfacing with OrangeFS

When the Windows Client is running on your computer, the OrangeFS file system appears as a removable drive at the drive letter (E:-Z:). This drive letter, specified during installation, is a setting in the configuration file that can be changed. For more information, see Client Administration.

You can interact with files and directories in the file system like local files. For example, they can be viewed in Windows Explorer, listed in the Command Prompt or accessed using program API functions, such as fopen.

Note     Currently the Client can mount only one OrangeFS file system at a time.

Running the Client

You must start two Windows Services to run the OrangeFS Windows Client:

You can access these services in the Windows Services utility. To open the Services utility, navigate to the Control Panel and click Administrative Tools | Services. You should see the DokanMounter and OrangeFS Client services included in the console listing.

To start (or stop) a service, right-click the service and select the desired action.

You should start the DokanMounter service first. This service is tied to the Dokan Library, which is the third-party software included with your installation. DokanMounter enables the Windows Client to mount the file system transparently.

The two services are configured to start automatically any time the system is restarted. To change this setting, right-click the service and select Properties.

Note     If you need to stop the Windows Client service, you do not normally have to stop the DokanMounter service.

Understanding Security

First you must set the Client to operate using the File System security mode used by the servers. Do this by setting the “security-mode” option in the configuration file to “default”, “key” or “certificate”, with “default” being used if no option is specified. (For more information, see Client Administration.)

You can configure the file as read-only on Windows to remove owner write permissions.

Note     The default permissions mask can be changed with the new-file-perms and new-dir-perms configuration file keywords. Form more information, see Client Administration.

Level of security will also depend on the user mapping configuration of your Windows Client. The three types of user mapping are


List Directly matches one Windows ID with one OrangeFS UID and primary GID. Certificate Maps user digital certificate to OrangeFS UID/GID. Our recommended configuration is for grid computing which requires CA, proxy and user certificates. LDAP Maps user(s) on an LDAP tree, such as Active Directory or eDirectory, to OrangeFS UIDs/GIDs. Server Used only when the security mode is “certificate,” this mode features client-side certificates for each user and server-side identity mapping with LDAP.


For more information, see Client Administration.

Getting (or Generating) New User-Mapping Certificates

Note     This task only applies if your Windows Client is using certificates mode for user mapping.

If your Windows Client is configured for certificate mapping, this will likely involve three types of certificates (CA, proxy, user). Usually, your administrator creates and installs these certificates. However, since all certificates have expiration dates, you might need new ones regenerated from time to time while using the Windows Client.

Depending on your setup, you might need to request new certificates from your administrator, or the administrator might provide you with instructions for doing it yourself.

Of the three types of certificates mentioned earlier, the proxy certificate must generally be renewed more often than the other two. Depending on your administrative policies, the time before a proxy certificate expires can average anywhere from 6 hours to two weeks.