UNC file paths on the Mac
May 10, 2007 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Can a Mac open a file that is hosted on a windows 2003 network file server using a UNC path?

In windows, if I click on a hyperlink to <a href="\\fileserver\fileshare\foo.doc">foo</a> windows will open the remote document directly in Word. Is it possible to do the same on a Mac?

I know Mac's have the ability to mount a windows file share, but I'm not sure if they can handle direct UNC links. If I had a Mac I'd try it out...
posted by kaefer to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I've got a Win 2k3 server and a Mac right here. If you give me more explicit instructions I'll test it for you, but I'm not server-savvy enough to answer without help.
posted by lekvar at 6:42 PM on May 10, 2007

it doesnt look like it. i tried that style of path in the finder's connect to server dialog (command-K) and also using "open" from the shell and in the first case it thought it was an afp mount, and in the second case it thought it was simply a file in my current working directory, not found of course.
posted by joeblough at 6:49 PM on May 10, 2007

Best answer: I don't have a windows share handy to test with, but I believe you can certainly translate such an address:

eg: \\fileserver\share\foo.doc

needs to be:

posted by pompomtom at 7:03 PM on May 10, 2007

Best answer: The path is smb://servername/path. You can test this in Finder by going to Go->Connect to Server... and entering smb://servername/path. I have no idea whether it would work in an HTML document as a link.

Note that you can't share files with Server 2003 and a Mac out of the box because Server 2003 introduces new security policies. See here for details.
posted by icebourg at 7:48 PM on May 10, 2007

You can't use AFP since it's an Apple protocol. Windows doesn't understand it. You need to use CIFS or SMB in order to mount a Windows share.

Both pompomtom and icebourg have solutions that should work (and do, I use them every day). Try one of them.
posted by purephase at 7:53 PM on May 10, 2007

My 2003 server understands AFP, but it was configured by someone else.
posted by lekvar at 7:58 PM on May 10, 2007

Response by poster: excellent! thanks all.
posted by kaefer at 9:56 PM on May 10, 2007

oh sorry, i thought you knew about smb:// or cifs://, or i would have mentioned it.
posted by joeblough at 10:58 PM on May 10, 2007

lekvar, It probably has ExtremeZ-IP installed on it. It's the only product I'm aware of that enables AFP on a Windows server (and I use it extensively -- It's quite good.)
posted by purephase at 12:37 PM on May 15, 2007

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