LSDF Online Storage: WebDAV

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Revision as of 13:52, 9 August 2019 by Jan.erik (talk | contribs)

WebDAV or Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) allowing to access files over the internet. WebDAV access to the LSDF Online Storage is provided via a cluster of servers reachable at the URL or davs:// depending on the client used.


Please note the following requirements and restrictions when using the LSDF WebDAV service:

The WebDAV protocol in general does suport the listing of special files like symbolic links, i.e. symbolic links present in the LSDF file space will not be listed with most of the tools described on this page. Nevertheless it is still possible to access the content behind symbolic links. Therefore, it is recommended to access project directories directly, e.g. when mounting them in the file system or mapping them as network drives.

Using WebDAV from a Web Browser

To access the starting page enter the following URL in your web browser

Project directories are accessible at the usual location:<OE>/projects/<PROJECTNAME>

where <OE> is the name of your organizational unit, e.g. scc, and <PROJECTNAME> ist the name of the project. Your home directory is accessible at the following URL:<OE>/<USERNAME>/

where <USERNAME> is you KIT username.

Using the DaviX Command Line Client on Linux and Mac OS

The DaviX project provides a library and a set of client tools for file management over HTTP-based protocols. The command line client tools can be either installed as a regular package in you linux distribution, e.g. in RedHat based distributions with

$ yum install -y epel-release
$ yum install davix

or from the home page of the DaviX project.

Listing a Directory

The content of a directory or individual files can be listed with the following command:

$ davix-ls -l davs://
Basic authentication - server is asking for username and password:
Login: xy1234
-rwxrwxrwx 0     10485760   2019-05-20 09:29:18 a_small_file

Copying Files

To copy a file (e.g. testfile) from the WebDAV share to you local directory:

$ davix-get davs:// testfile
Basic authentication - server is asking for username and password:
Login: xy1234
Performing Read operation on: davs://
[==================================] 100%     10MiB/10MiB         0B/s                     

Recursively Uploading Files

The following example shows how to recursively upload files with 6 transfers in parallel:

$ davix-put -r6  a_directory davs://
Basic authentication - server is asking for username and password:
Login: xy1234
Populating task queue for a_directory/      Files processed:          0                     

Recursively downloading files

Files and directories can also be downloaded recursively. In the following example a directory tree will be downloaded recursively with 6 transfers in parallel:

$ davix-get -r6 davs:// downloaded_dir
Basic authentication - server is asking for username and password:
Login: xy1234
Crawling davs://      Files processed:          1    

Mounting a WebDAV Share on Linux with davfs2

davfs2 is a file system driver that allows mounting a WebDAV server as a local file system, like a disk drive. This way, applications can access resources on a WebDAV server without knowing anything about HTTP or WebDAV. davfs2 does extensive caching to make the file system responsive, to avoid unnecessary network traffic and to prevent data loss, and to cope for slow or unreliable connections.

davfs2 has a system wide configuration file /etc/davfs2/davfs2.conf and a user configuration file ~/.davfs2/davfs2.conf. The user configuration file is used in addition to the system configuration file when invoked by a normal user. Documentation on all options can be found in the manual page.


On CentOS or RedHat like systems install the package davfs2 which is available in the epel repository:

$ yum install -y epel-release
$ yum install davfs2

Mounting (as root)

To mount an LSDF WebDAV project or user share issue the following command as root:

$ mount.davfs<OE>/projects/<PROJECTNAME> <MOUNTDIR>

where <OE> is the name of your organizational unit, e.g. scc, <PROJECTNAME> is the name of the project, and <MOUNTDIR> is a directory. For example:

$ mkdir /mnt/my_lsdf_project
$ mount.davfs /mnt/my_lsdf_project
Please enter the username to authenticate with server or hit enter for none.
 Username: xy1234
Please enter the password to authenticate user fg9068 with server or hit enter for none.

As an alternative it is possible to preconfigure a WebDAV mount. For the project mount described in the example above you would have to add the following line to the file /etc/fstab: /mnt/my_lsdf_project davfs rw,noauto,user 0 0

User authentication information needs to be stored in the file /etc/davfs2/secrets:

$ cat /etc/davfs2/secrets | grep os-webdav /mnt/my_lsdf_project    xy1234     ***

Afterwards create the mount point directory and mount the share with the command $ mount /mnt/my_lsdf_project

Unmounting (as root)

To unmount a mounted WebDAV share issue the following command:

$ umount.davfs  /mnt/my_lsdf_project

Mouting (as normal user)

To mount a share as an unprivileged user, the user account needs to be a member of the group davfs2:

$ usermod -a -G davfs2 xy1234

The mount has to be defined in the file /etc/fstab. To mount a project directory add for example the following line to the file: /mnt/my_lsdf_project davfs rw,noauto,user 0 0

User specific authentication information can be stored file '~/'.davfs2/secrets:

$ mkdir ~/.davfs2/secrets
$ chmod 600 ~/.davfs2/secrets
$ cat ~/.davfs2/secrets /mnt/my_lsdf_project    xy1234     ***

To mount the share issue the command

$ mount /mnt/my_lsdf_project

Connection via File Manager on Linux

A number of different linux file managers support WebDAV shares natively. Among others these are

  • Nautilus (Gnome)
  • Kubuntu (Dolphin/Konqueror) (KDE)
  • Xubuntu (Thunar) (Xfce)
  • Lubuntu (PCManFM)

Using WebDAV on Windows

To mount a LSDF WebDAV share (e.g. a project directory) and map it to a drive in windows follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Open a File Explorer and select This PC on the left hand pane.
  2. In the Menu select Computer => Map Network Drive.
  3. Click Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures.
  4. Click Next
  5. Click Choose a custom network location and afterwards click Next.
  6. Enter the URL to you project folder<OE>/projects/<PROJECT>, where <OE> is you organizational unit and <PROJECT> is the name of your project directory, e.g.
  7. Click Next
  8. Enter a name for the network location and click Next
  9. Click Finish

External Links