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DAV Clients

Setting up a DAV server is of little use if you do not have clients to connect to it. This section provides you with information on how to configure different DAV clients to connect to your DAV server.

It assumes that the directory davdocs exists under the document root (/usr/local/apache2/htdocs for a default Unix installation), has write permissions for the user Apache runs as, and has been configured for DAV access:

DavLockDB logs/dav_lock_db
BrowserMatch "Microsoft Data Access Internet Publishing Provider" redirect-carefully
<Location /davdocs/>
Dav On
</Location>

Microsoft Clients

Recent versions of Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows 2000 and Windows XP, provide support for DAV via Web folders. Web folders allow transparent access to DAV-enabled servers, by presenting them as Windows desktop folders. Windows users can then drag and drop files into the folders, double-click to edit them, and so on.

You can access davdocs as a Web folder on a Windows 2000 machine directly from Explorer or by using a wizard.

Adding a Web Folder from Explorer

Click on the File menu entry and select Open. A pop-up window will appear, as shown in Figure 13.1.

Figure 13.1 Opening a Web folder from Explorer.

Type the following URL, http://hostname/davdocs/, where hostname is the name of your server. Check the Open as Web Folder option and click OK. Explorer will connect to the resource, and you should now be able to create directories, drag and drop files, and edit them as shown in Figure 13.2.

Figure 13.2 Newly created Web folder.

The location will be added automatically to the My Network Places folder. You can access this folder by clicking the desktop icon with the same name.

Adding a Web Folder Using a Wizard

To add a Web folder using a wizard, you can go to the My Network Places folder mentioned in the previous section and click on the Add Network Place icon. You will be prompted to provide a URL to the Web folder, and then a description for it, as shown in Figure 13.3.

Figure 13.3 Opening a Web folder using the Add Network Place Wizard.

If everything goes well, you can access the Web folder as explained in the previous section.

Editing a File Directly from Office

Recent versions of Microsoft Office, such as Office 2000, enable you to open and edit documents directly from DAV-enabled servers. You can simply specify a URL in the Open dialog of the application.

Unix Clients

Several Unix applications are available to connect to a DAV server, as described in the resource section at the end of this hour. This section covers installation of the cadaver command-line utility, which was chosen because it provides an interface similar to an FTP client and is easy to use.

Installation

You can download the latest version of Cadaver from http://www.webdav.org/cadaver/.

Uncompress the tarball by typing the following command:

# gunzip < cadaver*.tar.gz | tar xvf -

Change to the newly created directory, and run the configure script.

# ./configure

Then build and install the software:

# make
# make install

You should be able now to use the cadaver command-line utility.

Usage

To connect initially to the DAV server, type the following command:

# cadaver URL

where URL is the identifier of the server to access, such as http://hostname/davdocs/. If cadaver was compiled with SSL support, it can open URLs starting with https://.

You will be able now to explore the DAV file system by using commands similar to those of an FTP client, as shown in Table 13.1.

Table 13.1 Partial List of FTP-Like Commands

Command

Description

cd directory

Change the current remote directory

lcd directory

Change the current local directory

get file

Download a remote file

put file

Upload a file

ls path

List the contents of the path directory, or the current directory if path is not specified


In addition, cadaver provides additional commands to manipulate connections, check and modify resource properties, manipulate locks, and so on. Check the manual page for a complete listing of all the options.

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