network file system as the data file URL

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Jul 8, 2019, 4:13:40 PM7/8/19
to SEEK Developers
When I create Assets such as Data file or SOP, I have the option to either uploading a local file or use a remote URL. Does remote URL only support HTTP, HTTPS and FTP? It does not seem to allow me to point to a network file system.

In the linux machine that hosts the SEEK platform, I know the location of the data file is in a remote storage file system mounted by NFS, e.g., /mnt/server/foo/bar/myfile.fastq. Does it make sense to just the NFS location as the file URL? Otherwise, we have to expose the storage server to support HTTP which may increase security risk for us. 

Do people usually expose HTTP or HTTPs for their storage servers? What is the best way to handle this if there is no http from the remote storage server? Any suggestions are appreciated.


Stuart Owen

Jul 15, 2019, 9:17:54 AM7/15/19


Local files aren't allowed by default, based on a path, as this could expose security issues, such as adding /etc/passwd .

As you mention, only HTTP and FTP are supported for adding remote files, or uploading a file. You can add other links, but the content won't automatically be added to SEEK, and the user would need to click the link and have access.

By default, local urls are also disallowed, but this can be enabled through the admin pages (under Settings - Allow private network address access). The would allow you to support a local anonymous ftp server, or webdav over http. You could restrict this to only allow local access through IP tables. However, like allowing access to mounted drives, other users would be able to maliciously guess paths to other private files.

I'm afraid being able to access local files through an NFS isn't a usecase we've come across before, other than through webdav. If this is something you need and would like to contribute, we will be happy to help you out getting started.



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