I keep my media files on a windows server and use Samba to access them. It works fine for nearly everything.
Unfortunately, Kodi/OSMC/Samba won’t follow Windows NTFS Symbolic Links, which are required to to make cross-drive links (windows hard links for individual files only can link to the same hard drive, junctions can link anywhere but only work for directories.)
So, I have to duplicate media files rather than just using links.
And yes, I could switch to a linux server, but it would be a lot of work.
I’m not sure if the SMB client in Kodi even supports windows symbolic links. (It’s a bit of a rare use case!) Some suggestions:
Are you sure the symbolic links are actually working on the server side, eg can you follow these links from another windows machine acting as a client ?
You could try using a cifs mount in /etc/fstab instead of Kodi’s built in SMB client - that way you’d be using the kernel mode smb client and it might have support for windows symbolic links (just a guess though)
How many different drives do you have ? You may just be better off having multiple shares if you have only 2-3 drives, Kodi doesn’t care what folders media is in if you are using the Library - whether items are spread across 3 shares instead of 1 makes no difference in the user interface once you have the Library set up and scraped.
Yes, Windows clients follow symbolic finks just fine.
I’ll try it, but I don’t think it will work. I think the client has to do something special to follow the links.
I have many drives, but I’m not sure how this helps. I don’t use the library, I just have my shares organized in a coherent way.
I’m was hoping to be able to have aliases for certain files - e.g. a Kids directory with links to files appropriate for kids, a New directory with links to new material, etc.but with all files ultimately stored once in a canonical (and easy to remember) place.