SAMBA for newbies
Samba is a suite of applications and daemon processes used on *nix
machines primarily for communicating with win* machines for sharing
filespace and printers. Developed by a Pizza Lover, Andrew Tridgell,
Samba is based upon SMB (Server Message Block) protocol which
describes rules for communication among various machines on a network
(for sharing filespace and printers). If you still don't understand
what SMB protocol is, just launch Network Neighborhood (assuming you
work on windows), and what you see is a live demonstration of SMB
protocol. So, you can call Samba network neighborhood of *nix (As
such, I prefer it the other way round ;-). Samba's flexibility and
functionality are unmatched and it's performance has been a matter of
concern for M$. Apart from sharing filespace and printers, it offers
some more services like.. (I'll be surprised if I have come up with a
complete list ;-)
1. It can act as a Local Browse Master for a Workgroup. Supports
domain logon and logon scripts. Supports browsing on other subnets
and also supports replication of Browse list across subnet
2. It supports a 'Shared User Database' with all the servers in a
domain sharing a distributed NIS or kerberos authentication
3. It can act as a WINS server.
4. It supports SMB password encryption scheme.
5. It can be turned into a Fax Server.
6. It can take backup of PCs directly to a tape.
I come back to the focus point of this article now; sharing filespace
and printers using Samba. Hmmmmm. I think the discussion can be
branched into sharing your filespace and printers with others and
sharing others filespace and printers with yours.
Sharing your filespace and printers with others:
This is accomplished in terms of services (shares in windows). The
concept is simply that your machine offers services to other machines
when it lets them read from/write to your drive or when it lets others
print on your printer. Services are created by configuring
/etc/smb.conf (In fact, smb.conf is the backbone of Samba Suite).
Samba offers so much flexibility in making the services that it can be
real fun for a creative mind. This is accomplished by the following
components of Samba suite....