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Networking Windows and Linux

ZDNet LogoThe cute-looking Tux had a problem. Everyone thought Tux disliked Windows and

therefore wouldn't talk with anything that had 'Win' in it. This thought spread

around quite a bit, and therefore most Windows users would have no truck with


But getting Windows to recognise a Linux machine or for that matter getting

Linux to recognise Windows-based computers in a network is as simple as configuring

your network in Windows.

See-through Linux

While Windows uses the popular Network Neighborhood to view other machines,

Linux allows other Windows users to view a Linux-PC using a utility called Samba.

Samba emulates the Linux machine as a Windows machine and thus allows you to

share resources on the hard drive along with the appropriate security roles.

Using Samba, it is also possible to share printers or use Windows-based network


However, there are some basic steps that need to be performed before you get

your Windows and Linux computers to talk to each other. For example, you need

to set the security modes, specify the share names, etc.

Samba for starters

Before starting off the installation and configuration of Samba on a Linux computer,

make sure you have the network components set up perfectly. You can find Samba

in almost any Linux distribution media. In fact, it is usually installed when

you install a Linux distribution. In case the Linux distribution that you have

installed or used does not have Samba, you can always download the latest release

from the Samba site.

The configuration of Samba doesn't vary from distribution to distribution,

so let's see how you can get it right in Red Hat. Before installing any package,

you have to be logged in as root. So, type su root at the command prompt or

use the X interface to log off from the normal user to root. For installing

the packages, Red Hat users can use gnorpm from X. Otherwise, those comfortable

with the command line can install Samba using the following command:

rpm -ivh samba-2.i386.rpm

In case your distribution gives you an error that says missing dependencies

while installing Samba, install the missing components first

or else Samba will not get installed. Once you have successfully installed the