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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

boundaries. (Phew!!)

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....