Very newbie intro to SAMBA

Alvin Plummer aplummer at
Tue Nov 10 21:59:56 GMT 1998

All the people who know what they are doing, please
skip this post (except for constructive criticism and advise,
which newbies could alway's use).  Thanks.

Intro for newbie's, by a barely-one-day-old SAMBA user

First, there is some useful documentation on Samba at
/  The doucmentation is well-written,
but need's to be slowly ingested: information overload
is possible here.  A useful text is Samba: Intergrating
UNIX and Windows by John D. Blair (ISBN 1-57831-006-7):
he is on the Samba Team, and the book comes with high 

Second, just to clarify, Samba is a suite of programs
that "allow client's to access a server's filespace and 
printers via the SMB ... protocol.  Initally written 
for UNIX, Samba now also runs on Netware, OS/2 and AmigaDOS". 
(Basically quoted direct from the samba.faq)

What this means - from my own perspective - is that 
you will be able to mount and use UNIX directories and
files from a Windows client. Reading, writing, printing,
and all the rest of it.  Without the nasty NFS traffic
(and kernel load) my server's has to put up with.

To do this, you need to first compile samba on your
UNIX server (easily done).  Then, you need to modify
smb.conf to match your site's configurations.  Use the
comment's as a guide, read the documentation that came
with samba, and check out the man pages (man smb.conf)
that was installed with samba.  

FYI: smb.conf is the config file for smbd.  Smbd actually
provides SMB (LanManager) services to client's (aka 
managing file and print for the Windows machines).  Nmbd
gives the "netbios nameserver support" for the Windows 
clients.  It's nmbd that allow's my client's to use
net use e: //servername/public (etc, etc) to actually
work: otherwise, you may get a "no network path" error. 

OK, after you have configured smb.conf, run smbd (so
Samba can work) and nmbd (so your Window's client's can get
to your server). In version's of Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3
(and beyond), Windows NT only uses encrypted passwords while Samba will 
by default send passwords in the clear.  This will make logging
on to the server's impossible unless corrected.  

(See WinNT.txt in your /docs directory for more info)

Use the testparm program to test out your parameters.
Samba provides some good security tools (For those of us who 
don't like sending passwords in the clear)  I don't need them, 
but you may want to look into smbpasswd and smbrun.  Other people
on this list are far more versed in Samba security than I: ask
them for more info.

Smbstatus will provide info on current Samba connections:
I can't get mine to work: my error message is

    # ./smbstatus
    Couldn't open status file /opt/samba/var/locks/STATUS..LCK

And there is no STATUS..LCK  file.  Still, this is relatively unimportant:
I'll try to fix it later.

smbclient is an "ftp-like" tool that allow's you to put and get files
from the server to the local machine: ie

    # pwd
    # ./smbclient //servername/public
    Added interface ip=XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX bcast=XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX nmask=XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
    Server time is Tue Nov 10 16:46:18 1998
    Timezone is UTC-5.0
    Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 1.9.18p10]
    smb: \>

In this instance, I'm linking from one UNIX box to another UNIX box.

And there's much more to Samba than just this (ie: Printing, various
options, etc), but this will do for a start for a newbie. 
Samba is an excellent utility to allow Windows/UNIX communciation, and
could be a very useful tool in your kit.

Thank you for your patience, 

Alvin Plummer

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