[Samba] A hello and a query to clear up some samba confusion

VE4PER/Andy ve4per at gmail.com
Sat May 4 10:41:53 MDT 2013

I am new today here and have a couple of confusing items I hope someone 
here o the list can straighten out for me.

1. The definitions of the served usershares apprears in more than one 
location; in ubutu 12.04 LTS there appears to be a set of defined shares 
in the /etc/samba/smb.conf file near the bottom, the second location 
appears to be located in the file structure at /var/lib/samba/usershares 
and a possible third area it seems is /srv/samba/sharename.

Which one is affected when sitting it up appears to be related to which 
program one uses to set the shares and/or the server up to begin with; 
if a terminal "net" command set is used, the /var/lib/samba locations 
appear to be used; if any of the other config programs or right-click 
share in nautilus etc then the share seems to be defined in the smb.conf 
file and seems to be located either in a specified mount location or 
else the /srv/samba/ locations.

What is confusing is how it gets this way, and how either duplicate 
shares are created or no change is seen when one follows any one of a 
number of the online guides, forums or tutorials. Again each tutorial is 
written based on one's successful attempt to set samba up and of course 
will cause that tutorial to lean one way or the other. Hence if one is 
having trouble and follows one tutorial then sees in the network browser 
either no change or now duplicate shares it would be frustrating to say 
the least.

What isn't obvious is it appears samba server automatically serves up 
whatever shares have been defined regardless of their location which 
tends to make sense if all is defined in the smb.conf file. But if one 
method has set up the shares in /var/lib/samba/usershares and a noobie 
isn't aware of same one begins to wonder how the server knows to serve 
both locations when all instructions seem to indicate all is defined in 
the smb.conf file. How does the server get the info on these shares when 
although they are defined in that location they are not referred to in 
the smb.conf file? and no ref in the smb.conf file seems to indicate 
that samba server is to look anywhere else for a database or registry to 
find the data?

2. I am able to see workstations in the workgroup of the network 
browser, and when I attempt to see the shares sometimes, depending on 
the machine, I get a "network path error not found" or "unable to 
download master list" and no real clear indication of why or where to 
troubleshoot this problem; on other machines it will show the w/s's and 
give a login splashscreen but will not allow a succesful login with a 
samba defined userID and password or any linux desktop userID's & PW's 
existing on all machines with the linux-samba password sync enabled. It 
simply doesn't allow a login.

I use 7 pc's  [ 1 boots win7 or win xp pro-sp3; 2nd boots win7, xp 
pro-sp3, mint 14; 1 boots mint 14, 1 boots ubuntu studio 12.04 or 
centos6.3; laptop boots win7 or ubuntu studio 12.04; 1 boots ubuntu 
studio 12.04]. all linux are set to use NFS and samba is to play nice 
with the two win boxes and laptop.

Each flavor of linux, as well as version seems to use slightly different 
configuring methods for samba; hence the need to clearly understand it 
so that I can arrive at a more or less common single smb.conf method for 

Whatever info anyone can provide will be very much appreciated.



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