Cover image for Samba essentials for Windows administrators
Samba essentials for Windows administrators
Wilson, Gary, B.A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall PTR, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxv, 356 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QA76.9.C55 W54 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This title starts with a basic guide to installing and configuring Samba on a Linux server, and then takes up more advanced subjects including complex networking issues and security. It also looks at tricks and techniques that can be used to optimize Samba performance.

Author Notes

GARY WILSON is the author of Caldera OpenLinux Installation and Configuration Handbook (Que) and has written articles for Macmillan Publishing's InformIT Web site. At Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, he directs a complex network of over 250 computers, running Windows 9.x/NT/2000, Mac OS, Linux, and Sun OS, plus over a dozen servers--including Samba servers. He has been using Samba since 1995.



Preface Samba is inherently dynamic. Like all successful open source software, it is in a constant state of change. Developers never stop working on the software, fixing problems or improving the code, and adding new features. Any official release of the program is merely a stage of the constantly developing program. In fact, during the course of development of Samba, the Samba team will regularly release "snapshots" of the code under development for testing. This book, too, might be seen as a snapshot of the currently available version of Samba, though it differs in many ways from a code snapshot. A big part of Samba's development involves fixing problems, no matter how small or obscure. Many hours are also spent in making Samba work on all of the many different platforms it supiports, the different versions of Unix as well as Linux. This work can take much more time than adding new features. The snapshot covered by this book will last much longer than a code snapshot. Who This Book Is For This book is designed to assist a Windows administrator who wants to get a Samba server up and running reliably with a minimum of fuss. The book describes how to do this by running Samba on a Linux server, the second most popular server platform after Windows. The success of Linux is not just a reflection of its low price. Linux is successful because it is a remarkably stable system that gives server-class performance on inexpensive Intel-compatible systems. For anyone working with a tight budget, and that's almost every network administrator, Linux is an attractive solution. Samba, however, is not limited to Linux. Samba can be run on almost any Unix-based system from IBM's AIX to Sun's Solaris. Hewlett-Packard even packages its own version of Samba called CIFS/9000 that is included with its HP-UX. Samba will also run on any version of BSD, such as FreeBSD, though it will not run on the new Macintosh OSX, which is based on FreeBSD. For the most part, any reference in this book to Linux can also be read as a reference to Unix in general. However, the specifics may vary. If you are not using Linux, make sure to check for the correct procedures and command syntax for the version of Unix you are using. Linux itself has some variations between its different distributions. Throughout the book, Red Hat Linux is used for the examples. Two other major distributions are Caldera OpenLinux and Debian GNU/Linux. In most cases, the information for these two distributions is included as well. Any of the Linux distributions will work with Samba. Red Hat Linux is the most popular distribution. Caldera OpenLinux has focused on building a wide distribution primarily on business systems. Debian GNU/Linux is a completely noncommercial distribution and, like Samba and the Linux kernel, is maintained by volunteers. The Samba Headquarters at is run on a Debian GNU/Linux server that is provided by VA Linux Systems ( on the Sourceforge open source developers network ( For more detailed information on the three major Linux distributions and complete documentation for each one, go to the following Web sites: Red Hat Linux Caldera OpenLinux Debian GNU/Linux Organization of This Book Chapter 1: Samba and Windows This chapter introduces Samba, for those who are new to the program, and gives some background to its development, its place in history. The chapter compares Samba with Windows NT/2000. It also details what Samba can and cannot do; this section should be read by anyone thinking about adding a Samba server to a Windows network. Finally, the chapter introduces Linux terms and concepts for Windows users. Chapter 2: Installing and Configuring Samba Samba installation might look difficult to someone who knows only Windows because there are so many possible steps and options. This chapter shows how the standard installation option is as easy as installing an application on a Windows system. It also explains the more complicated possibilities for those who want a totally customized server. This option involves compiling Samba from the source code. Compiling software is part of working with open source software like Samba. The basics of compiling--only the basics are needed to create a customized version of Samba--are easy to learn even without expertise in C or any other computer language. Chapter 3: The Samba File Server This chapter steps through the process for configuring file services on a Samba server. Samba works with a configuration file that can be simple or complex, depending on the need. There is nothing equivalent to the configuration file on a Windows server. However, the process offers great flexibility and has the advantage that the configuration of Samba can be handled remotely, that is, from another computer on the network, using Webmin and SWAT, Web-based tools for remote Samba system administration. Changes and updates can be easily made without having to directly sit at the server and without rebooting the system. For the most part, Windows servers cannot be configured and updated remotely, or without rebooting when making updates. Chapter 4: The Samba Print Server The Samba print server is almost as popular as the Samba file server. Cisco Systems, for example, has 300 print servers running Samba and Linux, handling more than 6,000 printers worldwide. Cisco replaced a combination of Windows NT and Sun servers handling printer sharing with Intel-based PCs and found that the Samba-Linux solution was not only more stable but also more flexible. Setting up a print server is no more difficult than setting up a file server. Chapter 5: Advanced Topics This chapter takes up advanced networking issues, including using Samba as a logon sever, using Samba as an application server, setting up virtual file servers, and using SSL for secure file transfers on a wide area Samba network. This chapter also covers Samba and browsing across multiple subnets, as well as WINS Service. Chapter 6: Configuring Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000 A chapter on setting up Windows computers to connect to Samba servers may seem unnecessary in a book for Windows administrators. After all, the steps are exactly the same for connecting to a Windows NT/2000 server. However, it's a good idea to go over everything, especially for those who administer a Windows network as part of several other responsibilities on the job. Although the next chapter is about troubleshooting, the steps outlined in this chapter can help to find and fix problems on a Samba network. Chapter 7: Troubleshooting Samba servers won't give you a General Protection Fault blue screen. That doesn't mean, however, that Samba is trouble-free. This chapter includes general procedures for troubleshooting Samba problems, along with common solutions for specific Windows error messages. Chapter 8: Linux System Administration Essentials Most Samba servers are running on Linux. This chapter is a short course on Linux system administration, including starting up, shutting down, user and group management, and other tasks involved in administrating a server. The chapter shows how Linux system administration can be handled using the Webmin browser-based software package for Linux system administrators. The chapter also introduces the Linux file system and the tools that Linux system administrators use to maintain it. Chapter 9: Optimizing Performance For administrators who want to eke out the best possible results, this chapter discusses advanced techniques for optimizing the performance of a Samba server. Chapter 10: Replacing Windows with Samba Samba lives very happily as one part of a bigger Windows network. In fact, it performs so well that many system administrators decide to convert their entire networks to Samba servers. This chapter covers some of the issues involved and some steps an administrator should take in order to convert to an all-Samba environment. Included in this chapter is the procedure for setting up Samba as a domain controller. Appendix A: Samba Command and Configuration Option Reference This appendix is a listing of the Samba applications and the configuration options. Appendix B: Finding Help This appendix includes information on how you can find help with Samba as well as Linux. Appendix C: Linux Backup Procedures Although files on a Samba server can be backed up along with your regular Windows server backups, the Linux system should also be backed up. This appendix describes what needs to be backed up on a Linux server. Appendix D: The GNU General Public License The GNU General Public License covers both Samba and the Linux operating system. Excerpted from Samba Essentials for Windows Administrators by Sean Harnedy, Gary Wilson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

1 Samba and Windows
The Secret to Free High-Quality Software
Samba Put Free Software onto Office Networks
Why Is It Called Samba? The History of Samba
Comparing Samba and Windows
Samba's Strengths
Lower Costs for Software and Hardware
Open Source Licensing
Vendor Independence
Improved Network Security
Web-Based Administration
Linux's Legendary Stability
Where Samba and Windows conflict
Microsoft Sets Its Own Standards
Samba is Like NT 4, not Windows 2000
Windows Servers Are Best for Domain Controllers
Windows Has Finer Access Control
Samba Requires Additional Skills
Windows Has More Hardware Support
Linux and Windows
Linux is Case-Sensitive
Linux Uses the Forward Slash
Linux Has no Unerase Feature
Linux Doesn't Require File Extensions
Linux Doesn't Use Drive Letters
Some Common Linux Questions
2 Installing and Configuring Samba
Checking Whether Samba Is Installed
How to See Whether Samba Is Installed
When to Use the Installed Version
Samba Versions
When to Update
How to Get the Samba Software
Updating Linux
Using Webmin to Install Updates
Compiling Samba
Matching Red Hat's configuration
A Look at What's Installed
Administering Samba with Webmin and SWAT
Setting up Webmin for Samba administration
Using SWAT
The SWAT options
Initial Configuration
Base Settings
Samba's Configuration Variables
Security Settings
The Security Parameter
The Encrypt Passwords Option
Guest Accounts
Tuning Settings
Dead Time
Socket Options
Starting Samba Services
Joining a Domain
Create a Computer Account on the Domain Controller
Update the Samba Configuration
Join the Domain
User Management
Matching Windows and Linux Usernames
Getting Help
Help on SWAT's Home Page
The Online Manual
Help on Configuration Pages
Samba's Email Help Lists
Commercial Support
3 The Samba File Server
The Homes Share
Securing the Homes Share
Setting Up Linux Directories for Sharing
Linux File Permissions
Setting Permissions from Windows
Creating Directories for Samba Shares
Linux Settings for a Share for a Single User
Linux Settings for a Share for a Group of Users
Linux Settings for a Public Share
A Shortcut to Creating a Share in Samba
Setting Up Shares
The Basic Group Share
Security Options
Invalid Users and Valid Users
Admin Users
Read List and Write List
Force User and Force Group
Read Only
Create Mask and Directory Mask
Force Create Mode and Force Directory Mode
Hosts Allow and Hosts Deny
Filename Handling Options
Browsing Options
File Locking Options
Miscellaneous Options
The Basic Group Share, Short Version
Adding Features to Homes Share
A Secure Group Share
A Public Directory
A Basic Public Directory
A Limited Public Directory
A Secured Public Directory
Adding Guest Access
Guest Account
Sharing CD-ROMs and Removable Devices
A CD-ROM Share
A Removable Device Share
Sharing a Microsoft Access Database
Application Sharing
4 The Samba Print Server
How Samba Print Sharing Works
Set Spool Permissions
Configuring Printer Sharing
Webmin's Printer Administration Tool Settings
Step 1 Name the Printer Share
Step 2 Choose a Connection
Step 3 Create the Spool Directory
Configuring Samba for Printer Support
Customizing Individual Printers
Accessing Samba Print Shares from Windows
Installing Printers Using the Add Printer Wizard
Installing Printers from the Network Neighborhood/My Network Places
Automatic Printer Driver Installation
Configure Samba for Automatic Printer Services
Add a Printer Administrator
Create a Printers Directory
Set Permissions
Create a Print$ Share
Install Printers and Drivers
Install the Printer
Upload the Drivers
Configure the Printers
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