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You are reading a book about Samba, a software suite that networks Windows, Unix, and other operating systems using Windows' native networking protocol. Samba allows Unix servers to offer Windows networking services by matching the filesystem and networking models of Unix to those of Windows. Samba acts as a bridge between the two systems, connecting the corresponding parts of their architectures and providing a translation wherever necessary.

Bridging the gap between systems as dissimilar as Windows and Unix is a complex task, which Samba handles surprisingly well. To be a good Samba administrator, your abilities must parallel Samba's. For starters, you need to know basic Unix system and network administration and have a good understanding of Windows filesystems and networking fundamentals. In addition, you need to learn how Samba fills in the "gray area" between Unix and Windows. Once you know how everything fits together, you'll find it easy to configure a Samba server to provide your network with reliable and high-performance computational resources.

Our job is to make all of that easier for you. We do this by starting out with a quick and yet comprehensive tour of Windows networking in Chapter 1, followed by tutorially-oriented Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, which tell you how to set up a minimal Samba server and configure Windows clients to work with it. Most likely, you will be surprised how quickly you can complete the required tasks.

We believe that a hands-on approach is the most effective, and you can use the Samba server you build in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 as a test system for trying out examples that we show and describe throughout the book. You can jump around from chapter to chapter if you like, but if you continue sequentially from Chapter 4 onward, by the time you finish the book you will have a well-configured production Samba server ready for use. All you have to do is add the appropriate support for your intended purpose as we explain how to use each feature.


Here is a quick description of each chapter:

Chapter 1 introduces Samba and its capabilities, then describes the most important concepts of NetBIOS and SMB/CIFS networking. Finally, we give you a quick overview of the daemons and utilities that are included in the Samba distribution.

Chapter 2 covers configuring, compiling, installing, setting up, and testing the Samba server on a Unix platform.

Chapter 3 explains how to configure Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me and Windows NT/2000/XP clients to participate in an SMB network.

Chapter 4 explains the ins and outs of Windows NT domains and how to configure Samba to work in a network set up as a Windows NT domain.

Chapter 5 describes methods for accessing SMB shares on the network from Unix client systems.

Chapter 6 gets you up to speed on the structure of the Samba configuration file and shows you how to take control of file-sharing services.

Chapter 7 introduces name resolution, which is used to convert NetBIOS computer names into IP addresses, and browsing, the method used in SMB networking to find what resources are being shared on the network.

Chapter 8 continues the discussion of file-sharing options, and covers more advanced functions such as permissions, access control lists, opportunistic locks, and setting up a Distributed filesystem tree.

Chapter 9 discusses how to set up Samba users, introduces you to Samba security, and shows you how to work with encrypted and nonencrypted passwords.

Chapter 10 discusses printer setup for sharing Unix printers on the SMB network, and allowing Unix workstations to access SMB shared printers.

Chapter 11 bundles several miscellaneous topics associated with Samba, such as configuring Samba shares for programmers and internationalization issues.

Chapter 12 details what to do if you have problems installing Samba. This comparatively large chapter is packed with troubleshooting hints and strategies for identifying what is going wrong.

Appendix A provides working examples of smb.conf files for use in configuring Samba for its more common applications. You can easily modify the examples for use in a wide variety of circumstances.

Appendix B covers each option that can be used in the Samba configuration file.

Appendix C is a quick reference that covers each server daemon and tool that make up the Samba suite.

Appendix D explains how to download the latest development version of the Samba source code using CVS.

Appendix E documents each option that can be used with the configure command before compiling the Samba source code.

Appendix F includes directions for sharing files and printers with the Server edition of Mac OS X.

Appendix G is the copyright license under which this book is published.


We thank Leon Towns-von Stauber for thoroughly researching the use of Samba on Mac OS X and writing material that appears in Chapter 2, Chapter 5, and Chapter 10, as well as the entire Appendix F. We also thank our technical reviewers Sam Johnston, Matthew Temple, Marty Leisner, and Don McCall.