Using Samba

Peter Kitson

ISBN : 1565924495

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Sample Chapter From Using Samba
     Copyright © Robert Eckstein, David Collier-Brown, Peter Kelly



The Samba Suite

Samba is a suite of tools for sharing resources such as printers and files across a network. This may be a bit of an oversimplification, but Samba is really designed to make your life easier. Samba uses the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which is endorsed jointly by Microsoft and IBM, to communicate low-level data between Windows clients and Unix servers on a TCP/IP network.

Four features of Samba make it extremely attractive:

1. Samba speaks the same SMB protocol that Microsoft and IBM operating sys-
tems have used as their standard since DOS 3.0. This means that almost all
Windows machines already understand it and there is no extra client software
to install.

2. Samba runs on a variety of platforms, including most variants of Unix, Open-
VMS, OS/2, AmigaDOS, and NetWare. This means that you can use a single
program on the server to provide files and printers to a community of PCs.

3. Samba is free. There are several commercial products that duplicate Samba\'s
features, and some of them are quite expensive. Samba offers you an alterna-
tive to packages that could gobble up a significant portion of your IS budget.
Samba is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and is con-
sidered by its authors to be Open Source software. In other words, you can
freely download both the application and the accompanying source code to
your computer, and even improve on the original Samba programs if you like.

4. Samba administration is centralized on the server. You don\'t have to visit
every one of your machines, floppy or CD-ROM in hand, to upgrade the cli-
ent software.

Samba is a complete solution for local area networks (LANs) of all sizes--everything from the two-computer home network to corporate installations with hun-dreds of nodes. Samba is simple to set up and to administer, and presents itself as a transparent network environment that offers users access to all of the resources they need to get their work done. Once you\'ve set it up, Samba will let you:

·Serve Unix files to Windows, OS/2, and other OS clients
·Allow Unix clients to access PC files
·Serve network printers to Windows clients
·Provide name services (broadcast and WINS)
·Allow browsing of network resources from Windows clients
·Create Windows workgroups or domains
·Enforce username and password authentication of clients