Using Samba: A File & Print Server for Linux, Unix & Mac OS X by Gerald Carter, Jay Ts, Robert Eckstein | | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Using Samba
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Using Samba

by Gerald Carter, Jay Ts, Robert Eckstein
     
 

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This book is the comprehensive guide to Samba administration, officially adopted by the Samba Team. Wondering how to integrate Samba's authentication with that of a Windows domain? How to get Samba to serve Microsoft Dfs shares? How to share files on Mac OS X? These and a dozen other issues of interest to system administrators are covered. A whole chapter is

Overview

This book is the comprehensive guide to Samba administration, officially adopted by the Samba Team. Wondering how to integrate Samba's authentication with that of a Windows domain? How to get Samba to serve Microsoft Dfs shares? How to share files on Mac OS X? These and a dozen other issues of interest to system administrators are covered. A whole chapter is dedicated to troubleshooting!

The range of this book knows few bounds. Using Samba takes you from basic installation and configuration — on both the client and server side, for a wide range of systems — to subtle details of security, cross-platform compatibility, and resource discovery that make the difference between whether users see the folder they expect or a cryptic error message.

The current edition covers such advanced 3.x features as:

  • Integration with Active Directory and OpenLDAP
  • Migrating from Windows NT 4.0 domains to Samba
  • Delegating administrative tasks to non-root users
  • Central printer management
  • Advanced file serving features, such as making use of Virtual File System (VFS) plugins.

Samba is a cross-platform triumph: robust, flexible and fast, it turns a Unix or Linux system into a file and print server for Microsoft Windows network clients. This book will help you make your file and print sharing as powerful and efficient as possible. The authors delve into the internals of the Windows activities and protocols to an unprecedented degree, explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each feature in Windows domains and in Samba itself.

Whether you're playing on your personal computer or an enterprise network, on one note or a full three-octave range, Using Samba will give you an efficient and secure server.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A book/CD-ROM guide to Samba administration, with chapters on installation, configuration, and optimization, and material on recent additions such as integration with Windows NT domains and the SWAT graphic configuration tool. Goes through the PC side of installation in detail, and gives examples for both Windows 95/98 and Windows NT, as well as examples for common Unix operating systems such as Linux 2.0 and Solaris 2.6. For Unix administrators in a PC environment. The CD-ROM is a complete mirror of the Samba FTP site, with sources, ready-to-install binaries, documentations, and related utilities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780596007690
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/2007
Edition description:
Third Edition
Pages:
450
Product dimensions:
7.04(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.09(d)

Read an Excerpt


1. Learning the Samba

If you are a typical system administrator, then you know what it means to be swamped with work. Your daily routine is filled with endless hardware incompatibility issues, system outages, data backup problems, and a steady stream of angry users. So adding another program to the mix of tools that you have to maintain may sound a bit perplexing. However, if you're determined to reduce the complexity of your work environment, as well as the workload of keeping it running smoothly, Samba may be the tool you've been waiting for.

A case in point: one of the authors of this book used to look after 70 Unix developers sharing 5 Unix servers. His neighbor administered 20 Windows 3.1 users and 5 OS/2 and Windows NT servers. To put it mildly, the Windows 3.1 administrator was swamped. When he finally left -- and the domain controller melted -- Samba was brought to the rescue. Our author quickly replaced the Windows NT and OS/2 servers with Samba running on a Unix server, and eventually bought PCs for most of the company developers. However, he did the latter without hiring a new PC administrator; the administrator now manages one centralized Unix application instead of fifty distributed PCs.

If you know you're facing a problem with your network and you're sure there is a better way, we encourage you to start reading this book. Or, if you've heard about Samba and you want to see what it can do for you, this is also the place to start. We'll get you started on the path to understanding Samba and its potential. Before long, you can provide Unix services to all your Windows machines -- all without spending tons of extra time or money. Sound enticing? Great, then let's get started.

What is Samba?

Samba is a suite of Unix applications that speak the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol. Many operating systems, including Windows and OS/2, use SMB to perform client-server networking. By supporting this protocol, Samba allows Unix servers to get in on the action, communicating with the same networking protocol as Microsoft Windows products. Thus, a Samba-enabled Unix machine can masquerade as a server on your Microsoft network and offer the following services:
  • Share one or more filesystems

  • Share printers installed on both the server and its clients

  • Assist clients with Network Neighborhood browsing

  • Authenticate clients logging onto a Windows domain

  • Provide or assist with WINS name server resolution
Samba is the brainchild of Andrew Tridgell, who currently heads the Samba development team from his home of Canberra, Australia. The project was born in 1991 when Andrew created a fileserver program for his local network that supported an odd DEC protocol from Digital Pathworks. Although he didn't know it at the time, that protocol later turned out to be SMB. A few years later, he expanded upon his custom-made SMB server and began distributing it as a product on the Internet under the name SMB Server. However, Andrew couldn't keep that name -- it already belonged to another company's product -- so he tried the following Unix renaming approach:

grep -i 's.*m.*b' /usr/dict/words

And the response was:

salmonberry samba sawtimber scramble

Thus, the name "Samba" was born.

Which is a good thing, because our marketing people highly doubt you would have picked up a book called "Using Salmonberry"!

Today, the Samba suite revolves around a pair of Unix daemons that provide shared resources -- or shares -- to SMB clients on the network. (Shares are sometimes called services as well.) These daemons are:

smbd

A daemon that allows file and printer sharing on an SMB network and provides authentication and authorization for SMB clients.

nmbd

A daemon that looks after the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), and assists with browsing.

Samba is currently maintained and extended by a group of volunteers under the active supervision of Andrew Tridgell. Like the Linux operating system, Samba is considered Open Source software (OSS) by its authors, and is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Since its inception, development of Samba has been sponsored in part by the Australian National University, where Andrew Tridgell earned his Ph.D. [1] In addition, some development has been sponsored by independent vendors such as Whistle and SGI. It is a true testament to Samba that both commercial and non-commercial entities are prepared to spend money to support an Open Source effort.

At the time of this printing, Andrew had completed his Ph.D. work and had joined San Francisco-based LinuxCare.

Microsoft has also contributed materially by putting forward its definition of SMB and the Internet-savvy Common Internet File System (CIFS), as a public Request for Comments (RFC), a standards document. The CIFS protocol is Microsoft's renaming of future versions of the SMB protocol that will be used in Windows products -- the two terms can be used interchangeably in this book. Hence, you will often see the protocol written as "SMB/CIFS."

1.2 What Can Samba Do For Me?

As explained earlier, Samba can help Windows and Unix machines coexist in the same network. However, there are some specific reasons why you might want to set up a Samba server on your network:
  • You don't want to pay for - or can't afford - a full-fledged Windows NT server, yet you still need the functionality that one provides.

  • You want to provide a common area for data or user directories in order to transition from a Windows server to a Unix one, or vice versa.

  • You want to be able to share printers across both Windows and Unix workstations.

  • You want to be able to access NT files from a Unix server.
Let's take a quick tour of Samba in action. Assume that we have the following basic network configuration: a Samba-enabled Unix machine, to which we will assign the name hydra, and a pair of Windows clients, to which we will assign the names phoenix and chimaera, all connected via a local area network (LAN). Let's also assume that hydra also has a local inkjet printer connected to it, lp, and a disk share named network - both of which it can offer to the other two machines. A graphic of this network is shown in Figure 1.1.

In this network, each of the computers listed share the same workgroup. A workgroup is simply a group nametag that identifies an arbitrary collection of computers and their resources on an SMB network. There can be several workgroups on the network at any time, but for our basic network example, we'll have only one: the SIMPLE workgroup....

Meet the Author

Gerald (Jerry) Carter received his Masters degree in Computer Science from Auburn University, where he continues to pursue his PhD. He has been a member of the Samba development Team since 1998 and his involvement with Unix systems and network administration of UNIX began in 1995. Jerry currently works for HP, working on embedded printing appliances. Having published articles with various web-based magazines, he teaches instructional courses as a consultant for several companies and conferences.

Jay Ts is a system administrator and programmer with many years of experience working with several versions of Unix and other operating systems. Nowadays he works as an independent consultant out of his home in Sedona, Arizona.

Robert Eckstein has worked with Java since its first release. In aprevious life, he has been an editor for O'Reilly Media, Inc. and aprogrammer for Motorola's cellular technology division. He hasauthored, co-authored, or edited a number of books, including Java Swing, JavaEnterprise Best Practices, Using Samba, XML Pocket Reference, andWebmaster in a Nutshell. In his spare time he has been known to tinkerwith filmmaking and digital photography, as well as collecting vintagevideo game consoles. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wifeMichelle, his children Lauren and Nathan, and their talking dogGinger.

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