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10.1.2.6. SMB/NMB

For compatibility with MS Windows environments, the Samba suite, including support for the NMB and SMB protocols, can be installed on any UNIX-like system. The Server Message Block protocol (also called Session Message Block, NetBIOS or LanManager protocol) is used on MS Windows 3.11, NT, 95/98, 2K and XP to share disks and printers.

The basic functions of the Samba suite are: sharing Linux drives with Windows machines, accessing SMB shares from Linux machines, sharing Linux printers with Windows machines and sharing Windows printers with Linux machines.

Most Linux distributions provide a samba package, which does most of the server setup and starts up smbd, the Samba server, and nmbd, the netbios name server, at boot time by default. Samba can be configured graphically, via a web interface or via the command line and text configuration files. The daemons make a Linux machine appear as an MS Windows host in an MS Windows My Network Places/Network Neighbourhood window; a share from a Linux machine will be indistinguishable from a share on any other host in an MS Windows environment.

More information can be found at the following locations:

  • man smb.conf: describes the format of the main Samba configuration file.

  • The Samba Project Documentation (or check your local samba.org mirror) contains an easy to read installation and testing guide, which also explains how to configure your Samba server as a Primary Domain Controller. All the man pages are also available here.

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