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Using Samba
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2. Installing Samba on a Unix System

Now that you know what Samba can do for you and your users, it's time to get your own network set up. Let's start with the installation of Samba itself on a Unix system. When dancing the samba, one learns by taking small steps. It's just the same when installing Samba; we need to teach it step by step. This chapter will help you to start off on the right foot.

For illustrative purposes, we will be installing the 2.0.4 version of the Samba server on a Linux[ 1] system running version 2.0.31 of the kernel. However, the installation steps are the same for all of the platforms that Samba supports. A typical installation will take about an hour to complete, including downloading the source files and compiling them, setting up the configuration files, and testing the server.

[1] If you haven't heard of Linux yet, then you're in for a treat. Linux is a freely distributed Unix-like operating system that runs on the Intel x86, Motorola PowerPC, and Sun Sparc platforms. The operating system is relatively easy to configure, extremely robust, and is gaining in popularity. You can get more information on the Linux operating system at /.

Here is an overview of the steps:

  1. Download the source or binary files.

  2. Read the installation documentation.

  3. Configure a makefile.

  4. Compile the server code.

  5. Install the server files.

  6. Create a Samba configuration file.

  7. Test the configuration file.

  8. Start the Samba daemons.

  9. Test the Samba daemons.

2.1 Downloading the Samba Distribution

If you want to get started quickly, the CD-ROM packaged with this book contains both the sources and binaries of Samba that were available as this book went to print. The CD is a mirror image of the files and directories on the Samba download server:

On the other hand, if you want to download the latest version, the primary web site for the Samba software is Once connected to this page, you'll see links to several Samba mirror sites across the world, both for the standard Samba web pages and sites devoted exclusively to downloading Samba. For the best performance, choose a site that is closest to your own geographic location.

The standard Samba web sites have Samba documentation and tutorials, mailing list archives, and the latest Samba news, as well as source and binary distributions of Samba. The download sites (sometimes called F T P sites) have only the source and binary distributions. Unless you specifically want an older version of the Samba server or are going to install a binary distribution, download the latest source distribution from the closest mirror site. This distribution is always named:


If you choose to use the version of Samba that is located on the CD-ROM packaged with this book, you should find the latest Samba distribution in the base directory.

Using Samba
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