Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Setting up Samba

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

Digg This - Slashdot This

Posted: 6 Feb 2004

Recently we posted this Q&A, and some readers have contributed additional suggestions. If you have anything to add, chime in.

Question: I am trying to set up Samba for the first time to share between Win2k and SUSE. I am a little confused on some of the smb.conf settings. Any ideas?

Answer: You might consider using SWAT (Samba Web Administration Tool) to set it up. It's very easy to use.

Other Suggestions


IT wrote: I had issues with SUSE9 at a home system, and it turned out that my firewall software on Linux was the problem. When I disabled it, SAMBA worked like a charm both ways.

If you have SUSE9 or Redhat9, just use the GUI tools. You won't have to worry about smb.conf.

Eberhard Roloff

To get a detailed understanding of smb.conf options you might do three things and reserve some spare time for reading:

  • Issue the command "man smb.conf" on your samba box
  • Read "Using Samba 2nd edition", available online at O'Reilly OpenBooks
  • Download and read the samba-HOWTO-collection from


Swat is great, the SUSE and RedHat graphic tools are fine as well, but the best easy tool I like to configure Samba is Webmin. ( It doesn't only configure Samba, you can use it to configure almost any Linux based service. Even a very nasty one like sendmail (but who needs sendmail if you have Novell's NetMail?)

Doug Clower

IDEALX has an excellent document on everything SAMBA called "The SAMBA-2.24/LDAP PDC HOWTO. It can be found at . It contains extensive information. You can also locate a ton of SAMBA material on the internet by going to any search engine and entering "samba howto".

Kathy Sargent

If you are using SUSE, the default smb.conf is a slimmed-down version. Find the fully commented version in the /usr subtree or on the Install CD.

Lots of info on each directive. The most important pieces of info you need are

  • Workgroup name
  • Encrypted passwords=yes
  • Level of security = user
  • Your network ids and server string

If you are working with a domain, you can fill in other values for WINS server and Domain Controller to authenticate users.

Be aware that when you use SWAT or GUI tools, they will wipe out all the comments in the smb.conf.

Keep a backup. LinNeighborhood is the best client tool I've found.


This isn't a discourse for a forum due to the large number of options available in smb.conf as well as the numerous possible security models which you can deploy. Entire books are written on the subject of the posed question.

I can, however, recommend an excellent book "The Official Samba 3 Howto and Reference Guide". It just doesn't get any better or more timely then this tome.

Novell Cool Solutions (corporate web communities) are produced by WebWise Solutions.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates