1.1 Samba Basics

The open source Samba software is included as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10, which is the base operating system for OES 2 services. When working with Samba in an OES 2 environment, it is important to understand the basic features of Samba and how Samba is configured on OES Linux servers. This section provides an overview of Samba’s basic functionality. Section 1.2, Samba Functionality in OES 2 explains what is different when Samba is configured for OES.

Using Samba, a Linux machine can be configured as a file and print server for clients that support the SMB and CIFS protocols. Client operating systems that support SMB/CIFS include Windows, OS/2, and Mac OS X. These clients can use their familiar native interfaces to access files on OES Linux servers. For example, Samba lets Windows users access files on an OES Linux server by using Windows Explorer, My Network Places, and mapped drives.

The Samba server software consists of two daemons: smbd for SMB/CIFS services and nmbd for naming services. SUSE Linux includes a kernel module that allows the integration of SMB resources at the Linux system level. You do not need to run any daemon for Samba clients. SUSE Linux includes the smbclient utility, which is a simple FTP-like SMB client that can be used on Linux systems to connect to remote SMB shares, transfer files, and send files to remote shared printers.

Samba servers provide disk storage space to their clients by means of shares. A share is a directory on the server that is exported as a mount point and accessed by an assigned share name. The share provides access to the directory and its subdirectories. Shares can also be created for Windows printers, which clients can also access by their assigned share names.

Samba shares and other configuration options are defined in the smb.conf file located in the /etc/samba directory. In a non-OES environment, you can edit the configuration file directly, use the management tools SUSE Linux provides in YaST, or use the browser-based SWAT (Samba Web Administration Tool) interface that is included with Samba.

In a non-OES environment, authentication to Samba shares is controlled by means of the smbpasswd tool. This tool is used to manage user accounts and passwords on the Samba server.

Samba version 3 also includes support for NT-style domain authentication. In a non-OES environment, the Linux server running Samba can be configured as a domain controller.

For more information about configuring and managing Samba in a non-OES environment, see the SLES 10 Administration Guide.