Samba is a heterogeneous service that bridges the gap between Linux and Microsoft Windows. Once you ve configured Samba, you have a Linux computer that looks just like a Microsoft Windows member server on a workgroup or domain. You can even configure Samba to act just like a Microsoft PDC.
You can configure Linux as a Samba client. With the right packages, you can even use the mount command to connect to a shared directory from another Samba server or any Microsoft Windows server. You can even connect to a shared directory in terminal mode similar to an FTP connection.
The Samba configuration files are located in /etc/samba; the key file is smb.conf . The original smb.conf from the samba-* RPMs includes several comments that help you learn more.
The smb.conf file includes global settings that determine how your server connects to a Microsoft network. You can configure security, printer lists, log files, customized logon directories, browse priorities, and more. It also includes share settings, which let you configure different directories and printers. You can limit your share by user , determine how files are accessed and written, and more. Once you ve configured smb.conf , the testparm command helps you check its syntax.
SWAT is a web browser “based tool for configuring smb.conf . Remember to activate the swat service in the xinetd daemon. It is highly customizable, with Home, Globals, Shares, Printers, View, Password, and Server Status menus .
Red Hat is developing a simpler alternative to SWAT: redhat-config-samba . Since it is fairly new, use it with caution. While it can help you configure basic shares, it does not have the flexibility of SWAT. In my opinion, SWAT is still the preferred GUI tool for Samba.
In the next chapter , we ll examine the most important web server on the Internet, Apache. You ll learn to configure it to serve web pages on your local network and more.