Most Windows-dominated networks use SMB/CIFS for sharing files and printers. The importance of this protocol on such networks makes Linux software for handling it a potentially valuable tool. The Linux server suite for SMB/CIFS is known as Samba, and it's described in the first three chapters of this part of the book. Chapter 3 describes global Samba configuration options required to get Samba to work and to take on a handful of other modest duties. Chapter 4 covers defining Samba sharesdirectories and printers to be shared with clients. Chapter 5 describes configuring Samba as a domain controller, which can authenticate users for other servers. The fourth and final chapter of this part of the book, Chapter 6, describes Linux SMB/CIFS client operations. These can be important both when Linux is running on a desktop system and for some types of server operations, such as a Linux backup server (which may take on the file-sharing client role in order to back up Windows systems). Between these functions, Linux can take on some of the most important server functions routinely held by Windows systems in a Windows networksharing files, sharing printers, and authenticating users. (Part III describes other authentication protocols and also covers using Linux as an NT domain client.)
Samba is a complex server suite. This book can cover the basics of Samba operation, but if you want to take advantage of Samba's more exotic features, you may want to consult a separate book on the server, such as Definitive Guide to Samba 3 (Apress) or Using Samba (O'Reilly).