Chapter 5. Managing a NetBIOS Network with Samba

Samba makes a fine file and print server for Windows clients, as described in the previous chapter. Samba's capabilities go further than that, though; the software can also take on many of the ancillary roles on a NetBIOS LAN. Many of these duties are associated with NT domain controllers. Domain controllers are basically centralized logon databases for systems on a NetBIOS network; servers consult the domain controller when asked to authenticate users. This topic is first up in this chapter. A couple of additional roles that are often associated with domain controllers, but can exist even in a nondomain configuration, are described next: providing NetBIOS name resolution services and collecting browse lists for delivery to clients. Finally, this chapter concludes with a look at configuring Windows clients to use these features of a Samba server.

A domain controller can serve as an authentication tool for both Windows and Linux clients. In fact, you can use a Linux computer running Samba as an authentication server for other Linux computers. To do so, you must configure the Samba domain controller features, as described in Section 5.1; the Linux client configuration is described in Chapter 7.

Linux can make an excellent NT domain controller on a Windows network for many of the same reasons that Linux is an excellent platform for other network roles: Linux is reliable, less vulnerable to security problems than Windows, and low in cost. Samba is also more flexible than Windows in certain domain control details; you can set many options individually that aren't available or that are linked to other options in Windows. On the other hand, Linux and Samba don't yet implement full Active Directory (AD) domain controller support, only the older NT domain support. (Linux can function on an AD network, but it can't function as an AD controller.)

    Linux in a Windows World
    Linux in a Windows World
    ISBN: 0596007582
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 152

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