There is admittedly a large number of Samba books on the market today and each book has its place. Despite the apparent plethora of books, Samba as a project continues to receive much criticism for failing to provide sufficient documentation. Samba is also criticized for being too complex and too difficult to configure. In many ways this is evidence of the success of Samba as there would be no complaints if it was not successful.
The Samba Team members work predominantly with UNIX and Linux, so it is hardly surprising that existing Samba documentation should reflect that orientation. The original HOWTO text documents were intended to provide some tips, a few golden nuggets, and if they helped anyone then that was just wonderful. But the HOWTOs lacked structure and context. They were isolated snapshots of information that were written to pass information on to someone else who might benefit. They reflected a need to transmit more information that could be conveniently put into manual pages.
The original HOWTO documents were written by different authors. Most HOWTO documents are the result of feedback and contributions from numerous authors. In this book we took care to preserve as much original content as possible. As you read this book you will note that chapters were written by multiple authors, each of whom has his own style. This demonstrates the nature of the Open Source software development process.
Out of the original HOWTO documents sprang a collection of unoffical HOWTO documents that are spread over the Internet. It is sincerely intended that this work will not replace the valuable unofficial HOWTO work that continues to flourish. If you are involved in unofficial HOWTOs then please continue your work!
Those of you who have dedicated your labors to the production of unofficial HOWTOs, to Web page information regarding Samba, or to answering questions on the mailing lists or elsewhere, may be aware that this is a labor of love. We would like to know about your contribution and willingly receive the precious perls of wisdom you have collected. Please email your contribution to John H. Terpstra (firstname.lastname@example.org). As a service to other users we will gladly adopt material that is technically accurate.
Existing Samba books are largely addressed to the UNIX administrator. From the perspective of this target group the existing books serve an adequate purpose, with one exception ” now that Samba-3 is out they need to be updated!
This book, the Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide , includes the Samba-HOWTO-Collection.pdf that ships with Samba. These documents have been written with a new design intent and purpose.
Over the past two years many Microsoft network administrators have adopted Samba and have become interested in its deployment. Their information needs are very different from that of the UNIX administrator. This book has been arranged and the information presented from the perspective of someone with previous Microsoft Windows network administrative training and experience.