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6. General Configuration (/etc/smb.conf)

Samba configuration on a Linux (or other UNIX machine) is controlled by a single file, /etc/smb.conf. This file determines which system resources you want to share with the outside world and what restrictions you wish to place on them.

Since the following sections will address sharing Linux drives and printers with Windows machines, the smb.conf file shown in this section is as simple as you can get, just for introductory purposes.

Don't worry about the details, yet. Later sections will introduce the major concepts.

Each section of the file starts with a section header such as [global], [homes], [printers], etc.

The [global] section defines a few variables that Samba will use to define sharing for all resources.

The [homes] section allows a remote users to access their (and only their) home directory on the local (Linux) machine). That is, users trying to connect to this share from Windows machines, will be connected to their personal home directories. Note that to do this, they must have an account on the Linux box.

The sample smb.conf file below allows remote users to get to their home directories on the local machine and to write to a temporary directory. For a Windows user to see these shares, the Linux box has to be on the local network. Then the user simply connects a network drive from the Windows File Manager or Windows Explorer.

Note that in the following sections, additional entries for this file will be given to allow more resources to be shared.

; /etc/smb.conf
; Make sure and restart the server after making changes to this file, ex:
; /etc/rc.d/init.d/smb stop
; /etc/rc.d/init.d/smb start

; Uncomment this if you want a guest account
; guest account = nobody
   log file = /var/log/samba-log.%m
   lock directory = /var/lock/samba
   share modes = yes

   comment = Home Directories
   browseable = no
   read only = no
   create mode = 0750

   comment = Temporary file space
   path = /tmp
   read only = no
   public = yes

Having written a new smb.conf, it is useful to test it to verify its correctness. You can test the correctness of a smb.conf file , using the 'testparm' utility (man page: testparm); if testparm reports no problems, smbd will correctly load the configuration file.

Here's a good trick: If your Samba server has more than one ethernet interface, the smbd may bind to the wrong one. If so, you can force it to bind to the intended one by adding a line that looks like this to the [global] section of /etc/smb.conf:

interfaces =

where you replace the IP address above with the one that is assigned to the correct ethernet interface. The "24" is correct for a Class C network, but may have to be recalculated if you have subnetted the network. The number relates to the netmask. Numbers for other classes of networks are given in the IP-Masquerade mini-HOWTO.

There is now a GUI configuration tool for Samba: GtkSamba. See

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