Chapter 14. Samba

Samba is an open source implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. It allows the networking of Microsoft Windows®, Linux, UNIX, and other operating systems together, enabling access to Windows-based file and printer shares. Samba's use of SMB allows it to appear as a Windows server to Windows clients.

14.1. Introduction to Samba

The third major release of Samba, version 3.0.0, introduced numerous improvements from prior versions, including:
  • The ability to join an Active Directory domain by means of LDAP and Kerberos
  • Built in Unicode support for internationalization
  • Support for Microsoft Windows XP Professional client connections to Samba servers without needing local registry hacking
  • Two new documents developed by the Samba.org team, which include a 400+ page reference manual, and a 300+ page implementation and integration manual. For more information about these published titles, refer to Section 14.9.3, “Related Books”.

14.1.1. Samba Features

Samba is a powerful and versatile server application. Even seasoned system administrators must know its abilities and limitations before attempting installation and configuration.
What Samba can do:
  • Serve directory trees and printers to Linux, UNIX, and Windows clients
  • Assist in network browsing (with or without NetBIOS)
  • Authenticate Windows domain logins
  • Provide Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) name server resolution
  • Act as a Windows NT®-style Primary Domain Controller (PDC)
  • Act as a Backup Domain Controller (BDC) for a Samba-based PDC
  • Act as an Active Directory domain member server
  • Join a Windows NT/2000/2003 PDC
What Samba cannot do:
  • Act as a BDC for a Windows PDC (and vice versa)
  • Act as an Active Directory domain controller