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I have a small home network consisting of three Windows 7 computers and a Linux computer with Fedora 17 that I intend to user as a file server for the Windows computers. (In case you're wondering about this set up; I am transitioning to Linux, but the rest of my family is not interested in changing.)
The problem I am having is this: I can manually start the Samba server with the smbd start command and the Windows computers will happily open the Samba shares I have set up on the Linux box. If, however, I set up the Linux box to start the Samba server when I boot up the computer, the Windows computers are not happy. They respond with "Windows cannot access \\pc1\share1..." If I kill the Samba process and restart it manually, the Windows computers are happy again.
I have tried setting up the Samba server to run at boot time with one of the two following commands (the result is the same either way):
chkconfig --level 35 smb on
systemctl enable smb.service
I have tried turning off the firewall on both computers, but to no avail.
After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, I finally found out that SELinux was blocking the Samba service. It appears that launching the service with smbd start somehow bypasses SELinux and lets the remote computers through, but starting the service with systemctl will cause SELinux to block access to the shares. In any case the setsebool command was what I needed to use to open the shares.