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Made some progress by adding suggested lines to samba.conf. The Fedora box can now see the file shares on the MS boxes, but the other 3 objectives are still suffering (any advice would be appreciated).
Fedora box seeing printers attached locally to MS boxes - In the UI I would describe as "System/Administration/Printers/New Printer/Windows Printers via SAMBA" the workgroup name shows up, but the none of the printers will show up. In this UI, I can type in the address and configure the printer, and it seems to work.
MS boxes seeing the file shares on the Fedora box - the Fedora box does not show up in Network Neighborhood, nor can it be found by explicitly asking for "\\pavilionF6". On the Fedora box, a share is set up in the smb.conf file, and - in the UI I would describe as "System/Preferences/Share Public Files" I have checked "share public files" (for all the accounts defined for the Fedora box), and in the Network window, an icon for shared public files appears.
MS boxes seeing the printers on the Fedora box - to repeat, the Fedora box does not show up in Network Neighborhood, nor can it be found by explicitly asking for "\\pavilionF6". In the UI "System/Administration/Printers" the printers appear as local printers, with the checkbox set for "Share this printer".
Have you tried accessing the fedora box by IP instead of by name? IE instead of \\pavilionF6, try 192.168.1.x (or whatever the IP of the machine is) This drove me crazy on my setup, because at first (for some stupid MS reason), I couldn't access the linux box by name. Only by IP. After about a day, I could access everything by name. So try it by IP and get back to us.
Post your whole smb.conf here for us to look at. Have you made sure that samba-server is actually running (it kind of sounds like it's not because a ping doesn't require samba, but network sharing does)
Let us know.
I think I made an unwarranted assumption. Some element of the SAMBA machinery is presumably working, as network shares on the MS boxes are visible by opening an icon which displays "SMB". There likely are SAMBA elements that are either not yet installed or not activated. I should have been more suspicious when there was no listing for SAMBA in UI referenced as "System/Administration/Services".
In any event, below is a copy of samba.conf (with comments redacted):
BTW - would I want to set [Printers]/Broswsable to Yes?
workgroup = 21PRINCE
netbios name = PAVILIONF6
server string = Pavilion running Fedora
security = share
load printers = yes
cups options = raw
log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
max log size = 50
domain logons = yes
dns proxy = no
comment = Home Directories
browseable = no
writable = yes
comment = All Printers
path = /usr/spool/samba
browseable = no
guest ok = no
writable = no
printable = yes
If you didn't explicitly install samba server, then it is probably not installed. Go to whatever software management fedora has and install it. Then start the service (and set it to start every time the computer is started) and then you should be in business.
"yum install samba" worked and activating the samba service was fruitful, but
1) The MS boxes now see "pavilionF6" and the folders and printers shared by it. Unfortunately, the folders and printers all seem to have access problems. I went and looked at the permissions for the shared folder and saw
a) for Owner (which is a drop-down list box - this semantic makes no sense to me) the permissions are Read-Write.
b) for Group, the permissions are None
c) for Others, the permissions are None (I imagine this is the problem, but I thought I should ask)
I do not see where to set permissions for the Printers
2) The Printers configuration interface seems to be looking for the shared printers attached to the MS boxes, but fails to find them. Likewise the Computer/network shows the MS boxes and their shared folders, but not their printers (this is not crucial, but it would be nice to get it to work)
I've given you all of my knowledge and I'm completely stumped now. We're definitely making progress, but I'm not sure where to go from here. On my shares, I have owner with full access, and group/others with read access and it's working. Maybe try that and see if you can browse them then?
I have tried various alternatives (security=user and a variety of other variations); I got as far as having the MS box ask me for a password for the Fedora box, but the password failed. I did something to screw up the entire network, so I am having to backtrack to ground zero.
I will probably stop for today (should have done that an hour ago).