OK, for other newbies who might end up finding this thread, here's something like closure.
Thanks Peacedog, your sample smb.conf given earlier in this thread works just fine. You may be interested to see the experiment I did with the most minimal smb.conf that I could get to work, at the end of this post - not that I'm recommending it, I'm sure it's insecure (at least) and I will be using yours, but it does show how little is necessary to get the machines talking to one another.
For other newbies with an existing simple Windows home network, with an XP Home PC and a Linux PC (see first post in this thread for my setup, which is dead simple):
This is what I did
Slackware 9.1 comes with Samba installed, but not configured.
1. To see the XP machine from the Slackware machine.
There was no configuration required.
1.1 At the bash prompt, I type:
smbclient //XPcomputer/"XP My Docs"
There's a pause, then some messages about IP addresses, then a password prompt. I just hit return and am rewarded with a new prompt
In the command above, 'XPComputer' is what that machine is called by Windows; to find it, on that machine right-click on My Computer, Properties, Computer Name - it's what's shown as 'Full Computer Name'. It's the name you gave it during Windows installation, if you did your own installation - else your supplier chose it for you.
'XP My Docs' is the relevant folder's share name on the XP computer; to find it, right click on the folder in My Computer, Properties, Sharing, and it's shown towards the bottom of the tab. It's the name you gave when you set up sharing for this folder.
"XP My Docs" is in double quotes - that's how smbclient copes with the spaces in the folder name. This also works for file names of course.
1.2 At the smb prompt various commands work, they are in Man smbclient.
e.g. 'ls' works just like for bash, and 'get' copies a file from the XP computer to the Slackware one e.g.
get mytest.txt /tmp/mytestcopy.txt
First it gives me a message saying it is getting the file, then it returns me to the smbclient prompt - it has copied mytest.txt from the XP My Docs folder on the XP machine to the /tmp folder on the Slackware machine, as mytestcopy.txt
1.3 To return to the bash prompt, type exit
2. To see the Linux machine from the XP Home machine
2.1 I put Peacedog's sample smb.conf in /etc/samba
In this file I edited:
2.1.1 'yourworkgroup' to be the same as the workgroup for the existing Windows network; you can get it from My Network Places, Entire Network, Microsoft Windows Network; it's the name you gave when you used the network wizard to set up the Windows network.
2.1.2 'Yournetbiosname' to be the same as this Slackware computer is called when it's booted as XP (bear in mind, I have a dual boot setup, so this machine already has a name on my existing Windows network- but maybe I could put anything here, not sure yet, more experimentation required).
2.1.3 'path/to/shared/directory' to /tmp (because that's the directory on the Slackware machine I wanted to experimentally try and share)
2.2 Started samba:
- cd /etc/rc.d
- chmod 755 rc.samba (as installed by Slackware, this has restricted read permissions only)
- ./rc.samba start
This gives me a message that Samba has started.
After a few moments, on the XP machine I go into My Network places, Entire Network, Microsoft Windows Network, MyWorkgroup.
And, miracle of miracles, there's a folder called 'share', browseable just like any Windows network folder.
That's it - about 2 minutes work.
When playing around with different smb.conf files, I tended to do ./rc.samba stop, then do the editing, then do ./rc.samba start. But quite likely it's only necessary to do ./rc.samba restart, after the editing - more experimentation required.
Only the start
Much left to do of course:
- Currently this works as root - I haven't tried it as a user, but on past experience everything on Linux has to be set up twice, once for root and once for a normal user - in this case I guess I may have trouble using smbclient as a user, but we'll see.
- Currently this is all at the command prompt. KDE Konqueror does offer navigation on the network, but at the moment it takes minutes to respond to each click on a folder - more investigation and setup required
- Currently I am starting Samba manually - I need to find the right place in the init scripts to start it at boot.
- I haven't yet tried to set up printing from the Slackware machine to the printer attached to the XP machine.
How minimal can smb.conf be?
The Samba site has a good Samba manual. The first page (http://samba.mirror.ac.uk/samba/docs/man/install.html
shows a couple of minimal smb.conf files, one with 3 lines, one with 4. Neither of these worked for me (permission trouble). But by editing out lines of Peacedog's file, I did get this to work:
workgroup = MYWORKGROUP
netbios name = DUALBOOTCOMPUTER
security = SHARE
path = /tmp
public = yes
I'm certainly not recommending this - I really don't know what I'm doing, and even though I don't understand all the lines in Peacedog's sample file, it's obvious that eliminating some of them jeopardises security, and who knows what else. But when you consider that the man page for smb.conf has 5638 lines, it's amazing how simple it actually is.
What about the supposed problem with XP Home?
The comment in the first post comes from the Samba site, and there are other authoritative sites that say the same. Clearly there are some limitations on what can be done with XP Home and Samba.
But I guess it's a limitation on the use of XP Home as the operating system on client workstations in some varieties of enterprise network, that perhaps have a central Linux file server and everybody has to log on to the network - or something like this anyway.
At any rate, getting XP Home to talk to Linux is perfectly possible