In redhat, if you change the fstab, do you have to sync it or something?
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The smbfs filesystem is obsolete and not included in newer kernels. Use cifs instead. That has better support for Linux permissions including acls. If the server doesn't support cifs, then the uid, gid, file_mask and dir_mask options are fallback options. I noticed that your fstab options don't include the file_mode & dir_mode options or the uid or gid options. You can use either the numeric or text values for the user & group options (uid= & gid=).
On the server side, the person or group member accessing the share also need permission to access the directory being shared. If you are mounting the share with "gid=users", then the group owner of the directory being shared should be "users" or "others" should have write permissions.
Also, there are different password backends that you might be using. The default security mode is "security = user", with user account information contained in the smbpasswd file. If this is the case, users should be Linux users on a samba server, and should have their usernames and passwords entered using the smbpasswd file. You might use ldap or a password database backend instead.
If you made changes in the server, then you need to restart the samba service on the server. The nmbd service could be restarted on the client.
Changing the fstab entry to use a credentials file was the right thing to do. Otherwise any user on that client would be able to read the password.