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-   -   Basic Samba help/ideas/suggestions please? (

bigjohn 05-03-2005 10:39 AM

Basic Samba help/ideas/suggestions please?
Right, the scenario is this. I've dumped windows XP completely (well I screwed it up accidentally, but said what the hell).

So at the moment, I have Mandrake 10 (cos I screwed up debian, can't make my bloody burner, burn a copy of gentoo - and happen to have a dvd powerpack copy of mandrake 10). I also have to deal with my partners laptop (she's a teacher so it's good old windows all the way) which has W98SE.

So I know that it's gonna need samba to be able to have file and printer sharing - which would be excellent - and although I've managed to install samba, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA of what to do next.

I found SWAT, by chance. Which is also absolutely no help. It has about 34 different choices of things that I can select, which is also bugger all help - it's great having the choices, if you know what to do with them.

I think that I'd also have to be able to make her laptop see the network, and I can't for the life of me work that out either.

Please don't think I'm trying to sound arrogant or anything like that, but I really need idiot level howto's, theres no point in telling me to try some apparent "wonder reference book", because A) I don't have a copy and B) I don't know how to use it anyway!

Oh, and theres little point in telling me to do a search here at LQ, I've already done that and don't understand the threads that have already been posted about this either!

Sounds dumb as hell. Sure, but I really just don't know where to start so any help, assistance, ideas or suggestions are very much appreciated



oneandoneis2 05-03-2005 11:34 AM

The entire O'Reilly book on Samba is available online for free - or at least, it always was, so I assume it still is. Check their website.

bigjohn 05-03-2005 01:02 PM

Thats one of the reasons that I was hoping for links to anything that can explain stuff in english. O'Really, like most groups/organisations/individuals in the IT world, forgets the main thing that I struggle with, they describe everyting in "technogeek". Plus they will have forgotten more about linux and unix, than I'm ever likely to know!.

So please, anyone who knows of anything that can explain Samba in a "monkey see, monkey do" type way, would be much appreciated.



bigjohn 05-03-2005 01:48 PM

Further to the above, do I really NEED to have samba? as it's just a network of 2 different machines i.e. my main system, running linux and a laptop running W98SE. Surely if I can make the two machines see each other, then the laptop should (in theory) be able to use the printer(s) i.e. a Laser connected to the network hub and the inkjet connected to the main machine via parallel (or is it serial - the bigger of the two plug types anyway).

I mean, surely I shouldn't need to run samba for something as basic as that ???



RobertoLoco 05-03-2005 02:24 PM

This might sound stupid, but my experience with mandrake is limited. There are usually some graphical tools separate from swat the will let you configure samba. There might even be a separate printer sharing utility built into mandrake somewhere. I can give you some help configuring samba if you can't find another route,(I use samba to serve windows/apple clients).

Phorem 05-03-2005 02:44 PM

Well, from what you explained, you DO need Samba. You were alright until you said you needed the laptop to connect to the main Linux machine and use the printer there. You are right, with a router, you should be able to ping, see eachothers computers and such, but you won't be able to - for example - click on the "shares" of the Win98 machine and see them on your computer. So in short, yes you do need Samba for that one part about the printer being shared off the linux box. You will also need Samba if you want the laptop to be able to use anything on the linux box or vice-versa for that matter. You siad you installed Mandrake? Well, if you installed KDE (i know nothing about Gnome and hate it anyway) fire open Konqueror and try this in the address bar (assuming the 2 computers have got their own IP via dhcp or a static address):


(replace XXX or the entire IP with yours)

I love Konqueror for that. You can type anything in that address bar and see something come up :-)

bigjohn 05-04-2005 12:20 PM

Its weird. I'm having trouble understanding the concept.

Like, does a samba install, see itself as samba at, serving to client at or is it that it sees itself as standalone and machine is talking to samba, which is also talking to

Or maybe samba sees itself as say passing instructions to both and at the same time ?

Plus, the general "server" thing. Sure I know it can be a piece of rack mounted (or otherwise of course) hardware, while at the same time being the software in the system (rack mounted/desktop/whatever), but I don't get the concept of how it works? do you ask samba via one machine (possibly the host machine) that you want files from another? or that you want to send print instrutions/files from one to another ?

Plus, I've just checked the laptop, and tried to ping the router, giveing me 100% packet loss, so I've got a setting or something wrong there as well!

I've also just tried the example of Phorems, I'm presuming that I have to put in the IP address, the same as it would be for eth0 or should it be the gateway address (I'm guessing eth0, as that is where the samba would be installed so it might _if at all_ find an smb.conf file???)



p.s. oh and using Phorems example, I got absolutely nothing!

msound 05-04-2005 02:00 PM

ok lets try to have a noob to noob convo.

Finding Samba -
ive never used mandrake but ive used redhat and suse and the setup was exactly the same on both.
if samba is installed correctly you should have a samba file in your etc directory so
go to /etc/samba

Opening the Configuration File -
there you should see the samba configuration file: smb.conf
make a copy of this file and call it smb.conf.bak (in case you screw something up)
open the smb.conf file in a text editor - any text editor will do.

Setting the Workgroup -
the top of the file will probably be filled with comments. comments are lines in the file that begin with #
do a text search (control f) and search for workgroup
you should see a line that says workgroup =
after the = sign write the name of the windows workgroup that your partners 98se laptop belongs to (you can find this by right clicking on network neighborhood and going to properties)
ex: workgroup = mshome

Setting the Linux Machine's Name -
Now search for the line "server string"
you should find server string =
after the = enter the name that you would like the machine to be known as over the network
server string = linux
server string = bigpimpin
server string = windowzsux
this is the name that will be seen when your partner looks at her network neighborhood.

now we're almost done

Sharing a Folder -
Just like in windows you have to specify which folders are shared
In my example im going to share my documents folder thats in my home directory
/home/msound/documents (your home directory will have a different name... duh)
at the bottom of the smb.conf file paste this text -

comment = My Documents
path = /home/msound/documents
public = yes
browseable = yes
writable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = no
printable = no

change the path to whatever the path to your shared folder is
save the smb.conf file
now we have to restart the samba service

in the command line typ /etc/init.d/smb restart
(it may be /etc/init.d/smbd or /etc/init.d/samba)
Once the service restarts you should be able to see the machine from your partners laptop.

NOTE - this network share has no security or user authentication! its just an easy way to share files with windows machines.

bigjohn 05-05-2005 01:57 AM

Outstanding. Cheers msound, I'm gonna try that when I get up (just off too bed as I've only just finished work).

I'll post back then!

Again, many thanks thus far, I'm sure that I'll have more questions.



RobertoLoco 05-05-2005 01:41 PM

Great explanation msound. That was better than what I was thinking.


micxz 01-13-2006 02:41 AM

Win98 - if you are still having problems getting any 98 version working SE or not. I suggest editting the security settings on the laptop to send a plain text pass to samba. This trick fixed our 98 boxes on our network.

bigjohn 01-15-2006 04:09 PM


Originally Posted by micxz
Win98 - if you are still having problems getting any 98 version working SE or not. I suggest editting the security settings on the laptop to send a plain text pass to samba. This trick fixed our 98 boxes on our network.

In truth, the only reason I've managed to get samba working, was because a colleague came over the other day - he's no expert, but has more experience of setting it up (you should see the setup in his house - servers, clients, the lot - and nearly all used gear that came via ebay. Incredible).

anyway, it still took him a good couple of hours to sus it out - the way things were going, it was as if there was something daft that we were missing. I don't understand how he sorted it, but it's working now, thats all I know.

perhaps you could post about how you did that, then I'll always be able to reference back for when I managed to screw it up (which is a dead cert that I will, sooner rather than later).



micxz 01-15-2006 05:35 PM

There are two main solutions:

1) enable SMB password encryption in Samba. See ENCRYPTION.txt in the
Samba docs

2) disable this new behaviour in Win95/98. See Win95.txt in the
Samba docs

Antti2004 01-16-2006 02:28 AM

Thank you msound of the clear instruction. I also have had problems with samba installation and been looking advice from different directions and your one is one of the best one. Thank you... :)) Antti2004

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