Chapter 14. Samba

Samba is an open source implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. It allows the networking of Microsoft Windows®, Linux, UNIX, and other operating systems together, enabling access to Windows-based file and printer shares. Samba's use of SMB allows it to appear as a Windows server to Windows clients.

14.1. Introduction to Samba

The third major release of Samba, version 3.0.0, introduced numerous improvements from prior versions, including:

14.1.1. Samba Features

Samba is a powerful and versatile server application. Even seasoned system administrators must know its abilities and limitations before attempting installation and configuration.

What Samba can do:

  • Serve directory trees and printers to Linux, UNIX, and Windows clients

  • Assist in network browsing (with or without NetBIOS)

  • Authenticate Windows domain logins

  • Provide Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) name server resolution

  • Act as a Windows NT®-style Primary Domain Controller (PDC)

  • Act as a Backup Domain Controller (BDC) for a Samba-based PDC

  • Act as an Active Directory domain member server

  • Join a Windows NT/2000/2003 PDC

What Samba cannot do:

  • Act as a BDC for a Windows PDC (and vice versa)

  • Act as an Active Directory domain controller