Slackware Linux samba server setup, installation and configuration

Linux has no problem sharing data and printer with Windows in networking environment. Samba is a Linux service that provides file and printer sharing between Linux and Windows system. It can even be a Primary Domain Controller (PDC). Samba is developed by The Samba project team which is a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Samba has a long history in Linux and Windows file sharing. Everyone who uses Linux Samba program should read the chronology of Samba, the 10 years of Samba! article written by Andrew Tridgell in January 2002. It shows how great and courage open source programmers are, doing jobs that benefits the world.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to setup Linux samba server for file sharing in windows networking environment. Here is a list of steps involves in setting up a Linux samba server:

  1. Install samba package.
  2. Configure samba server.
  3. Create samba users, groups, shared directory and set permissions.
  4. Create samba and set permissions.
  5. Start samba service.
  6. Testing and troubleshooting samba server and client.

Install Linux samba package

The first thing we need to do is to check whether samba package is already installed in our system. We can use locate command to find samba. Here is an example of locate command run in Slackware:

[email protected]:~# locate samba
[email protected]:~#

You can also use slackpkg to search Linux samba package in the system:

[email protected]:~# slackpkg search samba

The list below shows all packages with the selected pattern.

[ installed ] - mozilla-thunderbird-
[ installed ] - slackpkg-2.70.4-noarch-1
[uninstalled] - kde-i18n-zh_TW-3.5.9-noarch-1
[ upgrade ] - samba-3.0.32-i486-1_slack12.1 --> samba-3.0.28a-i486-1
[uninstalled] - lprng-3.8.28-i486-2

[email protected]:~#

Don't worry if samba has not been installed in your system. Here is an example of how to install Linux samba package in Slackware:

[email protected]:~# slackpkg install samba

If you didn't install slackpkg, use Slackware pkgtool to install samba from Slackware installation dvd. You can also download the latest samba package from Slackware official website, or and install it using pkgtool.

Configure Linux samba server

Linux samba server configuration file is smb.conf. To configure a samba server for file sharing, we just need to edit smb.conf. Fortunately, configuring Linux servers, including samba server has been made easy for us by those kind open source programmers out there. All setup and configuration already there, so we just need to uncomment and tweak a little bit to suit our network.

Let's begin the samba configuration now. You must be root to do all these tasks. So change to root by issuing su - if you are not root yet. Slackware samba configuration file is in /etc/samba directory. Here are what you need to do first:

1 - Change directory to /etc/samba.

[email protected]:/etc/samba# cd /etc/samba

2 - Copy /etc/samba/smb.conf-sample to /etc/samba/smb.conf.

[email protected]:/etc/samba# cp smb.conf-sample smb.conf

3 - Edit smb.conf configuration file.

[email protected]:/etc/samba# vim smb.conf

Here is how I set samba server for file sharing in my network for your reference:

#======================= Global Settings =====================================

# workgroup = NT-Domain-Name or Workgroup-Name, eg: LINUX2
workgroup = MYGROUP

# server string is the equivalent of the NT Description field
server string = Samba Server

# Security mode. Defines in which mode Samba will operate. Possible
# values are share, user, server, domain and ads. Most people will want
# user level security. See the Samba-HOWTO-Collection for details.
security = user

# This option is important for security. It allows you to restrict
# connections to machines which are on your local network. The
# following example restricts access to two C class networks and
# the "loopback" interface. For more examples of the syntax see
# the smb.conf man page
; hosts allow = 192.168.1. 192.168.2. 127.
hosts allow = 192.168.1. 127.

# this tells Samba to use a separate log file for each machine
# that connects
log file = /var/log/samba.%m

# Put a capping on the size of the log files (in Kb).
max log size = 50

# DNS Proxy - tells Samba whether or not to try to resolve NetBIOS names
# via DNS nslookups. The default is NO.
dns proxy = no

#============================ Share Definitions ==============================
comment = Home Directories
browseable = no
writable = yes

# This one is useful for people to share files
comment = Temporary file space
path = /tmp
read only = no
public = yes

# A publicly accessible directory, but read only, except for people in
# the "sales" group
comment = Public Stuff
path = /home/samba
public = yes
writable = yes
printable = no
write list = @sales

That is a basic file sharing configuration. I didn't add anything. Just uncomment configuration I need for my network, and set shared directory path and name. I also didn't allow printer sharing in this configuration.

Now we need to test smb.conf for any error although we didn't do much editing in the file. The command for checking smb.cof configuration file is testparm. Here is the result of the above configuration:

[email protected]:/etc/samba# testparm
Load smb config files from /etc/samba/smb.conf
Processing section "[homes]"
Processing section "[tmp]"
Processing section "[sales]"
Loaded services file OK.
Press enter to see a dump of your service definitions

workgroup = MYGROUP
server string = Samba Server
log file = /var/log/samba.%m
max log size = 50
dns proxy = No
wins support = Yes
hosts allow = 192.168.1., 127.

comment = Home Directories
read only = No
browseable = No

comment = Temporary file space
path = /tmp
read only = No
guest ok = Yes

path = /usr/local/samba/public
read only = No
guest only = Yes
guest ok = Yes
[email protected]:/etc/samba#

Create samba users, groups, shared directory and set permissions.

Samba users are independent from Linux system users and groups. That means they are not sharing the /etc/passwd users. So you need to create samba users again and give them password. Here is how to do it:

[email protected]:~# smbpasswd -a labu
New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Failed to modify password entry for user labu

Why do I failed to create user for samba? That's because samba user must first be a Linux system user. So create an account for a samba user in Linux system first then create a samba account:

[email protected]:~# smbpasswd -a labu
New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Added user labu.
[email protected]:~#

When you successfully created a samba user account, the database about user account and password is kept in /etc/samba/private/smbpasswd file. This is only applicable for Slackware Linux. Other distribution could be different.

If you want to give permission only for a certain people, you can create a group for them to use a certain directory. Create that certain directory. Then, you can set permissions and ownership for that group to use the directory. Here is a step by step on how to do it:

Add group, create a directory and change group owner and permission for that group:

[email protected]:~# groupadd sales
[email protected]:~# mkdir /home/sales
[email protected]:~# ls -l /home | grep sales
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-11-29 23:23 sales/
[email protected]:~# chown sales.sales /home/sales
[email protected]:~# ls -l /home | grep sales
drwxr-xr-x 2 root sales 4096 2008-11-29 23:23 sales/
[email protected]:~# chmod 775 /home/sales/
[email protected]:~# ls -l /home | grep sales
drwxrwxr-x 2 root sales 4096 2008-11-29 23:23 sales/

Now we need to add users to the sales group. Here is how to do it:

[email protected]:~# usermod -g users -G sales labu

We can check whether user labu has been added to the sales group in /etc/group:

[email protected]:~# cat /etc/group

Make sure user you added is in the group, like this:


Start Linux samba service

If everything is ready, then it's time to start Linux samba service. The samba server is a standalone server, so you have to make it executable before start the service. Here is all the steps that you should do to restart Linux samba service:

Set 755 permissions for samba service:

[email protected]:~# chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/rc.samba
[email protected]:~# ls -l /etc/rc.d/rc.samba
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 791 2008-03-16 04:52 /etc/rc.d/rc.samba*
[email protected]:~#

Now we can restart the service:

[email protected]:~# /etc/rc.d/rc.samba restart
Starting Samba: /usr/sbin/smbd -D
/usr/sbin/nmbd -D
[email protected]:~#

Testing and troubleshooting Linux samba server and client

We can query using nmblookup host:

[email protected]:~# nmblookup musang
querying musang on musang
[email protected]:~#

Test using smbclient:

[email protected]:~$ smbclient -L
Domain=[MUSANG] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.0.33]

Sharename Type Comment
--------- ---- -------
netlogon Disk Network Logon Service
tmp Disk Temporary file space
public Disk
IPC$ IPC IPC Service (Samba Server)
luzar Disk Home Directories
Domain=[MUSANG] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.0.33]

Server Comment
--------- -------

Workgroup Master
--------- -------
[email protected]:~$

Testing from windows client computer:

1 - Open MyNetwork Places.

MyNetwork Places screenshot

2 - Other Places. If you haven't set Microsoft Windows Network, it'll be there.

Other Places screenshot

3 - Microsoft Windows Network.

Microsoft Windows Network screenshot

That's all. Good luck setting up your own Linux samba server.



thank u, its works...

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