What is Samba Server on Linux ?

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Samba Server


  • SAMBA (SMB), which stands for Server Message Block, is a protocol for sharing files, printers, and communications abstractions such as named pipes and mail slots between computers.
  • Samba is a client server, request-response protocol. By using Samba instructions, Mac, Windows, and Unix computers can share the same files, folders, and printers
  • Servers make file systems and other resources (printers, mailslots, named pipes, APIs) available to clients on the network. Client computers may have their own hard disks, but they also want access to the shared file systems and printers on the servers.
  • Clients connect to servers using TCP/IP, NetBEUI or IPX/SPX.
  • When we established a connection, clients can then send commands (SMBs) to the server that allow them to access shares, open files, read and write files, and generally do all the sort of things that you want to do with a file system.
  • The Samba SMB/CIFS client is called smbclient.
  • With Samba, we can make Linux as a part of Microsoft-based network.
  • Samba is the way a Linux computer communications with SMB and CIFS.
  • We can use Samba packages to configure our Linux computer as a server or a client and then connect to or share directories and printerss.
  • Samba includes its own web-based configuration utility, SWAT, The Samba Web Administration tool.

Basic Knowledge about Samba on Linux

  • Samba configuration file /etc/samba/smb.conf.
  • We can configure Samba accounts. If Windows and Linux user names are same, we can configure the associated accounts in /etc/samba/smbpasswd. If the user names are different, we can set up a relationship in /etc/samba/smbusers.
  • One of the advantages of Samba is that it allows us to configure a Linux or Unix computers to function in different ways on Microsoft Windows network. With Samba, we can configure our Linux box to look like any of the following types of computers:
    • Member of a Microsoft Windows workgroup.
    • Member of a Microsoft Windows domain.
    • Microsoft Windows member server.
    • Microsoft primary domain controller.
  • Five basic packages are associated with Samba.
    • samba-* : the basic samba server package, includes commands for matching Linux and Microsoft username and passwords.
    • samba-client-* : Samba clients to allow Linux to read shared Microsoft directories and print to shared printers.
    • samba-common-* : required to support Linux as a Samba client and as a Samba server.
    • samba-swat-* : GUI tool for Samba configuration.
    • redhat-config-samba-* : alnernative to samba-swat.
  • Samba services.
    • When we edit /etc/samba/smb.conf, we need make Samba to read the new changes by service smb reload .
    • If we want to restart smb “service smb restart“.


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