Open Source

SolutionBase: Configure a Samba server in Linux with SuSE's YaST

The new GNOME 2.16 menu is quite a change from the usual cascading menu.

This gallery is also available as a TechRepublic article and download.

If you deploy a Linux-based machine to serve up files in a Windows network, you're not going to get very far without the help of Samba. Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that offers seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients. What Samba really does is make a Linux machine fool a Windows machine into thinking it's a Windows machine. A bit of trickery yes, but it get's the job done.

But, before YaST, the real trickery was getting Samba to actually work. Configuring Samba required hand-editing the smb.conf file which could be a nightmare. Good thing now YaST makes this task simple. Now you can point and click your way to getting Samba up and running, because the good people at Novell and SuSE have worked hard to bring the Linux administrator the YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) to help the occasion. This tool makes setting up a plethora of system settings as simple as it gets. Here's how it works.

Author's Note:

Our environment for this article will be OpenSuSE 10.2 and the GNOME 2.16 environment. Both are stable, robust, and very user-friendly. The installation of SuSE 10.2 was a complete install (Read: full five CDs worth of software), so everything needed to set up a complete server is there. I highly recommend this so you do not have to fight with dependencies should you have to install a piece of software for your server. The five-disc installation will leave you with everything you need to set up a Samba server.

Before we move on, let's make sure we all know what Samba plays with. Samba's magic happens thanks to a protocol suite known as the Common Internet File Sharing (or CIFS) at port 3020. At the heart of this protocol suite is the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Samba is simply the open source implementation of the CIFS protocol suite. Samba allows Linux servers and workstations to talk to any Windows workstation, all the way back to Windows 95.

A Quick look around YaST

Although contrary to what many Linux admins would say I am going to log into my SuSE 10.2 machine as root for this setup. I don't do this often but it saves me from having to enter the root password every time I want to perform an administration task. This is okay for setting up the services we're dealing with, but once you are done setting up said services, log out!

But until you do log out, let's work as root. The first thing you'll want to do is to click on the Computer menu as seen here.

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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