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Samba (and linux) virgin - whats the easiest Distro to set up samba

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11

Goal - to configure samba as a file server for windows.
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Question by:fcek
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
farzanj earned 336 total points
ID: 35031583
Try CentOS5.5
It is free to download.  It is reliable as well.
http://www.centos.org/
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LVL 9

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by:AriMc
AriMc earned 668 total points
ID: 35031949
Setting up Samba is pretty much the same on all of the distros. The difficulties arise from different Windows networks and their security policiea like:

- Workgroups vs. domains vs. ADs
- Different versions of Windows workstations and servers
- Integration of domain controllers

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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:torimar
torimar earned 664 total points
ID: 35032265
As has been said, there is no "easiest" Samba distro, as the process of setting it up is pretty much the same on all distros.

You could, as a beginner, only go by "easy" or "beginner-friendly" distros. Here is a list of distros that have a reputation to be quite friendly to the Linux newcomer:
- Opensuse (because of its great installer and the Yast control panel which is somewhat similar to the Windows equivalent)
- Ubuntu or Mint (created for ease of [desktop!] use; largest user base)
- PCLinuxOS
- MEPIS
- Mandriva

I should not recommend Fedora or CentOS; they are harder to set up and easy only if you have already acquired Linux experience.

You can get further info (download locations, reviews etc.) on all of the mentioned distros on: www.distrowatch.com

Once you have made up your mind, there will be sufficient setup guides and howtos for the specific distro waiting for you on the internet. Here's just an example: http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Setting_up_a_Samba_Server

Very good for detailed Howtos is Howtoforge; here's their Samba section: http://howtoforge.com/howtos/samba
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Author Comment

by:fcek
ID: 35032419


The end result - Presuming I set up several users with different permissions on shares will it be easy to create a shortcut for users to click on to req they enter a username / password?  
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Author Comment

by:fcek
ID: 35032422

The hope is to connect Samba to a workgroup - mix of xp and win 7.
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:AriMc
AriMc earned 668 total points
ID: 35032466
In a workgroup environment you'll need to maintain a list of users with smbpasswd command on you Linux box and you'll have to maintain the list of permissions to your samba shares.

Again, it is not a Linux distro specific thing.


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Author Comment

by:fcek
ID: 35033007

Im looking at SME Server at tthe moment.

Setup:
Would you like this server to to provide DHCP?
I have a router doing that.  If this is just a file server - I dont want this right?
So No?  
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:Tomun
Tomun earned 332 total points
ID: 35038234
Take a look at Openfiler. Loads of features, web gui management:

 http://www.openfiler.com/
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:torimar
torimar earned 664 total points
ID: 35048080
This detailed howto for a standalone samba server on Ubuntu 10.10 was posted just a couple of minutes ago:
http://www.howtoforge.com/ubuntu-10.10-samba-standalone-server-with-tdbsam-backend
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Author Closing Comment

by:fcek
ID: 35098081
I ran with Fedora in the end.
A mate is giving me help with it and all well but there is one problem.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Linux_Networking/Q_26877937.html
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