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

Goal - to configure samba as a file server for windows.
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farzanjConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try CentOS5.5
It is free to download.  It is reliable as well.
AriMcConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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

torimarConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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
- 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:

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:

Very good for detailed Howtos is Howtoforge; here's their Samba section:
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fcekAuthor Commented:

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?  
fcekAuthor Commented:

The hope is to connect Samba to a workgroup - mix of xp and win 7.
AriMcConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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.

fcekAuthor Commented:

Im looking at SME Server at tthe moment.

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?  
TomunConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Take a look at Openfiler. Loads of features, web gui management:
torimarConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This detailed howto for a standalone samba server on Ubuntu 10.10 was posted just a couple of minutes ago:
fcekAuthor Commented:
I ran with Fedora in the end.
A mate is giving me help with it and all well but there is one problem.
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