Friday, December 21, 2007

HOWTO: Setup Samba peer-to-peer with Windows

this site was help me while I'm in injury time to transfer file from my testing server

HOWTO: Setup Samba peer-to-peer with Windows

As many fellow Ubuntu users seem to have trouble setting up samba peer-to-peer with Windows I decided to write a small howto on this matter.

NOTE: I am aware that there's a wiki-page as well as several other howto's around - but by looking at the constant "how do I setup samba" posts that are floating around in the forum I simply see the need for a more thourough guide on this matter.

Feel free to contribute and suggest - it'll only help to make this howto a better guide.

The goal of this howto is to have samba act like a Windows Workstation in the LAN. As a "value added bonus" we will use samba to do netbios name resolution so that you can use the names of the workstations for network drive mapping instead of their ip-addresses (i.e.: \MY_WINDOWS_BOX\SHARE) - but only for as long as your Linux box has an static ip-address and is up and running.

This guide is based on Ubuntu 6.06 LTS and intended for all architectures (i386, AMD64, ...) - if you are still using Breezy it's safe to follow this guide as there should be no differencies.

A second guide on how to setup samba as Primary Domain Controller along with several other services such as DHCP, DNS and NTP will follow later on as this topic will be a little more thourough.

1. Prerequisites

- Your Linux box should have an static ip-address.
In case you're getting your ip from a router/server via DHCP make sure it's configured to provide a fixed dhcp-lease. If that's no valid option you cannot use WINS ... more on this way down.

- You need to have samba installed.
If you haven't done so already open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install samba
Don't close the terminal upon installation - we still need the commandline to get several tasks done!

2. Getting samba configured

First, let us make sure samba isn't running:

sudo /etc/init.d/samba stop
As a starting point I included an smb.conf below, and there are only a few simple things you may need to tweak.

Since the installation of samba just installed a rather useless template file we're going to rename it - we keep the file just in case.

sudo mv /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.template
Next we create a new empty file

sudo touch /etc/samba/smb.conf
And finally we need to open the file inside an editor

sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf
NOTE: If you're on KDE replace "gedit" with "kate"

Copy / Paste the contents of the code-section below into your editor and read on ...

; General server settings
netbios name = YOUR_HOSTNAME
server string =
workgroup = YOUR_WORKGROUP
announce version = 5.0

passdb backend = tdbsam
security = user
null passwords = true
username map = /etc/samba/smbusers
name resolve order = hosts wins bcast

wins support = yes

printing = CUPS
printcap name = CUPS

syslog = 1
syslog only = yes

; NOTE: If you need access to the user home directories uncomment the
; lines below and adjust the settings to your hearts content.
;valid users = %S
;create mode = 0600
;directory mode = 0755
;browseable = no
;read only = no
;veto files = /*.{*}/.*/mail/bin/

; NOTE: Only needed if you run samba as a primary domain controller.
; Not needed as this config doesn't cover that matter.
;path = /var/lib/samba/netlogon
;admin users = Administrator
;valid users = %U
;read only = no

; NOTE: Again - only needed if you're running a primary domain controller.
;path = /var/lib/samba/profiles
;valid users = %U
;create mode = 0600
;directory mode = 0700
;writeable = yes
;browseable = no

; NOTE: Inside this place you may build a printer driver repository for
; Windows - I'll cover this topic in another HOWTO.
path = /var/lib/samba/printers
browseable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = yes
write list = root
create mask = 0664
directory mask = 0775

path = /tmp
printable = yes
guest ok = yes
browseable = no

; Uncomment if you need to share your CD-/DVD-ROM Drive
;[DVD-ROM Drive]
;path = /media/cdrom
;browseable = yes
;read only = yes
;guest ok = yes

path = /media/samba/
browseable = yes
read only = no
guest ok = no
create mask = 0644
directory mask = 0755
force user = YOUR_USERNAME
force group = YOUR_USERGROUP
Ok, I already mentioned that there are a few simple things you may need to tweak; so here they are:

-> netbios name = YOUR_HOSTNAME

Replace "YOUR_HOSTNAME" with your desired hostname (don't use spaces!). Best pratice would be to use the same name you configured upon installation.


netbios name = DAPPER

-> workgroup = YOUR_WORKGROUP

Replace "YOUR_WORKGROUP" with the name of your workgroup, but make sure you're using the same as configured in Windows.

To find out the Workgroup name in Windows follow these steps:

- Click "START"
- Click "Control Panel"
- Click "System"
- Click the 2nd Tab entitled "Computername" and find the name of the Workgroup there.


workgroup = MSHOME

-> wins support = yes

If your box doesn't have a static ip-address, or you cannot configure your router/server to provide you with a fixed dhcp-lease, change this configuration parameter to "no".

In this case you cannot use the benefits of WINS.

-> [MyFiles]

This is the name of the share. Leave it as it is or adjust it to whatever you prefer. Don't use more than 31 characters and try to avoid spaces!

-> path = /media/samba/

This suggests that you've mounted an hard drive or partition on /media/samba where all the shared files will be stored.

In case you don't have an extra hard drive/partition you may also create folder.

I assume you've been wise enough to put /home onto a separate partition having an reasonable amount of storage space.

To create the folder type (inside a new terminal) ...

sudo mkdir /home/samba
... and adjust "path =" to read ...

path = /home/samba/

Remember that this is just an example - you are free to put things wherever you like.

-> force user = YOUR_USERNAME
-> force group = YOUR_USERNAME

Well, this should say it all. Replace "YOUR_USERNAME" with the name you use for login (no spaces!).


force user = stormbringer
force group = stormbringer

Now we completed the part of editing smb.conf

Save the file and close gedit.

Since we are going to share the folder with other users we should now make sure that the permissions are set. Type:

sudo chmod 0777 /media/samba
NOTE: Don't forget to correct the path to the location you chose above!

That's it - now we need to start samba ...

1.1 Starting samba and setting up user accounts

Let us fire up samba for the first time. Type:

sudo /etc/init.d/samba start
There shouldn't be any errors - if you are presented with an error message make sure everything is correct (search for typos and/or invalid paths).

Time to add yourself as an samba user.

NOTE: You will be asked for a password - make sure you use the same as you use for login!

sudo smbpasswd -L -a your_username
sudo smbpasswd -L -e your_username
In case you need other users to be able to access the share you need to add them to your system AND samba as well. Make sure you use the very same Windows usernames and passwords!

NOTE: Windows XP doesn't set passwords for its useraccount per default. If you haven't set a password on your XP box just press enter when prompted to enter a password for the user account you're about to create!

In the following example we will add an user called "mark" ...


sudo useradd -s /bin/true mark
sudo smbpasswd -L -a mark
sudo smbpasswd -L -e mark
The "-s /bin/true" in the first line prevents the users from being able to access the commandline of your linux box ("-s" stands for "shell"). I strongly advise you to follow this recommendation! Don't change that setting to a valid login-shell unless you really know what you are doing!

Repeat this step until you configured all user accounts!

Now that we configured samba and created the user accounts we are done with the Linux-part - there's one more thing to do in Windows.

2. Changing network settings in Windows

Now we should let Windows know that there's a WINS server active in the network.

If you had to change "wins support" to "no" above skip this step!

- Click "START"
- Click "Control Panel"
- Click "Network Connections"
- Find your "LAN Connection"
- Right-click the icon and select "Properties"
- Select the "TCP/IP" Protocol and click the "Properties" button
- Click "Advanced"
- Select the third Tab entitled "WINS"
- Click "Add"
- Type in the ip-address of your Linux box
- Click "Add"
- Select "Use NetBIOS over TCP/IP"
- Click "OK"
- Click "OK"
- Click "OK"
- Reboot Windows

Upon reboot you may now map the network drive within Windows.

With WINS enabled:
- Click "START"
- Right-click "My Computer"
- Select "Map network drive"
- Choose the drive letter
- Type \\DAPPER\MyFiles
NOTE: Adjust this to the hostname and sharename you chose above!
- Click "Finish"

With WINS disabled:
- Click "START"
- Right-click "My Computer"
- Select "Map network drive"
- Choose the drive letter
- Type \\\MyFiles
NOTE: To find out the ip-address of your Linux box type "ifconfig" inside a terminal and find the ip for the correct interface (i.e. eth0). Don't forget to adjust the sharename to the name you chose above.
- Click "Finish"

That's it - samba is up and running now.

3. Security consideration

This is the right time to think about security right away.

In case your computer has more than one network connection (i.e. wired and wireless ethernet) you may want to restrict access to samba.

If not especially configured samba will bind its service to all available network interfaces.

So, let us assume you only want your wired network to have access and that the network card is called eth0.

Add the following lines to the [general] section of your smb.conf to achieve that goal:

interfaces = lo, eth0
bind interfaces only = true
If you did it correctly it should look similar to this:

; General server settings
netbios name = YOUR_HOSTNAME
server string =
workgroup = YOUR_WORKGROUP
announce version = 5.0
interfaces = lo, eth0
bind interfaces only = true
Now only the local loopback interface (dubbed "lo") and eth0 are able to access samba - there's no need to fear that someone might break into your system by wireless as the interface isn't bound to the service.

4. Final words

If you happen to have any questions feel free to ask - I'll try to help as soon as possible.

If you find any mistakes in this howto please let me know so that I can fix them.

Feel free to contribute and suggest - help to make this howto a better guide.

5. Addendum: Useful links

Here are some links you may find useful.

The onsite links refer to other samba-guides and to ubuntu_daemon's "Important Links" thread.

- Onsite
Ubuntu Help: Windows Networkworking
Ubuntu Documentation: Setting up Samba

READ THIS FIRST prior to posting - IMPORTANT links (by ubuntu_daemon)

The offsite links refer to the offical Samba homepage and to a selected choice of their official documentation; these links are useful if you like to dig yourself into the mysteries of samba's configuration and usage as well as troubleshooting problems.