Network Administration: Samba Server Configuration Tool

Fedora includes a handy GNOME-based configuration tool that simplifies the task of configuring Samba. To start it, choose System→Administration→Samba. When you do so, the Samba Server Configuration tool appears. This tool lets you configure basic server settings and manage shares.

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Not all of Samba’s configuration options are available from the Samba Server Configuration tool. For advanced Samba server configuration, you need to edit the smb.conf file directly.

Also, if you don’t like the GNOME-based configuration tool, you can use a new web-based configuration tool called SWAT. For more information, use Google or another web search service to search for the package samba-swat.

To make your Samba server visible on the network, you need to configure its server settings. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Preferences→Server Settings.

    The Server Settings dialog box springs to life.

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  2. Enter the workgroup name and a description for your server.

    The workgroup name must match the workgroup or domain name used by the computers that will be accessing the server.

  3. Click the Security tab.

    The security settings appears.

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  4. Set the authentication mode the way you want.

    The Authentication Mode drop-down list offers four basic types of security:

    • Domain: This mode configures the Samba server to use a Windows domain controller to verify the user. If you specify this option, you must provide the name of the domain controller in the Authentication Server text box. Also, you must set the Encrypt Passwords drop-down list to Yes if you use Domain mode.

    • Server: This mode configures Samba to use another Samba server to authenticate users. If you have more than one Samba server, this feature lets you set up user accounts on just one of the servers. Specify the name of the Samba server in which you want to perform the authentication in the Authentication Server text box.

    • Share: This mode authorizes users separately for each share that they attempt to access.

    • User: This is the default mode. It requires that users provide a valid username and password when they first connect to a Samba server. That authentication then grants them access to all shares on the server, subject to the restrictions of the account under which they are authorized.

  5. Set the Encrypt Passwords drop-down list to Yes.

    This option is required to allow users of Windows 98 or later versions to connect.

  6. Set the Guest Account drop-down list to the account that you want anonymous users to access.

    Normally, this account is set to No Guest Account, which means that guest account access is disabled.

    If you want to enable guest account access, click the Guest Account drop-down list to reveal a list of all your Linux users. Then, choose the Linux user you want to be used by guest users. Usually, you set the guest account to the pre-defined Linux account named Nobody.

  7. Click OK.

    The Server Settings dialog box is dismissed.