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Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, The [Paperback]

John H. Terpstra , Jelmer R. Vernooij
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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From the Inside Flap

Preface and Introduction

A man's gift makes room for him before great men. Gifts are like hooks that can catch hold of the mind taking it beyond the reach of forces that otherwise might constrain it.
-- Anon.

This is a book about Samba. It is a tool, a derived work of the labors of many and of the diligence and goodwill of more than a few. This book contains material that has been contributed in a persistent belief that each of us can add value to our neighbors as well as to those who will follow us.

This book is designed to meet the needs of the Microsoft network administrator. UNIX administrators will benefit from this book also, though they may complain that it is hard to find the information they think they need. So if you are a Microsoft certified specialist, this book should meet your needs rather well. If you are a UNIX or Linux administrator, there is no need to feel badly you should have no difficulty finding answers to your current concerns also.

What Is Samba?

Samba is a big, complex project. The Samba project is ambitious and exciting. The team behind Samba is a group of some thirty individuals who are spread the world over and come from an interesting range of backgrounds. This team includes scientists, engineers, programmers, business people, and students.

Team members were drawn into active participation through the desire to help deliver an exciting level of transparent interoperability between Microsoft Windows and the non-Microsoft information technology world.

The slogan that unites the efforts behind the Samba project says: Samba, Opening Windows to a Wider World! The goal behind the project is one of removing barriers to interoperability.

Samba provides file and print services for Microsoft Windows clients. These services may be hosted off any TCP/IP-enabled platform. The original deployment platforms were UNIX and Linux, though today it is in common use across a broad variety of systems.

The Samba project includes not only an impressive feature set in file and print serving capabilities, but has been extended to include client functionality, utilities to ease migration to Samba, tools to aid interoperability with Microsoft Windows, and adminstration tools.

The real people behind Samba are users like you. You have inspired the developers (the Samba Team) to do more than any of them imagined could or should be done. User feedback drives Samba development. Samba-3 in particular incorporates a huge amount of work done as a result of user requests, suggestions and direct code contributions.

Why This Book?

There is admittedly a large number of Samba books on the market today and each book has its place. Despite the apparent plethora of books, Samba as a project continues to receive much criticism for failing to provide sufficient documentation. Samba is also criticized for being too complex and too difficult to configure. In many ways this is evidence of the success of Samba as there would be no complaints if it was not successful.

The Samba Team members work predominantly with UNIX and Linux, so it is hardly surprising that existing Samba documentation should reflect that orientation. The original HOWTO text documents were intended to provide some tips, a few golden nuggets, and if they helped anyone then that was just wonderful. But the HOWTOs lacked structure and context. They were isolated snapshots of information that were written to pass information on to someone else who might benefit. They reflected a need to transmit more information that could be conveniently put into manual pages.

The original HOWTO documents were written by different authors. Most HOWTO documents are the result of feedback and contributions from numerous authors. In this book we took care to preserve as much original content as possible. As you read this book you will note that chapters were written by multiple authors, each of whom has his own style. This demonstrates the nature of the Open Source software development process.

Out of the original HOWTO documents sprang a collection of unoffical HOWTO documents that are spread over the Internet. It is sincerely intended that this work will not replace the valuable unofficial HOWTO work that continues to flourish. If you are involved in unofficial HOWTOs then please continue your work!

Those of you who have dedicated your labors to the production of unofficial HOWTOs, to Web page information regarding Samba, or to answering questions on the mailing lists or elsewhere, may be aware that this is a labor of love. We would like to know about your contribution and willingly receive the precious perls of wisdom you have collected. Please email your contribution to John H. Terpstra (jht@samba.org).

As a service to other users we will gladly adopt material that is technically accurate.

Existing Samba books are largely addressed to the UNIX administrator. From the perspective of this target group the existing books serve an adequate purpose, with one exception - now that Samba-3 is out they need to be updated!

This book, the Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, includes the Samba-HOWTO-Collection.pdf that ships with Samba. These documents have been written with a new design intent and purpose.

Over the past two years many Microsoft network administrators have adopted Samba and have become interested in its deployment. Their information needs are very different from that of the UNIX administrator. This book has been arranged and the information presented from the perspective of someone with previous Microsoft Windows network administrative training and experience.

Book Structure and Layout

This book is presented in six parts:

General Installation

Designed to help you get Samba-3 running quickly. The Fast Start chapter is a direct response to requests from Microsoft network administrators for some sample configurations that just work.

Server Configuration Basics

The purpose of this section is to aid the transition from existing Microsoft Windows network knowledge to Samba terminology and norms. The chapters in this part each cover the installation of one type of Samba server.

Advanced Configuration

The mechanics of network browsing have long been the Achilles heel of all Microsoft Windows users. Samba-3 introduces new user and machine account management facilities, a new way to map UNIX groups and Windows groups, Interdomain trusts, new loadable file system drivers (VFS), and more. New with this document is expanded printing documentation, as well as a wealth of information regarding desktop and user policy handling, use of desktop profiles, and techniques for enhanced network integration. This section makes up the core of the book. Read and enjoy.

Migration and Updating

A much requested addition to the book is information on how to migrate from Microsoft Windows NT4 to Samba-3, as well as an overview of what the issues are when moving from Samba-2.x to Samba-3.


This short section should help you when all else fails.


Here you will find a collection of things that are either too peripheral for most users, or are a little left of field to be included in the main body of information.

Welcome to Samba-3 and the first published document to help you and your users to enjoy a whole new world of interoperability between Microsoft Windows and the rest of the world.

From the Back Cover

"The breadth of technical information provided in this book ensures that even the most demanding of administrators will find something they need."
--Andrew Tridgell, President of the Samba Team and the original author of Samba

The practical, authoritative, step-by-step guide to cutting IT costs with Samba-3!

This is the definitive guide to using Samba-3 in production environments. It begins with the immense amount of HOWTO information published by the Samba Team and volunteers around the world . . . but that's just the beginning. The book's Samba Team editors have organized and edited this material around the practical needs of working Windows(R) administrators. UNIX(R)/Linux administrators will find all the answers they need as well.

Whether you're deploying Samba for the first time, integrating Samba into a Windows 200x Active Directory environment, migrating from NT 4 or Samba 2.x, or using Samba in a UNIX/Linux environment, you'll find step-by-step solutions, carefully edited for accuracy, practicality, and clarity. You'll learn all you need to make intelligent deployment decisions, get running fast, and use Samba-3's powerful new features to maximize performance and minimize cost.

Step-by-step installation techniques and proven configurations that work "right out of the box."

  • Essential Samba-3 information that leverages your Windows networking knowledge
  • Detailed coverage of Samba-3's powerful new user/machine account management, network browsing, and mapping capabilities
  • Authoritative explanations of advanced features such as interdomain trusts and loadable VFS file system drivers
  • Clear information on how Samba-3 handles Windows desktop/user policies and profiles
  • Practical techniques for optimizing network printing
  • Specific guidance for migration from Windows NT 4 or Samba 2.x
  • Troubleshooting techniques that draw on the knowledge of the entire Samba community

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for those keen on SAMBA June 4 2004
By A Customer
This book is a great resource for anyone who is using Samba to connect MS-Windows machines into a Unix environment for file sharing and print serving.
I cannot say that I have read the book in its entirety, but I have used it to troubleshoot some common mistakes in the configuration of my smb.conf file. Moreover it was useful in defining a simple batch file to manually re-connect my shares without having Windows re-build the connection at login.
I foresee myself consulting this book as my needs expand in usage of Samba as a networking bridge between Windows and the greater world that computing has to offer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Samba Reference March 17 2004
Samba is fairly simple at its basic configuration. When things start getting large and complex is when this book really shines. The authors give examples and scenarios of small simple configs and works their way up to very complex configs. Consider who the authors are and you can only expect the best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Book March 17 2004
By Schmigz
Good book if you have never configured samba before. Contains some additions to the HTML users guide at the samba website but not enough to justify buying it if you have a fast internet connection and are familiar with Samba.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A printed version of the great online doc. March 4 2004
The book is great, it gives you all background, detailed description, step by step guides etc. All you need to know about samba is there. However you should keep in mind that this is pretty much a printed version of [...] , so the same content is available for free on the web site. I personally like old school paper books, that's the only reason I bought it. If you don't care, maybe you should check out the site first and it might be all you need.
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The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide is an ambitious work that is going to have a lot of admins slapping their foreheads and saying "Aha! So that's how it's done."
Having used Samba for quite a while, but never having felt confident enough to try anything overly exotic in the office, this book helped (and inspired) me to dust off my minimal configurations and go for more complete integration with the existing Windows infrastructure. The authors are knowledgable and speak from production experience, punctuating the technical content with helpful comments and best practices for folks who depend on Samba to get their job done. The tone of the book is also realistic about explaining what's in Samba, what might be in Samba, and what's not very likely to ever be in Samba. (I think it's great that members of the Samba team can be frank, and aren't taking advantage of an opportunity to toot their own horns, promise the moon and a bunch of vaporware.)
Even if you consider yourself fairly advanced with Samba configuration, this book - the distilled knowledge and experience of great number of HOWTOs and configuration examples - is likely to be useful for you. It's probably not for rank beginners, but that's part of being a good reference work for production admins.
My only complaint with the book has to do with a few typos and editing problems. (LaTex can be unforgiving, eh?) Also, I found Part II, the quick start/cookbook section, to be a little repetitive, and felt that it could have used a little more editorial oversight. (Hint: Don't read it straight through - you don't need to anyway.) But Part III, which is the meat of the book, is much better done, and I'd say damn near indispensible if you're serious about bridging the gulf between Un*x and Windows technologies in your workplace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Samba Solutions Deployment Feb. 3 2004
When it comes to designing and deploying Samba solutions, I cannot think of a better reference. The same collaboration and effort that goes into the Samba project also comes together to deliver this comprehensive reference to Samba. If you are serious about learning and understanding Samba and Windows networking, this is a must read! I found a wealth of in-depth information within this reference guide that was critical to the design, development, deployment and administration of my own Samba solutions.
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3.0 out of 5 stars In-Depth and Effective Samba 3 Learning Text Jan. 25 2004
With the release of Samba 3, the integration of Windows and Linux has taken a huge step forward. Many of the features that were lacking in version 2.2 have been picked up or expanded in the latest release. The Official Samba-3 takes a very involved, in-depth look at many of the new features in the latest Samba code. Those users who are not adept at Samba already may have a hard time diving into the lengthy descriptions and detailed examples. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart.
For any Windows administrator who would like to set up PDC/BDC environments, LDAP authentication, Active Directory and other advanced Windows servers on Linux, the book gives valuable accounts and information on how to achieve these goals. For the average user who just wants to get his Linux machine to see his Windows shares, the 600+ pages of this tome are going to be very daunting.
While the book touts itself as being for every user, from laymen to experts, I found that's not entirely true. While all of the information everyone needs to complete almost any conceivable task in Samba is represented in the book, finding that information without reading the whole volume may prove difficult.
Overall, the book is a worthwhile read for anyone who is serious about contemplating and using Samba in their network. For the new Linux user, I might suggest finding a smaller, more basic tutorial and saving $30 in the process.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide
Very good book, would be even better if audience was unix/linux admins, but I guess even windows admins are beginning to see the light. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by B.H. Strong
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for the Sys Admin
A very very thorough reference volume essential to anyone responsible for setting up or administering a Samba server (or farm). A must definite must read. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2004 by Neale Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars You need the book if you're doing Samba
For a number of reasons: First, it's very good. It provides what you need to properly implement Samba in a variety of situations. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2003 by Jon Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive How-to style book on SAMBA-3
With IT users looking for alternatives to Microsoft licensing of Win 2003, SAMBA with its open source implementation of CIFS provides a cost effective alternative to Microsoft file... Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2003 by R. Prakash
5.0 out of 5 stars Become a SAMBA Guru painlessly :-)
This book is a great step by step guide, reference, and learning tool. The organization allowed me to drill into those areas of interest without having to wade through unnecessary... Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have...
The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide is a "Must Have" book for anyone responsible for the running of a multi platform environment. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003
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