28.3. Configuring a Samba Server

A samba server in SUSE Linux can be configured in two different ways: with YaST or manually. Manual configuration offers a higher level of detail, but lacks the convenience of the YaST GUI.

28.3.1. Configuring a Samba Server with YaST

To configure a Samba server, start YaST and select Network Services+Samba Server. When starting the module for the first time, the Samba Server Installation dialog starts, prompting you to make just a few basic decisions concerning administration of the server then at the end of the configuration prompts for the password of Samba root. For later starts, the Samba Server Configuration dialog appears.

The Samba Server Installation dialog consists of two steps:

Workgroup or Domain Name

Select an existing name from Workgroup or Domain Name or enter a new one and click Next.

Samba Server Type

In the next step, specify whether your server should act as PDC and click Next.

You can change all settings from Samba Server Installation later in the Samba Server Configuration dialog with the Identity tab.

During first start of Samba server module the Samba Server Configuration dialog appears directly after Samba Server Installation dialog. It consists of three tabs:

Start Up

In the Start Up tab, you can set starting of the Samba server. To start the service every time your system boots, select During Boot. To activate manual start, choose Manually. More information about starting a Samba server is provided in Section 28.2, “Starting and Stopping Samba”.

In this tab, you can also open ports in your firewall. To do so, select Open Port in Firewall. If you have multiple network interfaces, select the network interface for Samba services by clicking Firewall Details, selecting the interfaces, and clicking OK.


In this tab, determine the Samba shares to activate. There are some predefined shares, like homes and printers. Use Toggle Status to switch between Active and Inactive. Click Add to add new shares and Delete to delete the selected share.


In the Identity tab, you can determine the domain with which the host is associated (Base Settings) and whether to use an alternative hostname in the network (NetBIOS Host Name). To set expert global settings or set user authentication, click Advanced Settings.

Click Finish to close the configuration.

28.3.2. Web Administration with SWAT

An alterative tool for Samba server administration is SWAT (Samba Web Administration Tool). It provides a simple Web interface with which to configure the Samba server. To use SWAT, open http://localhost:901 in a Web browser and log in as user root. If you do not have a special Samba root account, use the system root account.

[Note]Activating SWAT

After Samba server installation, SWAT is not activated. To activate it, open Network Services+Network Services (xinetd) in YaST, enable the network services configuration, select swat from the table, and click Toggle Status (On or Off).

28.3.3. Configuring the Server Manually

If you intend to use Samba as a server, install samba. The main configuration file of Samba is /etc/samba/smb.conf. This file can be divided into two logical parts. The [global] section contains the central and global settings. The [share] sections contain the individual file and printer shares. By means of this approach, details regarding the shares can be set differently or globally in the [global] section, which enhances the structural transparency of the configuration file. The global Section

The following parameters of the [global] section need some adjustment to match the requirements of your network setup so other machines can access your Samba server via SMB in a Windows environment.

workgroup = TUX-NET

This line assigns the Samba server to a workgroup. Replace TUX-NET with an appropriate workgroup of your networking environment. Your Samba server appears under its DNS name unless this name has been assigned to any other machine in the network. If the DNS name is not available, set the server name using netbiosname=MYNAME. See mansmb.conf for more details about this parameter.

os level = 2

This parameter triggers whether your Samba server tries to become LMB (local master browser) for its workgroup. Choose a very low value to spare the existing Windows network from any disturbances caused by a misconfigured Samba server. More information about this important topic can be found in the files BROWSING.txt and BROWSING-Config.txt under the textdocs subdirectory of the package documentation.

If no other SMB server is present in your network (such as a Windows NT or 2000 server) and you want the Samba server to keep a list of all systems present in the local environment, set the os level to a higher value (for example, 65). Your Samba server is then chosen as LMB for your local network.

When changing this setting, consider carefully how this could affect an existing Windows network environment. First test the changes in an isolated network or at a noncritical time of day.

wins support and wins server

To integrate your Samba server into an existing Windows network with an active WINS server, enable the wins server option and set its value to the IP address of that WINS server.

If your Windows machines are connected to separate subnets and should still be aware of each other, you need to set up a WINS server. To turn a Samba server into such a WINS server, set the option wins support = Yes. Make sure that only one Samba server of the network has this setting enabled. The options wins server and wins support must never be enabled at the same time in your smb.conf file. Shares

The following examples illustrate how a CD-ROM drive and the user directories (homes) are made available to the SMB clients.


To avoid having the CD-ROM drive accidentally made available, these lines are deactivated with comment marks (semicolons in this case). Remove the semicolons in the first column to share the CD-ROM drive with Samba.

Example 28.1. A CD-ROM Share

;       comment = Linux CD-ROM
;       path = /media/cdrom
;       locking = No
[cdrom] and comment

The entry [cdrom] is the name of the share that can be seen by all SMB clients on the network. An additional comment can be added to further describe the share.

path = /media/cdrom

path exports the directory /media/cdrom.

By means of a very restrictive default configuration, this kind of share is only made available to the users present on this system. If this share should be made available to everybody, add a line guest ok = yes to the configuration. This setting gives read permissions to anyone on the network. It is recommended to handle this parameter with great care. This applies even more to the use of this parameter in the [global] section.


The [home] share is of special importance here. If the user has a valid account and password for the Linux file server and his own home directory, he can be connected to it.

Example 28.2. homes Share

	comment = Home Directories
	valid users = %S
	browseable = No
	read only = No
	create mask = 0640
	directory mask = 0750

As long as there is no other share using the share name of the user connecting to the SMB server, a share is dynamically generated using the [homes] share directives. The resulting name of the share is the username.

valid users = %S

%S is replaced with the concrete name of the share as soon as a connection has been successfully established. For a [homes] share, this is always the username. As a consequence, access rights to a user's share are restricted exclusively to the user.

browseable = No

This setting makes the share invisible in the network environment.

read only = No

By default, Samba prohibits write access to any exported share by means of the read only = Yes parameter. To make a share writable, set the value read only = No, which is synonymous with writable = Yes.

create mask = 0640

Systems that are not based on MS Windows NT do not understand the concept of UNIX permissions, so they cannot assign permissions when creating a file. The parameter create mask defines the access permissions assigned to newly created files. This only applies to writable shares. In effect, this setting means the owner has read and write permissions and the members of the owner's primary group have read permissions. valid users = %S prevents read access even if the group has read permissions. For the group to have read or write access, deactivate the line valid users = %S. Security Levels

To improve security, each share access can be protected with a password. SMB has three possible ways of checking the permissions:

Share Level Security (security = share)

A password is firmly assigned to a share. Everyone who knows this password has access to that share.

User Level Security (security = user)

This variation introduces the concept of the user to SMB. Each user must register with the server with his own password. After registration, the server can grant access to individual exported shares dependent on usernames.

Server Level Security (security = server):

To its clients, Samba pretends to be working in user level mode. However, it passes all password queries to another user level mode server, which takes care of authentication. This setting expects an additional parameter (password server).

The selection of share, user, or server level security applies to the entire server. It is not possible to offer individual shares of a server configuration with share level security and others with user level security. However, you can run a separate Samba server for each configured IP address on a system.

More information about this subject can be found in the Samba HOWTO Collection. For multiple servers on one system, pay attention to the options interfaces and bind interfaces only.