When you get right down to it, more data is probably stored on Windows systems than on any other type of computer system. All of those 10GB home and office systems add up to a tremendous number of Windows filesystems holding a staggering amount of data. Samba gives Linux users transparent access to Windows filesystems, but is more commonly used to give Windows users transparent access to Linux, Unix, and Unix-like systems. Samba does this by providing a network interface that is compatible with the networked file and printer-sharing protocols used between Windows systems. To a Windows system, a Linux system running Samba looks exactly like a random Windows system that is sharing filesystems across the network. This enables Windows users to take advantage of the speed, power, and capacity of Linux systems without even realizing that they are accessing Linux filesystems.
Samba is a free and impressive interface for Linux, Unix, and other types of systems to any other networked device that can communicate using the SMB protocol, most notably Windows systems that provide networked access to files, directories, and printers. Samba enables Windows users to access Linux file systems and resources just like any other Windows shared file system or networked resource. For example, with Samba running on a Linux system on your network, Windows users can mount their Linux home directories as networked Windows drives and automatically print to Linux printers just like any other networking Windows printer. Samba, which was originally authored by Andrew Tridgell, is one of the most impressive pieces of interoperability software ever developed.
Samba includes both client and server software—in other words, client software that enables users to communicate from Linux machines to SMB hosts on your network, and server software that provides an SMB interface for your Linux machine.
A Samba server actually consists of two processes, both of which can be started from the command line or automatically by integrating them into your system’s startup procedure. These processes are smbd, the Samba daemon that provides file sharing and print services to Windows clients, and nmbd, the NetBIOS name server that maps the NetBIOS names used by Windows SMB requests to the IP addresses used by Linux systems. The Samba daemon is configured by modifying its configuration file, /etc/samba/smb .conf. On Ubuntu systems, you can either configure specific directories that you want to export via Samba using graphical tools, entitled “Using the Shared Folder Tool to Share Directories,” or you can manually modifying the Samba configuration file, entitled “ Samba Server Configuration Essentials.”
Interoperability between Linux and Windows systems is much more than just Samba. The Linux kernel provides built-in support for the protocols used to access Windows filesystems, enabling Linux users to mount Windows filesystems via entries in /etc/fstab, just like any other filesystem resource.
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Source of Information : Ubuntu Linux - Bible
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