Re: samba and lan with winxp and linux computers

From: Tim (admin_at_sheerhell.lan)
Date: 07/28/03

Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 00:34:53 +0930

On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 17:05:34 GMT,
"Johnny Ventura" <> crossposted:

> I have 3 winxp computers in a small lan all attached to a cable modem
> through a linksys switch. It works fine. I can easily share files between
> the three computers. Every computer can see each other computer. They all
> share the same workgroup name and they all have unique computer names. They
> all have two protocols installed: TCP/IP and IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible
> Transport. There are no bindings for TCP/IP and the bindings are thus only
> for the IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport. I have been taught that this
> configuration helps secure the lan from the internet. Each computer has its
> own folder designated for sharing of files which can be seen by the other
> computers.

The last step is practical, limiting any potential exploits to just one
place. But, as far as I'm aware, Samba can only do its trick over

Novell's IPX/SPX is supported for something on Linux, not that I've
discovered what.

I'm not aware that NetBEUI is supported on Linux.

And NetBIOS is something that's used over another protocol, like TCP/IP
(to do SMB/Samba). I think you meant to say NetBEUI, there.

> Then, I added a fourth computer running Redhat Linux 9 personal edition.
> The computer works fine (it can browse the internet and do email) except for
> one thing (which is why I am posting this message): I need help adding the
> Redhat computer to the lan for purposes of file sharing. The Redhat
> computer cannot see the other computers in the lan and vice versa.

Most likely because it can't find another computer using the same
protocol as itself. I think you'll have to resort to allowing NetBIOS
over TCP/IP to do your file networking. Just to be sure to firewall
things on the PCs to prevent outside access, and don't share the same
subnet with your internet connection.

On Red Hat 9.0 Linux, I found it to be a no-brainer to access other
computers shared resources. You could just browse to them in the
Nautilus program. e.g. smb://othermachine/sharedfolder Likewise, a
no-brainer to share out its resources via the GUI tool in the menu. But
I still had to jump through hoops to mount another machines resources
onto the system, so other applications could access them.

> By the way, if I understand what is going on so far, Redhat 9 does not
> install any samba components by default. To manually add them, at least
> three different samba files need to be installed. Even after I did that
> using the Redhat utility program for installing programs, the samba swat
> file apparently was not installed.

Hmm, I don't know about the defaults. I picked what packages I wanted
to be installed. I haven't bothered with SWAT, I hated it (when I've
tried it before). I dislike web browser interfaces for such things.

> I found the file on CD#3, however I did not understand how to install it
> as I don't think that file was listed in the automatic check-the-box area
> of Redhat for installation. I know it has something to do with RPM, but
> that is an illustration of what I am looking for, namely, what exactly
> needs to be done to install it.

Type su - (to change to the super user, and inherit its paths), enter
the root password.

Go to the directory containing the RPM files, or copy them to somewhere
convenient for you (useful if a RPM requires another one, you can use a
wildcard to install them both at the same time).

rpm -Uvh name-of-file.rpm

This will upgrade a prior package, or install a new one, and also give
you a simple progress display.

If you have all the Red Hat discs, then I encourage you to install the
docs disc (or at least get that discs, as well). There's quite a lot of
stuff on using RPM in it.

> I gave up DOS ten years ago and I think it would benefit everyone in
> my situation if someone could explain how to use gui tools (graphical
> user interface tools) rather than pure text commands to the extent
> possible.

I never used DOS, though I do feel it's important to make the
distinction that it means a Disk Operating System, and that's a
different thing than a Command Line Interface (CLI).

I agree that using a GUI is easier, though a lot of people using a Unix
type of system tend to feel that CLI is better. Their usual
justifications (of being able to do more, that way) always suggest to me
that the only GUI tools that they've used are crap (which many of them
are). In the Unix world, a GUI seems to be an afterthought, and only
covers some of the options.
> I ran across Ximian Desktop2 which touts that it gives one-click access to
> windows networks. I took the bait and installed it and yes there is an icon
> now for the windows network but it still can't see the windows computers and
> vice versa.

I think that's just the TCP/IP versus something else issue that I've
previously mentioned. Red Hat 9.0 Linux came with tools which allow
browsing the Network Neighbourhood, without me having to install the one
you've mentioned (in both Gnome and KDE).

> I also seem to be aware that the security level needs to be changed because
> firewalls impede my goals(?). Is this correct?

Probably. But we don't know what the current configuration of your
firewalling is. Sorry, my crystal ball's not working at the moment.
> I also know I need to create a folder on the Redhat machine for sharing
> purposes but does it matter WHERE it goes? For example, does it go in a
> user's area or in the root area or does it matter?

If you're sharing something of yours, I'd start in your own space. If
you're sharing things between users, set up a sharing folder in the
/home directory (between your own userspaces). If you're sharing data,
I'd be keeping it located in the same area as other "data."

> Also, what about the issue of bindings? Does samba address this issue? Can
> the bindings be the same as on my winxp machines?

You'll need to explain more what you mean about that.

If you're talking about the idea that Windows binds sharing to TCP/IP,
then that's a Windows mentality. On Linux, you use "the network" for
network tasks, configuring whatever is going to use the network (rather
than messing with the network), and making adjustments to your firewall
(as needed).

By the way, I killed all the crossposted newsgroups for my reply, and
only replied in the group that I found the message. I can't post to
groups that I don't have on my server, and neither can many people. I
seriously doubt that you needed to crosspost, either.

My "from" address is totally fake.  (Hint:  If I wanted e-mails from 
complete strangers, I'd have put a real one, there.)  Reply to usenet 
postings in the same place as you read the message you're replying to.

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