Samba Pocket Reference, Second Edition by Jay Ts, Robert Eckstein, David Collier-Brown, ISBN 0-596-00546-6

Reviewed by: Jim Huddle, CNE5 CBS MCSE ES-RC, send e-mail
Published by: O’Reilly and Associates, Inc., go to the web site
Requires: N/A
MSRP: $12.95

Samba is an open source (free) software suite which provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients. Samba is freely available under the GNU General Public License and has become an integral part of all Linux distributions. If you are using Samba and have a pretty good idea of what you are doing, the second edition of the Samba Pocket Reference is a nice tool to have close by. It covers Samba v2.2 and the major features of v3.0. It also fits in the back pocket of your jeans so it's easy to keep handy. If you are new to Samba however, and just starting out, then this book is not for you.

The reference does not waste time extolling the virtues of Samba, relating Samba's history, or providing installation and setup details. It's divided into six major sections and begins offering real information on page three with Configuration File Options. In this section all the options usable in the Samba smb.conf file are listed. After each option there is a short explanation of the option, it's default value, whether or not it's global, and if it's new for version 3.0.

The Samba Daemons section details information on smbd, nmbd and winbindd. Each daemon is detailed as to the services it provides, the unix signals it responds to and the command line options. The options are also explained.

The next section details the non-daemon applications included in the Samba distribution. Each program is shown with it's argument list and the explanation generally explains the program's usage. Arguments the program accepts are listed with short, to the point explanations as well.

The Example Configuration Files section offers several config files for running Samba in a number of scenarios such as a workgroup server, pdc or domain member. The sample configs are commented to show you where you need to make changes based on your setup. I found this section to be especially useful as the samples provide a nice template for quickly setting up a Samba box to meet the particular needs of the environment it's going into.

The reference also offers a glossary explaining what the configuration files option values are and the type of value expected and a listing of configuration file variables.

While newbies to Samba will certainly be lost, this is an excellent reference for the experienced Samba admin.

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