Tired of paying hundreds of dollars for commercial file serversoftware? Looking for an application that lets you share *NIX andWindows files seamlessly across a network? Say hello to Samba, softwarethat's so cool, it'll make you want to kick up your heels and dance,dance, dance!
It's one of the most basic things a small- or medium-sized office needs, in order for its employees to work productively together: a centrally-accessible file server to store and share documents. Most of the time, this functionality is obtained through commercial file server software; Windows is the de facto standard, though other commercial options also exist.
However, if you're on a budget, spending a few hundred dollars for commercial software might seem like a needless expense - especially since there already exists a full-featured alternative: Samba, an open-source software project that allows you to replicate the full functionality of a Windows file server on a Linux box...at zero cost.
Sounds interesting? Keep reading, because over the course of this two-part article, I'm going to take you on a quick tour of Samba's file sharing features, demonstrating how you can use it within a home or small office environment as an effective replacement for your Windows file server. I'll be explaining what makes Samba tick, guiding you through the process of installing and configuring it, and then showing you how to tweak it to get it working just the way you want. So stop lounging about, and let's get started!