openSuse installs well, but what about Samba?

Laptops finally installed

Each of the two laptops have openSuse 10.2 installed on them. Amazingly, after they both rejected the other distros (and the HP pavilion rejected XP), they are both running openSuse well. OK, the slower laptop is a bit kludgy, but less kludgy than it used to be with Windows installed (which for some reason won’t go back on!).

Laptop 1 (the Toshiba Tecra) was an interesting install. The setup window was only two-thirds visible on the screen. In order to get to the Accept/Cancel buttons at the bottom of the screen, and therefore invisible, I had to press TAB and then Return – hoping that I had hit the right button. After several amusing, finally frustrating, attempts it installed very well. The graphical stage setup at the end of installation allowed me to set the screen resolution and even the screen ratio perfectly. I am very impressed with the result.

File Server Resurrected

After removing the 120 Gb drive, the old FS only had 80Gb left, but Suse 10.2 installed on it with no problems at all. I do notice that Suse uses a Reiser file system for formatting its partitions rather than ext2 or ext3 that Ubuntu used. This is still rather a mystery to me – what are the differences/advantages? Dunno yet.

How do I configure Samba in openSuse?

Ah yes, the system I learned from the Micro Mart magazine for Ubuntu did not, of course, work. So, I started browsing through the ‘Computer’ menu. This is the sequence that I have tried so far.

  1. Select Computer>More Applications…
  2. A window pops up with sections corresponding to the old familiar menus. I went to the System section and selected YaST (Administrator Settings).
  3. Enter the root password for Administrator privileges.
  4. Click on Network Services, which shows you two entries on the right hand side that have got to be important. Samba Server and Windows Domain Membership. Sounds easy so far.
  5. Click on Samba Server. It starts up, showing the Shares Tab.
  6. Reading the help bit on the left sidebar, I click on the Filter button and ‘Do not show System Shares’.
  7. That leaves me with two entries: /home/groups and /home. Mmmmm..
  8. I flick back to the File Browser and create a Folder in my home directory called ‘smbshare’ that I intend to share and return to the YaST program.
  9. OK, so next I go for the ‘Add…’ share button.
  10. It wants a Share Name – I call it Share, a description – ‘Windows files’, leave the Directory radio button ticked and Browse for the Path.
  11. Leaving the other options unchanged, I clilck OK and return to the Shares Tab (Damn, I’ve got to select the filter again to clear the list), and there is my Share. I also put an X in the box to allow users to share their directories with other users. I’m hoping that enables the Linux machines to talk to each other.
  12. Click on the Start-up Tab and select start the service during Boot and Open Port in Firewall.
  13. On the Identity Tab, I set Workgroup as ‘MSHOME’ – the name of the Windows Workgroup the rest of my LAN is used to operating in. I also leave the Domain Controller section set to ‘Not a PDC’ as we’re just using workgroups and no domain serving.
  14. I’m not sure about the NetBIOS settings or any of the Advanced settings so I leave them alone. Phew!

Windows Domain Membership

  1. Domain or Workgroup is set at MSHOME. Wel, that’s got to be good.
  2. I then click Browse, expecting to see my workgroup listed, and disappointment strikes – nothing!
  3. On closing, it informs me that Samba-Winbind has to be installed, so I agree.

Well, that flummoxed me. Obviously, something is not working. In true Windows style, let’s try a Restart. 😉



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