Samba administration on Linux Mint

So, we have out copy of Linux Mint (17.2) installed and it all looks very pretty, but it still isn’t talking to the other computer (Windows or Linux) on the LAN. Let’s try following the tutorial on the Mint site here.

  • An updated fresh Mint installed
  • Grabbed a copy of WINE for future Adobe Flash DRM video viewing with:
apt install wine --install-recommends

The tutorial then gives the following two commands, but I thought I’d check the Webmin site to see if there had been a webmin update (there had) and so changed the version number as seen below.

cd ~/Downloads

So the source I changed to


right, that’s downloaded the package. Now to get the rest of the supporting libraries:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libnet-ssleay-perl libauthen-pam-perl libio-pty-perl apt-show-versions libapt-pkg-perl -y

Both updates went through without a hitch. Now, I can go ahead and actually install Webmin:

sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/webmin_1.760_all.deb

Woohoo! Looks good, and the installation process also told me that I could login to webmin at https://dibbler:10000/ as root with my root password – ‘dibbler’ is the hostname of my machine. Alternatively, a more generic login would be:


Old Dibbler gets the panics!

A moment’s panic!! Firefox tells me that old ‘dibbler’ has seen an untrusted connection at this address! What do I do? Well, I’m fairly sure that this is just webmin as directed, so I click ‘I understand the risks’ and it wants me to add an exception to Firefox’s blocking rules. Wavering slightly, I do so and a pop-up does just that!

I chose ‘Get certificate’ and ‘confirm security exception’ – let’s hope those were the right choices!

Well, it all looks good – a login to webmin screen has appeared in my browser. I login as ‘root’ with my root password and go straight into the webmin options. Good grief! Where to start?

Webmin Administration

The first thing I notice on the home screen is that 13 package updates are available, so I click on the link to see if it will update them. Hmmm…. lots of GRUB stuff and some important kernel updates! Seems to be doing them ok… Yay! All good. Return to package list.

Using the Menu I went to Servers>Samba Windows File Sharing. There’s an awful lot of information here that I don’t understand, so I’m going to follow the tutorial steps pretty closely. I looked for ‘Add Samba User by converting a system user’…. In the second block of icons down, called ‘Samba Users’ there was an icon for Convert Users – perhaps this is what I need? I click on it. I checked the radio button for Only listed users or UID ranges, and then Use this password for newly created users.

Looking for the Verify option mentioned int he tutorial, I found the User Synchronisation section and checked the radio boxes for Add a Samba user when a Unix user is added, Change the Samba user when a Unix user is changed and delete the Samba user when a Unix user is deleted. It seemed to make sense that the users were synchronised. So, back to the main sharing menu. As the tutorial says, clicking on Samba Users does indeed show ‘nobody’ and my username.

I then chose to Restart the Samba Servers using the button at the bottom, and it failed! Damn! What now? Back to the tutorial… no help 😦

I restarted the Winbind server with no problem. Perhaps I can restart samba from the command line?

sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmdb

Which all seems to go ok… but no luck!

Making file shares

Maybe I don’t have anything to share on the network? So, I went to the Create a new share option and selected my Downloads directory as a test but to no avail.

Not giving up yet, I went to the Windows Networking Options section from the main screen, put in my machine’s name as the server name and alias, changed the default service to ‘global’ (in the hope of catching any traffic!) and clicked Save. I used the above two commands to start & stop the service….  still no joy.

I then went to Security And Access Control under File Share Defaults. I changed the share to writeable as I wanted to receive files from other machines, made it accessible to Guests (user: nobody)and clicked save.

Sadly, still can’t get any networking working with either linux or Windows machines…


Once more unto the breach, dear friends….

Ubuntu-Studio 15.04

It is time to have yet another go at getting the whole workhorse machine up and running with a nice, clean and – hopefully – stable Linux machine using the variant of Ubuntu designed to handle audio (and other media) known as Ubuntu Studio.

The main reason I use Windows rather than Linux is for the power of Windows editing apps and, to be honest, the games I occasionally play in the evenings. Having said this, if I can get all the work I need to do done in a Linux environment, a dual-boot machine might be the answer! At the moment, my main boot hard drive has gone down but it has allowed me to install Studio 15.04 from a flash drive  – woohoo!

Ubuntu Studio uses a Desktop based on the XFCE Windows Manager (which you can also see in Xubuntu) and so it is very clean and clear, albeit it somewhat cut-down and short of all the bells and whistles that mark the Gnome and KDE versions of Ubuntu. So, where to begin? Most of my data exists on external hard drives and additional hard drives in my main PC, so these need to be accessible to my (linux) machine and the other machines on my LAN (all Windows). To save you reading any further (other than for academic interest) – these steps failed!

Samba! Cha-cha-cha! Networking with Windows

Following the advice on the Ubuntu Help site, I shall try and set up the Windows networking in Linux using the command-line. I will just show you the commands I used here and my comments for brevity. for explanations, follow the link and read the chat 😉

To start, I shall try to switch to Superuser mode as I am going to be doing a lot of Root work. So:-

sudo su
<enter password when requested>

This logs me in as root! Yay! Then:

apt-get -y install samba

to install the ‘samba’ sharing software…

smbpasswd -a <user>

to create a Samba user. You’ll be asked for a new password for the Samba user (I used the same username as my normal one), and then to confirm it. The next instruction is to create a Directory (folder) to be shared. I assume all of my external HDDs can be linked to in this directory.

mkdir /home/<user name>/<folder name>

so as my everyday username is ‘gary’, I chose the following:

mkdir /home/gary/shares

Updating Configurations

Now we can go about setting up the samba configurations… First to make a copy of the samba configurations file (samba.conf) to our home folder.

cp /etc/samba/smb.conf ~

Open the configurations file and then

gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

Now to add the Words of Power to the end of the conf file!

[<folder name>]
 path = /home/<user name>/<folder name>
 available = yes
 valid users = <user name>
 read only = no
 browseable = yes
 public = yes
 writable = yes

where user name and folder name are those we decided on earlier. Remember linefeeds and spaces are all important here. Now save and exit.

Ooh! Exciting times! Time to restart and test

Type the following to restart the samba system:

service smbd restart

Oh, that seemed to go well. We can test it with:


Lots of information, but I noticed “loaded services file OK” and my additions have been listed at the end of the dump. Woohoo!

Now for the Client

That’s the server installed, and it’s now time to install the Client.

apt-get install smbclient

Seemed to go OK. Hmm.. how to proceed from here though? It’s a little unclear. I did figure out that the Domain name of the samba share is ‘WORKGROUP’, so that’s pretty handy. Using:

smbclient -L //<my @pc name>/<folder name> -U <user name>

shows me a list of shares that my samba user has available to use and from that I can see the other machines on my network and the printer. I’m not sure why my Linux machine does not have a name though…

Is this your vehicle then, sir?

I’ve just spotted that the ‘shares’ folder I set up has the owner ‘root’ (because I was typing everything as a Superuser) so I may need to change the ownership back to my samba user, ‘gary’, before it will work. So, to do this I typed:

chown gary /home/gary/shares

which did the job. ‘gary’ is my local username, and ‘shares’ is the <folder name> we have been using so far. Using the File Explorer (Thunar in my case), I could right click on the folder icon and see that owner was now me (‘gary’) but the group owner was still ‘root’. so using the drop down I could change the owner to ‘sambashare’ (that seemed like it might be the right thing to do) with Read/Write permissions. I allowed it to apply the permissions recursively as well.

Exploring the Network

By clicking on ‘Browse Network’, I was shown a ‘Windows Network’. Clicking on this, showed me a ‘WORKGROUP’ folder. Opening this, brought up a password dialog. So I entered <username>, Domain was already ‘WORKGROUP’, and my samba password. Rats!!!! Failure. It did not open the workgroup for browsing.


Hmmm…..   back to the drawing board 😦

Installing Ubuntu Server 7.10 (Gutsy) on the Fileserver

Installing from CD

I downloaded the 7.10 Server CD and burnt it. Booting from it gave me a text based installation. All standard stuff. At the end of the installation I chose LAMP, SSH and Samba servers as additional modules to add on.

Testing the network

I then used ping to test the LAN and make sure that the Server was allocated an IP from the Router’s DHCP. ping showed the Router alive and ping showed Internet connection working.


I then used sudo apt-get update to update the package list and sudo apt-get upgrade to upgrade/update my installation. Only two packages were selected 🙂

All is going well so far, the next step is to get Webmin installed.


As I was going to be doing a lot of ‘root’ work, I set up a root password using sudo passwd root and then logged in as root. To prepare for installation of Webmin I had to download and install the required support libraries, which I did with:

apt-get install openssl libauthen-pam-erl libio-pty-perl libmd5-perl

Peace of cake. The library libnet-ssleay-perl is no longer available. What to do? I found here that the version should be 1.30-1 – so it should be available. A bit of googling later and I found a download link for this version. So I typed:


to download the packages and dpkg -i libnet-ssleay-perl_1.30-1_i386.deb to install it. Phew! That was close – didn’t think I’d get it going.

Then to get Webmin, I used:


To install Webmin, I used dpkg -i webmin_1.350_all.deb and, as promised, it said:

Webmin install complete. You can now login to https://Server:10000/ as root with your root password, or as any user who can use sudo to run commands as root.

“Server” is the name that I chose to call the server – now nobody said that I was imaginative! 😉 Then, I noticed from the Webmin site that the latest version was 1.370 (d’oh!) so I am going to have to update it once I get in. I should have downloaded webmin_1.370_all.deb instead.

Anyway, trying to access Webmin across the LAN using https://server:10000 failed with a ‘server not found’ message. Wonder what the IP of the server is?

Hmmm… A small bit of research later and I am no wiser as to what linux CLI command will tell me! Ho hum. Ah yes – log on to the Router and look in the DHCP client list to see which IP has been allocated to Server. Got it – it’s

Updating Webmin

Typing into a browser (Firefox) takes me to the login page and I can log straight into Webmin – yay! Now this is already one step further than before with 7.04 Feisty. Webmin opens up with some system details and a menu to the left. Clicking on Webmin in that menu and then Webmin Configuration I can choose Upgrade Webmin (Webmin>Webmin Configuration>Upgrade Webmin). I leave the “Latest version from; selected and click the Upgrade Webmin button. It downloads and installs successfully. At the bottom of the page Webmin tells me that there are 1 updates for this version and I follow the click here link to download it. It is the acl (Access Control List) module and it donwloads and installs flawlessly. Now that was easy. Just to check, I click on System Information in the main menu and it tells me that I am indeed running 1.370. Success.

Samba file sharing

1. I go to Servers > Samba Windows File Sharing.

2. Then, I click on Create a New File Share and fill in the details as follows: Share name = public, Home Directories Share = unselected, Directory to share = /home/public, Automatically create directory = yes, Create with owner = root, Available = yes, Browseable = yes, Share comment = Fileserver stuff.

3. To make sure everybody has got permissions to this folder/share, I click on Others>File Manager and navigate to /home. Damn, Firefox tells me I have to download a plugin, now I know have Flash installed so I am guessing it is either Shockwave or Java, prob. Java. OK, let’s do it. Yup – it was Java.

4. I click on the Info button and check Read, Write and List boxes are ticked on User, Group and Other columns.

5. Lastly, I’ve got to make sure the configuration file is saying the right things. So I navigate to /etc/samba and click on smb.conf and then Edit. A little Java applet window pops up and I can edit the file here – cool, huh? So, what am I looking for? Looking for ; security = user I can now change it to ; security = share.

6. Now I can scroll down to the end of the file, and change:

comment = Fileserver stuff
path = /home/public

to be:

		comment = public		
		path = /home/public		
		public = yes		
		writable = yes		
		create mask = 0777		
		directory mask = 0777		
		force user = nobody		
		force group = nogroup

I then click on the Save & Close button. Phew - nearly there.

Windows Workgroup

Right. To check I am going to be part of the same Workgroup as trhe rest of my LAN, I click on Servers>Samba Windows File Sharing>Windows Networking in the Global Configuration section. Here I can set the Workgroup to MSHOME and click Save. That should be it – now to test the share from Windows…

Nah – it is asking for user name and password to get into the share and it shouldn’t do that. Interestingly, from another Linux box I can write to this directory – no problem. Hmm a small problem to solve. I shall be back.

Solution Found

Another dumb mistake easily solved. In the instructions above, you should notice a line in the smb.conf file that now reads ” ; security = share “. Remove the semi-colon at the front of the line! It all works beautifully now.

Job done. 🙂

Installing Webmin

Installing Webmin

I downloaded the RPM from the Webmin website and right-click on the desktop icon, chose Open with “Install Software”. It all seemed to work but to check I went to YaST>Software Management and searched for Webmin to check that it was installed. Woohoo!

Using “; to reach the Webmin page produced mixed results. The IP is the IP of the file server and it works on the console attached to the Server but not from across the LAN. Mmmmm…

Pinging the Server produces results, so it is present. Ah, the program needs Apache and the openSUSE install doesn’t install LAMP apps automatically. So… back to Package installation and in they go.

Still didn’t work. Can access Webmin from the local console but not across the LAN. Now I’m really confused..

Drat, looks like I’ll have to go back to an earlier step


Setting up a Server with Ubuntu

OK, the File Server now has new hardware. Faulty memory has been replaced and it has a 320Gb hard drive – which should be enough for some file storage.

Setting up a Server with Ubuntu

What a brilliant idea! I found the following link and after a little reading it reminded me of work that I had been doing before with Windows networks. We had a separate machine that acted as a Firewall – a Red network card for linking to the outside world and a Green one for the internal LAN. However, as I am behind a router I couldn’t get both cards to function properly 😦

However, one brilliant thing I learned was the ability to adminsiter the server remotely by using Webmin – web administration tool.

So that was that idea….

openSUSE 10.3 is out

It has installed brilliantly on Laptop 1 – I haven’t had the balls to try Laptop 2 yet. It has also installed on the new File Server, now to download and install Webmin to see if I can use the Samba section to get working shares.


Now how to set the Samba password?

I’m, guessing this is probably the reason why my Share is not allowing logons. It’s no doubt possible in the way that I did it for Ubuntu but I would like to find out if there is a quicker and more reliable (considering my console knowledge) of doing it. Time to RTFM. The online documentation for configuring Samba, I found here.

Hiding those Shares

The first thing I discovered is that if you go to the Samba Server section of YaST and disable all of those pesky system shares, they no longer pop up in Network Places. Cool, huh? I hope this doesn’t disable functionality, but I guess I’ll find out later.


I found the Samba configuration stuff here. The bit that has worked is:

30.4.2 Web Administration with SWAT

An alternative tool for Samba server administration is SWAT (Samba Web
Administration Tool).
It provides a simple Web interface with which to configure the
Samba server. To use SWAT,
open http://localhost:901 in a Web browser and log in as
user root.
If you do not have a special Samba root account, use the system
root account.

NOTE: Activating SWAT

After Samba server installation, SWAT is not
activated. To activate it, open
Network Services>Network Services
(xinetd) in YaST, enable the network services configuration,
select swat from the table, and click Toggle Status (On
or Off).

Once this has opened in a browser, click on the PASSWORD button and enter a Samba username & Password. Then click on Add New User. This is the username and password that Windows uses to access the share. Clicking on the Shares button, followed by the Advanced button shows you the permissions of the selected share. This confirmed that R/W permisssons were enabled.

Final confirmation was reading a file from the File Server to Windows and performing the reverse operation. Success at last!


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