OS and Samba Installation

By Dave Salvator  |  Posted 2003-04-10 Print this article Print

We opted for Red Hat 8.0 for this system, although SuSE 8.1 would also be a fine choice. We did a Custom install, where we went through and chose only those packages wed need to keep the OS footprint to a minimum. Youll definitely want to install Samba, which Red Hat calls "Windows Server." Samba lets you connect the Linux box with your Windows machines, so you can transfer files back and forth. Youll also want to install all the Gnome-based media players, or KDE-based media players if you want to run KDE. Red Hat runs its own polished version of Gnome by default. There is one VERY important detail to remember during the OS installation process when prompted for which boot-loader you want to use, be sure to select LILO, rather than GRUB, which is Red Hats default boot-loader. For a reason we have yet to determine, the GRUB boot-loader wont work with the nForce chipset, whereas LILO works without a hiccup.
After the OS installation completes, the good news is that youve got all the drivers you need on your hard-drive. However, you will want to download the latest version of Samba, 2.2.8, because previous versions have a pretty serious security hole that will leave you very vulnerable to attack. If youre behind a NAT (broadband) router, this is much less of a concern, but its so easy to download and install the Samba 2.2.8 RPM, that its just something you should do.
Remember to do all your system tweaking logged in as root, and then once thats all done, login as a non-superuser to prevent any accidental trashing of vital system settings/components. To get Samba up and running, install the RPM (Red Hat Package Manager), and then bring up the Server Settings utility (Red Hat Menu=>Server Settings=>Services and click the ballot boxes for both SMB and SWAT (the Samba Web Administration Tool). For SMB, click on the Start button in the utility to start the SMB service. Change the hostname in RH8 Change hostname to something other than "localhost." Wed suggest something like "media-furnace." To do this, bring up the Network control panel (Red Hat Menu=>System Settings=>Network) and go to the DNS dialogue tab. Where you see the field for hostname (itll say localhost.localdomain), change this field entry to whatever you want the name of this server to be. Now youre ready to run SWAT and configure your Samba server and its shares. We suggest first creating the directories youre going to want to share. On our system, we created the following directories:
To run SWAT, bring up a Mozilla browser window (Red Hats default web browser), and type:
http://media-furnace:901 (the convention is http://servername:901) where "servername" is whatever youve named your server.
You will then be prompted to login, and do so as root and provide the systems root password. Now that youre in, go ahead and create your user accounts and shares. For more on how to do this, see our recent story on building a Home Linux Server.

Dave came to have his insatiable tech jones by way of music—,and because his parents wouldn't let him run away to join the circus. After a brief and ill-fated career in professional wrestling, Dave now covers audio, HDTV, and 3D graphics technologies at ExtremeTech.

Dave came to ExtremeTech as its first hire from Computer Gaming World, where he was Technical Director and Lead (okay, the only) Saxophonist for five years. While there, he and Loyd Case pioneered the area of testing 3D graphics using PC games. This culminated in 3D GameGauge, a suite of OpenGL and Direct3D game demo loops that CGW and other Ziff-Davis publications, such as PC Magazine, still use.

Dave has also helped guide Ziff-Davis benchmark development over the years, particularly on 3D WinBench and Audio WinBench. Before coming to CGW, Dave worked at ZD Labs for three years (now eTesting Labs) as a project leader, testing a wide variety of products, ranging from sound cards to servers and everything in between. He also developed both subjective and objective multimedia test methodologies, focusing on audio and digital video. Before all that he toured with a blues band for two years, notable gigs included opening for Mitch Ryder and appearing at the Detroit Blues Festival.


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