Configuring a Samba client

Like most administrative tasks on a SUSE Linux system, configuring and starting a Samba client is most easily done through YaST. If you are running the X Window system KDE desktop (SUSE's default graphical environment), you can execute by selecting YaST from the Control Center menu, which is available by clicking the SUSE icon at the bottom-left corner of your KDE desktop. If you start YaST as the root user, the YaST dialog displays immediately, as shown in Figure 18-1.

Figure 18-1: YaST main screen

Note If you start YaST as any other user, the KDE su dialog shown in Figure 18-2 displays. Enter your system's root password, and the system will start YaST for you as the root user.

Figure 18-2: KDE su dialog

To configure and start a Samba client, follow these steps:

1. Click the Network Services icon in the left pane of the YaST Control Center and scroll down the right pane until you see the Samba Client icon, as shown in Figure 18-3.

Figure 18-3: Samba Client icon in YaST

2. Click the Samba Client icon to display the Samba Client configuration pane, as shown in Figure 18-4.

Figure 18-4: Samba Client configuration pane in YaST

This screen enables you to set the name of an existing Windows domain or workgroup. Under Windows, the core difference between a domain and workgroup is where the administrative and authentication information is stored. Workgroups typically store authentication and connection information on each PC, while domains are administered from a central authentication and user database known as a domain controller. Domain controllers will be discussed in more detail later in this chapter in the sidebar "To PDC or Not to PDC."

3. When this screen displays, the default name TUX-NET appears in the Windows Domain or Workgroup text box.

• If you know the name of the domain or workgroup that you want to join, position the cursor in this text box, type the domain or workgroup name, and click the Finish button.

• If you do not know the exact name of the domain or workgroup that you want to join, click the Browse button to display a dialog that shows the list of Windows domains and workgroups that can be detected on the network to which your system is attached.

If you are configuring your system to be a member of a Windows domain, the Samba Client configuration panel also provides the option of using the existing Windows authentication information provided by that domain when you log into your Linux system. Selecting this option simplifies local system administration by using a single, central authentication mechanism, but may make it difficult for you to log in when your system is not connected to the network. Using a Windows domain as your primary authentication mechanism is done by adding an SMB Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) to the authentication process on your system, as defined by the file /etc/pam.conf.

That's all there is to it — your system is now configured as a client of the selected domain or workgroup! Your credentials and rights to access the resources available in the selected domain or workgroup will be checked when you attempt to access those resources, as described in the next few sections.

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