|Samba Administrator's Handbook|
|author||Ed Booksbank, George Haberberger, Lisa Doyle|
|summary||Know the theory? Here's the nuts and bolts of administrating a heterogenous network with Samba.|
The ScoopImagine you're the administrator for a diverse network. A couple of engineers have Unix boxes, while some programmers work on NT machines. Managers have Windows laptops, and you've talked them into letting you install Samba domain and print servers. You've read the documentation and understand how it works. Now what?
That's the scenario Samba Administrator's Handbook wants to address. Designed for the busy administrator who needs quick answers in a convenient package, it takes the pragmatic approach, and gets most things right. Need to set up a print queue on Solaris? Turn to the detailed table of contents to find a complete walkthrough. It's not the kind of book you'd sit down and read from cover to cover (Trust me on this), but at least you'll know what kinds of things pop up more than once in smb.conf.
What's to Like?Samba is designed to work with a variety of operating systems and platforms, and the authors cover quite a few: Solaris, RedHat and Caldera Linux distributions, and Free and Net BSD. These are good choices, because they represent a cross section of Unix land. Clients include the Windows family, as well as DOS and Unix (where applicable). Also included are task options (different utilities or command line switches). For example, the Samba installation section describes compilation, package selection during installation, and RPM installs. Samaba's rapid development receives due mention, with advanced users pointed to anonymous CVS and the excellent mailing lists.
SWAT receives the best coverage, reinforcing the notion that this book is meant to be used by administrators who don't have the luxury of looking up many pages on the server (or those who prefer to read printed versions). Additional configuration resources are also covered. These include SMBEdit, webmin and Linuxconf.
The handbook covers client-side issues very thoroughly, including a detailed section on troubleshooting under various operating systems. (The breadth of coverage surprised me, as there were commands I did not know even existed.) Also, the Best Practices chapter takes a server-level approach, with sections on backups and security.
What's to Consider?My one large gripe may only bother a few readers: The editing really seems half-hearted. This is annoying, as the layout is inconsistent in places and numerous typos mar the text. I did not notice any factual errors resulting from this, however.
Occasionally, options are mentioned but not explained. Most of the time, these are the smb.conf options included for debugging purposes, deprecated in newer versions, or options which should never be changed. Some additional information would be interesting, if not immediately useful. Likewise, the benchmarking chapter suffers from a skimpy treatment, mentioning tools but not what to do with them.
In some spots, more information than necessary is presented. For example, the generous SWAT chapter repeats some information verbatim, as certain sections of the smb.conf file take similar options. Erring on the side of caution fits the organizational goal, though reprinting tar man pages may be a bit extreme.
The SummaryShort on theory but long on facts, until you have your smb.conf memorized and can keep six different versions of the same command straight in your head, you can find quick and correct information here.
Buy this book at ThinkGeek.
Table of Contents
- Installation and Basic Configuration
- Server Installation
- Client Installation
- Basic Configuration Using SWAT
- Basic Operating System Configuration
- Other GUI Configuration Tools
- Advanced Configuration
- Naming Services
- Best Practices, Browsing, and Domains
- Performance Tuning
- Basic Network Connectivity
- Testing the Samba Configuration
- Accessing Samba
- Using Net Commands to Diagnose Problems
- Error Codes
- GNU General Public License
- Online Resources