Samba absolutely needs to be user-configured.

On my Linux machines, I generally have the Samba server installed, to ease the simple transfer of data over my LAN. But it can happen that during an initial install, a computer of mine only has the Samba client installed, not the server. This initially results in a computer which remains invisible to LAN-browsing, but which can browse the Samba shares of other computers.

Recently, an upgrade to the Samba packages I had installed on the laptop I name ‘Klystron’, also pulled in as dependencies, the actual Samba server, which next made that laptop visible to the LAN-browsing of my other computers.

And so what I thought next, was that I would not have to set up this new Samba-installation, in that it should default to safe behavior when not configured. And it turns out I was wrong.

The behavior of the new Samba setup was such, that it did not allow unauthorized fetching of user shares, but also such, that that laptop would sometimes just seem to disconnect from the Samba servers on the other computers.

And so what I have learned, is that every time we install Samba, we must also customize ‘/etc/samba/smb.conf‘, so that this configuration is compatible with whatever we have set up on our LAN. I just did so, this afternoon. And ‘Klystron’ then reappeared in the LAN-browsing of my other computers, including to the Windows 7 machine I name ‘Mithral’, without requiring any reboots from me.

The fact remains that ‘Klystron’ has an empty ‘smbpasswd’ list, and that it does not share out any user data. But still, it needed to be configured.



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