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Random Hints for SAMBA

Here are some random hints that you may find useful. These really
should be incorporated in the main docs someday.

HINT: Always test your smb_conf with testparm before using it

If your smb_conf file is invalid then samba will fail to load. Run
testparm over it before you install it just to make sure there aren't
any basic syntax or logical errors.

HINT: Try printing with smbclient first

If you have problems printing, test with smbclient first. Just connect using 
"smbclient '\\server\printer' -P" and use the "print" command.

Once this works, you know that Samba is setup correctly for printing,
and you should be able to get it to work from your PCs.

This particularly helps in getting the "print command" right.

HINT: Mount cdroms with conv=binary

Some OSes (notably Linux) default to auto detection of file type on
cdroms and do cr/lf translation. This is a very bad idea when use with
Samba. It causes all sorts of stuff ups.

To overcome this problem use conv=binary when mounting the cdrom
before exporting it with Samba.

HINT: Convert between unix and dos text formats

Jim barry has written an excellent drag-and-drop cr/lf converter for
windows. Just drag your file onto the icon and it converts the file.

Get it from

HINT: Use the "username map" option

If the usernames used on your PCs don't match those used on the unix
server then you will find the "username map" option useful.

HINT: Use "security = user" in [global]

If you have the same usernames on the unix box and the PCs or have
mapped them with the "username map" option then choose "security =
user" in the [global] section of smb_conf.

This will mean your password is checked only when you first connect,
and subsequent connections to printers, disks etc will go more
smoothly and much faster.

The main problem with "security = user" if you use WfWg is that you
will ONLY be able to connect as the username that you log into WfWg
with. This is because WfWg silently ignores the password field in the
connect drive dialog box if the server is in user security mode.

HINT: Make your printers not "guest ok"

If your printers are not "guest ok" and you are using "security =
user" and have matching unix and PC usernames then you will attach to
the printer without trouble as your own username. This will mean you
will be able to delete print jobs (in 1.8.06 and above) and printer
accounting will be possible.

HINT: Use a sensible "guest" account

Even if all your services are not available to "guest" you will need a
guest account. This is because the browsing is done as guest. In many
cases setting "guest account = ftp" will do the trick. Using the
default guest account or "guest account = nobody" will give problems on
many unixes. If in doubt create another account with minimal
privilages and use it instead. Your users don't need to know the
password of the guest account.

HINT: Use the latest TCP/IP stack from microsoft if you use Windows
for workgroups.

The early TCP/IP stacks had lots of bugs.

Microsoft has released an incremental upgrade to their TCP/IP 32-Bit
VxD drivers.  The latest release can be found on their ftp site at
ftp.microsoft.com, located in /peropsys/windows/public/tcpip/wfwt32.exe.
There is an update.txt file there that describes the problems that were
fixed.  New files include WINSOCK.DLL, TELNET.EXE, WSOCK.386, VNBT.386,

HINT: nmbd can act as a "WINS" server

By default SMB clients use broadcasts to find shares. Recent clients
(such as WfWg) can use a "wins" server instead, whcih reduces your
broadcast traffic and allows you to find names across routers.

Just point your WfWg, Win95 and NT clients at the Samba box in the WINS option.

Note: nmbd does not support all WINS operations. Anyone out there have
a spec they could send me?

HINT: you may need to delete your .pwl files when you change password.

WfWg does a lousy job with passwords. I find that if I change my
password on either the unix box or the PC the safest thing to do is to
delete the .pwl files in the windows directory. The PC will complain about not finding the files, but will soon get over it, allowing you to enter the new password.

If you don't do this you may find that WfWg remembers and uses the old
password, even if you told it a new one.

Often WfWg will totally ignore a password you give it in a dialog box.

HINT: Getting WfWg to be a master browser

Apart from exporting a drive, you should be able to get WfWg to be a
master browser by using:


in the system.ini file

HINT: Using MS Access

Here are some notes on running MS-Access on a Samba drive from Stefan 
Kjellberg <>

1. Opening a database in 'exclusive' mode does NOT work. Samba ignores
   r/w/share modes on file open.

2. Make sure that you open the database as 'shared' and to 'lock modified

3. Of course locking must be enabled for the particular share (smb_conf)

HINT: password cacheing in WfWg

Here is a hint from  (Michael Simmons):

In case people where not aware. There is a program call admincfg.exe
on the last disk (disk 8) of the WFW 3.11 disk set.  To install it
for it via the "Progam Manager" "New" Menu.  This program allows you
to control how WFW handles passwords.  ie disable Password Caching etc
for use with "security = user"

HINT: file descriptor limits

If you have problems with the limits on the number of open files you
can edit local.h to fix it.

HINT: HPUX initgroups() problem

here is a hint from Frank Wales []:

HP's implementation of supplementary groups is, er, non-standard (for
hysterical reasons).  There are two group files, /etc/group and
/etc/logingroup; the system maps UIDs to numbers using the former, but
initgroups() reads the latter.  Most system admins who know the ropes
symlink /etc/group to /etc/logingroup (hard link doesn't work for reasons
too stupid to go into here).  initgroups() will complain if one of the
groups you're in in /etc/logingroup has what it considers to be an invalid
ID, which means outside the range [0..UID_MAX], where UID_MAX is (I think)
60000 currently on HP-UX.  This precludes -2 and 65534, the usual 'nobody'

Perhaps you could suggest to users that, if they encounter this problem,
they make sure that the programs that are failing to initgroups() be
run as users not in any groups with GIDs outside the allowed range.

This is documented in the HP manual pages under setgroups(2) and passwd(4).

HINT: Patch your SCO system

If you run SCO Unix then you may need to get important TCP/IP patches
for Samba to work correctly. Try 


  I was having problems with Accpac using 1.9.02 on SCO Unix.  One
  posting function reported corrupted data.  After installing uod385a,
  the problem went away (a restore from backup and then another

  It appears that the uod385a update for SCO may be fairly important for
  a lot of different DOS and Windows software under Samba.

  uod385a can be found at ftp.sco.com /SLS/uod385a.Z and uod385a.ltr.Z.



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