My 'intranet' : Setting up Samba


Step 1 : Hardware
Step 2 : RISC OS
  • Setting up !smbserver
Step 3 : Windows 3.11
Step 4 : Actually doing it
Connecting to...

Samba allows you to share your RISC OS harddiscs to other machines.
If you are sharing with another RISC OS machine, it is recommended that you use Acorn Access (built into later versions of RISC OS (the module is called ShareFS, version 3.40 is in RISC OS 3.70) and available in the boot sequence). This is more RISC OS compatible, with respect to file names, directory topology, and file types.

If the machine you are sharing to does not understand RISC OS, a PC for example, then you will need Samba. This allows Windows machines and Unix/Linux machines to view RISC OS files as if they were a Windows machine (ie, usually an eight-dot-three filename structure, though Samba understands and can export long filenames).


IMPORTANT Samba should always be run after OmniClient...


The first step is to run !smbserver. A snazzy icon will appear on your iconbar...

Example icon bar; GIF 5K

Click MENU on the Samba icon, and choose Configure....

The following window will open:

Samba setup; GIF 7K

Your icons may differ slightly, it uses icons built into RISC OS and if you have softloaded any 'improved' icons, you might have nicer looking icons.... Um, that made sense to me! :-)

Click on smbserver, another window will open...

Samba options; GIF 38K

The Server string identifies the Samba server. It can be anything, but best keep it sane!

The Interfaces is normally blank. Refer to the documentation supplied with Samba for details of what this option is for and why you might need it.

The Workgroup is the Lan Manager workgroup. The Samba documentation says it is not used, but it does appear to be exported. Windows seems to set the workgroup to be WORKGROUP (gosh, how original!) and I have decided to set mine to be RICKNET. It doesn't seem to matter what it is set as...

The Password Level aids with the matching of passwords. There is an oddity with some client/server combinations (Windows for Workgroups anyone?) when using mixed-case passwords. Refer to the Samba documentation for exactly what this does, but I'll say a value of zero will match the password as given, and in lower case. As my internal network passwords are lower case, that doesn't cause me any problem. If you want a password like "WeArEcOoLdUdEz", then you will need to alter this option!

Leave Debuglevel alone, unless it all fails miserably.

The socket ?? buf size sets the size of the buffers for the sockets. RX is receive, TX is transmit. I am not a heavy networker, so 16K (16384) is a reasonable setting for my purposes. If you want to be more ambitious in your use of the machine, then you might like buffer sizes of 32K (32768) or 64K (65536).

The Encrypt passwords option determines whether or not to send the passwords to/from the client in an encrypted form. Note that Windows95 OSR2 and all later versions of Windows will expect encrypted passwords by default. It is recommended that you set this option. I have not, in the screenshot, because my memory is lousy and I forgot!

The Null passwords option allows you to blanket allow/disallow access to shares which have null passwords.

The Detect !LanMan98 option will modify the behaviour slightly if it detects a client is LanMan98. If you are using !LanMan98 to connect to Samba, then setting this option will make the file appear, on the client, exactly as it does on the server.

The nameserver enabled option enables the Netbios Nameserver. This is a little do-hickey which allows your RISC OS machine(s) to appear in the 'Network Neighborhood' window (in Windows). This functionality does not appear to be supported by Windows for Workgroups, even when the workgroup name is the same as that used by the PC.

In Protocol, NT1 is the best and CORE is the worst. I chose LanMan2 (which also supports long filenames). It is a shame the Samba documentation doesn't go into more details as to what facilities are provided by each protocol, as I chose LanMan2 using a method only marginally more sophisticated than throwing a dart at a selection of names (actually, I threw a slicky-blob at the monitor; three tries later it landed in the right window; another try and it chose LanMan2 for me!).
To be honest, I've tried them all. On the Windows 3.11 machine, the end results appear to be exactly the same.


Click on OK, and in the Samba Server Configuration window, click on Save.


On the Samba icon, click MENU and then choose the "Configuration..." option. We shall now set up our shares, and to do this, read this document...

Copyright © 2001 Richard Murray