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Simple Samba file sharing server setup

This is a minimal Samba setup to let other machines access files on a Debian machine.

Install Samba Server

# apt-get install samba

Install Samba Client

# apt-get install samba-client

Configure the Samba daemon

Edit the Samba configuration file.

# nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

In the global section, check the name of the workgroup. It might be useful to know it when you'll try to connect from a Windows machine:

   workgroup = STURBAIN

Locate the home share definition:


In that section you may enable read-write access to the home directories:

   read only = no

To share files in some other path on the system, add another share definition such as:

   comment = Some useful files
   read only = no
   path = /path_to_our_files
   guest ok = no

See smb.conf man page for details.

Add Samba users

Samba uses it's own password system so users need to be added by root. Note that the users have to exist in /etc/passwd

# smbpasswd -a me
# smbpasswd -a you

You will be prompted for a password for each of those users.

To list existing Samba users:

pdbedit -w -L

Restart the Samba daemon

# /etc/init.d/samba restart

or, if you are using systemd

# /usr/sbin/service smbd restart

Add firewall rules

Allow access from machines in the local LAN:

iptables -A INPUT -p udp --dport 137 -s -m state --state NEW -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p udp --dport 138 -s -m state --state NEW -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 139 -s -m state --state NEW -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 445 -s -m state --state NEW -j ACCEPT

Try to access the shares (as a normal user)

Try locally first, then from another machine on the network which also installed samba client. When prompted, use the password entered when adding the user to Samba.

To access my share:

$ smbclient //ourmachine/me

To access your share:

$ smbclient -U you //ourmachine/you

To access our shared(!) share:

$ smbclient //ourmachine/ourfiles

See also


CategoryNetwork | CategorySoftware | CategoryObsolete | CategorySystemAdministration | ToDo: group with other ?Samba pages