Samba (samba.org) is an open-source project that provides network-based file and printer sharing capabilities typically found on Microsoft server platforms. It is described as a re-implementation of Microsoft's own SMB / CIFS protocols to the point of operating as a Primary Domain Controller (as found on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server). It can function within Active Directory but is not capable of being a full Active Directory Controller (as found on Microsoft Windows 2000 / 2003 Server). When installed and configured on FreeBSD other Windows computers will see it is a Windows file server on the network.
Two web based systems exist to manage Samba servers:
- Samba Web Administration Tool, SWAT, is specifically designed for managing Samba;
- Webmin is a modular management system that has a Samba component.
The Samba system also enables a FreeBSD user to connect to other SMB / CIFS based file servers regardless of whether the remote system is running Microsoft Windows or FreeBSD operating systems.
These articles will cover installing Samba under FreeBSD, configuring it, and configuring the client windows machines.
Samba also contains an implementation of Microsoft's Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) service.