IN THIS CHAPTER
Installing a Samba server
Sharing directories with Windows systems
Sharing printers with Windows systems
Like it or not, the planet is infested with Windows machines. As you can see from statements like that, I'm probably as guilty as anyone of propagating the "us vs. them" mentality when it comes to Windows vs. Linux. How I personally feel about Windows and Microsoft really doesn't matter—the important thing in this chapter is to discuss the various ways in which software available on Linux systems makes it easy to integrate Linux and Windows filesystems in both directions, getting features such as automatic printer sharing as freebies along the way.
You'd have to have been living in a cave for the last five or so years not to have heard of Samba, arguably one of the most popular applications ever written for Linux and Unix-like systems. In a nutshell (sorry, O'Reilly guys), Samba is a set of applications that was originally developed to provide support for Microsoft's networking protocols on Linux systems, but which has been ported to just about every other network-aware operating system.
A huge number of books are available that are dedicated to discussing Samba, explaining every nuance of its configuration files, installation, and use. My goal in this chapter is not to embed another one inside a book on Ubuntu, but rather to provide some interesting background information about Windows networking and Samba, and then to explain ...