Chapter 11. Unix Clients

Samba’s fame and popularity come from its ability to serve pervasive Microsoft Windows clients, but SMB/CIFS clients are also available on a wide variety of platforms and operating systems from desktops to handhelds, running your choice of Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, or any number of other operating systems. By providing SMB/CIFS support on heterogeneous systems, you can standardize your local area network, allowing everybody to use, for instance, the cross-platform OpenOffice.org suite (http://www.openoffice.org). Users on Windows, Linux, and OS X systems will be able to access both local and remote documents in the same fashion. Files can be shared by saving them to the SMB/CIFS share just as if it were a local hard disk. This method can also be part of a migration strategy for moving users from one operating system to another.

The most transparent means of accessing SMB/CIFS file shares is to provide a filesystem that understands the protocol. In this chapter, we explore the native SMB/CIFS filesystem support available on Linux, OS X, and FreeBSD systems.

In the absence of an SMB/CIFS filesystem, you can turn to tools provided by Samba, such as smbclient . Although command-line utilities do not provide the seamless integration of a filesystem, they are extremely portable. This portability means that you can develop your own administration scripts utilizing smbclient and be assured that they will run on Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, or any other Unix server on ...

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