We are endeavouring to provide links here to every major class of information about Samba or things related to Samba. We cannot list every document, but we are aiming for all documents to be at most two referrals from those listed here. This needs constant maintaining, so please send the author your feedback.
You know you should read the documentation but can't wait to start? What you need to do then is follow the instructions in the following documents in the order given. This should be enough to get a fairly simple site going quickly. If you have any problems, refer back to this meta-FAQ and follow the links to find more reading material.
The fastest way to get Samba going is and install it is to have an operating system for which the Samba team has put together an installation package. To see if your OS is included have a look at the directory /pub/samba/Binary_Packages/"OS_Vendor" on your nearest mirror site. If it is included follow the installation instructions in the README file there and then do some basic testing. If you are not so fortunate, follow the normal download instructions and then continue with building and installing Samba.
At the moment there are two kinds of Samba server installs besides the prepackaged binaries mentioned in the previous step. You need to decide if you have a Unix or close relative or other supported operating system.
Try to connect using the
supplied smbclient command-line program. You need to know the IP
hostname of your server. A service name must be defined in smb.conf, as
given in the examples (under many operating systems if there is a
Under most Unixes you will need to put the parameters within quotation
marks. If this works, try connecting from one of the SMB clients you
were planning to use with Samba.
If you think you have completed the previous step and things aren't working properly work through the diagnosis recipe.
You should read the manual pages for smb.conf, but here is a quick answer guide.
the quickest and dirtiest way of sharing resources is to use share level security. If you want to spend more time and have a proper username and password database you must read the paragraph on domain mode security. If you want encryption (eg you are using Windows NT clients) follow the SMB encryption instructions.
if you are happy to type in "\\samba-server\sharename" at the client end then do not read any further. Otherwise you need to understand the browsing terminology and read Samba-Server-FAQ.html#NameBrowsing.
See the printing quick answer guide.
If you have got everything working to this point, you can expect Samba to be stable and secure: these are its greatest strengths. However Samba has a great deal to offer and to go further you must do some more reading. Speed and security optimisations, printer accounting, network logons, roving profiles, browsing across multiple subnets and so on are all covered either in this document or in those it refers to.