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SMB/Samba

The Server Message Block (SMB) is the most common file sharing protocol as it ships with every single copy of Microsoft Windows. SMB is also found in PDAs running Windows CE. SMB can be traced back to the old days of DOS. IBM used SMB to communicate with the original network cards. IBM moved SMB to token ring and then to Ethernet.
SMB was adopted by several vendors and moved on to other protocols. Up until Windows 2000, SMB was tied to NetBIOS. Win2000 introduced SMB packet transport over TCP/IP. SMB was encompassed into Common Internet File System (CIFS). The underpinnings of CIFS is a hodge podge of documented and undocumented protocols. While the underlying protocols are ugly, what is presented to the users is a slick interface known as Network Neighborhood. The upgraded version of SMB that now runs on top of TCP/IP gets rid of legacy name resolutions known as WINS. Instead, CIFS now uses the open Dynamic DNS and Kerberos for authenticating. Microsoft now uses Active Directory which is similar but different than LDAP. The native files sharing used in the Unix world is NFS. NFS was developed by Sun Microsystems. Sun had made NFS available for Microsoft systems for years, but it has always been a commercial product. The most popular way to allow Unix and GNU/Linux systems to interoperate is to use Samba. Samba is derived from the letters SMB and its an open source implementation of CIFS. Chances are that Samba is already installed on your machine along with your GNU/Linux distribution. You can check to see if it is installed by issuing the following rpm commands.

Server Message Block (SMB)

  1. smbd provides printer services to SMB clients
  2. smbd provides filesystem acces to SMB clients
  3. The smbd daemon provides file and printer services to SMB clients
  4. The nmbd daemon provides NetBIOS name resolution to SMB clients