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Videodrome

Ubuntu Linux: Home File Server with Samba

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Just another tip for re-purposing an old Desktop PC.

http://rbgeek.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/how-to-install-samba-server-on-ubuntu-12-04/

First, what the heck am I talking about here? I have stripped Windows off my old desktop and installed Ubuntu Server including the Samba File Server. What this achieves is making my old Desktop remotely accessible across my home LAN as easily as files in the file manager. In fact, on a Windows machine you can find the File Server under the Network area, right click, and select Map Drive to add it to your File Manager. IMO it's really a lot like creating a private local Cloud Drive. One of the first things I plan to do is backup all my Music MP3s to it. It feels convenient to me to be able to move files without even needing a USB drive or CD.

So far, I have found accessing the File Server from my Ubuntu Netbook a little different. In the address bar of Firefox I type smb:192.168.254.200 which is the Static IP of my Server. It will them appear in the browser and the Nautilus File Manager.

You can add Samba during installation of Ubuntu or with the following commands:

sudo apt-get install samba samba-common

sudo apt-get install python-glade2 system-config-samba

Next, you just need to make a backup of the original /etc/samba/smb.conf file.

The tutorial I followed suggest creating a new blank smb.conf file and adding the following to it:

#======================= Global Settings =====================================

[global]

workgroup = WORKGROUP

server string = Samba Server %v

netbios name = ubuntu

security = user

map to guest = bad user

dns proxy = no

#============================ Share Definitions ==============================

[MyShare]

path = /samba/share

browsable =yes

writable = yes

guest ok = yes

read only = no

###### I made a few changes and I'm posting my version

#======================= Global Settings =====================================

[global]

workgroup = WORKGROUP

server string = Samba Server %v

netbios name = ubuntu

#security = user

#map to guest = bad user

dns proxy = no

#============================ Share Definitions ==============================

[MochaFileServer]

path = /srv/samba/MochaFiles

browsable =yes

writable = yes

guest ok = yes

read only = no

next the folder for the share needs to be created with open permissions so it can be accessed. I put mine in /srv/samba/MochaFiles. This tutorial seems to neglect mentioning this step.

Finally, restart Samba: sudo service smbd restart

For a test I just clicked and dragged my Daft Punk folder on my Netbook to the File Server. It transfered across my LAN to the Ubuntu Server downstairs. Then, I connected my Dad's laptop to the server and opened it just like a File Folder. I double clicked a TRON Legacy track and it played from the server on the laptop.

Just thought this was cool and had potential for moving and backing up files or maybe streaming media.

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lol.

I'm finding this can work with any small Linux distribution. The sad truth is this stuff shouldn't be that hard, it's just a matter of finding somebody to present it in a straightforward step-by-step method. I'm not trying to do that here because it would take pages. I just thought it was interesting to say other options are possible with old hardware.

I wouldn't even say I'm an expert in how to setup all the Samba configurations either, but I muddle my way through it and can make a working file share on my LAN.

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It's been a while since I set up the samba shares on my linux box, but I was always very glad for the web interface I have installed to use within my network that made setting up stuff like Samba a breeze. I can't remember the name at the moment though. Samba fucking rocks.

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