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Doing the Windows 2000 Samba

  • December 21, 2000
  • By Stew Benedict
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Samba is the free SMB and CIFS client and server for Unix and other operating systems. SMB stands for Server Message Block and is the protocol used for file and printer sharing under most versions of Windows. CIFS stands for Common Internet File System, and is the newest SMB initiative. In this article I'm going to go over setting up Linux and Samba to internetwork with Windows 2000.

The home of the Samba Project is www.samba.org.

The latest stable release:


The latest alpha release (with NTDomain support):


As far as Windows 2000 is concerned, Samba will play okay, with some caveats.

  • You will need to set up encrypted passwords on the Samba server or utilize a Windows 2000 registry hack. Setting up encrypted passwords at the Linux side is much better now, and I would recommend going this route. Windows users can now change their Linux passwords through Samba.
  • If you want to enable domain logins, you will need to use the more recent versions of Samba. I was unable to get this to work successfully for the Windows 2000 machine, although it did work for Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0. From what I could tell from Google searches and notes from the Samba site, this portion is still under development.

Unless you need the primary domain controller functionality, I'd say stay with the stable version.

Setting Up Dhcpd

If you want to let the Linux server dynamically allocate IP addresses to the client machines, you need dhcpd, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Daemon. To setup dhcpd, you will need to get an appropriate RPM (RedHat Package Manager) for your distribution or compile from source. Consult either your distribution CD or its Web site for a RPM, or check out www.rpmfind.net. You install the RPM as root with the "-i" option:
rpm -i dhcp-2.0b1pl6-7mdk
(I'm running Mandrake Linux distribution on this server.) You will then need to configure /etc/dhcpd.conf. You can issue IP addresses from a pool, or assign fixed address to the Mac address of the NIC on the client machine. I prefer the latter, with fixed IP/hostnames relationships. Here is a basic /etc/dhcpd.conf:
default-lease-time            21600;
max-lease-time                21600;

option subnet-mask  ;
option broadcast-address;
option routers      ;
option domain-name-servers,;
option domain-name            "ays.net";

shared-network WORKSTATIONS {
    subnet netmask {

group   {
    use-host-decl-names       on;

    host larry {
        hardware ethernet     00:50:DA:D6:7C:2A;
"larry" is the Windows 2000 workstation. You'll note I've defined the server's IP address ( as the router, and listed the name servers specified by my ISP. This allows me to use the server as an Internet gateway for the client machine. The hardware-ethernet address, or Mac address, is usually printed on the ethernet hardware somewhere, or you can look at /var/log/messages for requests for an address when the machine is brought up, and make the entry from there:
 	DHCPDISCOVER from 00:50:da:d6:7c:2a via eth0
To start the daemon, use this command:
	/etc/rc.d/init.d/dhcpd start

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