One of Jeremy Allison‘s wildman troopers on Samba is Lars Mueller, based here in Nuremberg where Erin Quill and I are visiting this week. Lars immediately won Erin and I over with his enormous enthusiasm for his work on Samba and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. We plan to post his extremely articulate interview on Novell Open Audio about integrating the Linux desktop with Active Directory. It’s very cool stuff that will go on line in a week or two.
But for now, let’s take a look at peer-to-peer sharing between Linux and Windows clients.
Peer-to-peer Samba in Userland
In Jeremy Allison’s talk with Novell Open Audio, Jeremy mentioned some easier-to-use peer-to-peer sharing user tools that he had worked on..
In the SLED10 desktop file management interfaces, like Nautilus, you can right-click a folder and share it.
Being enabled through Samba, this makes it easy for a user to share a folder on a Linux machine with other Linux clients, Windows clients and of course Macs. The dialog is simple, and looks like this.
Of course, many of us do not want our users to be doing this all over our network. And because Windows has long since proved that easy file sharing can be exploited by viruses, this feature that is turned off by default.
The tool has an option to allow your end users to use this feature, and of course allows you to restrict by groups who can share a folder.
Anyway, remember that the main point of this is that end users don’t need to know their root account, nor do they have to edit a text file of restart Samba or anything like that. And that’s a good thing when it comes to moving desktop Linux into the vast hordes of more general users that lie beyond today’s more self-reliant techies.