CentOS as a file server on a Windows network help

Installing, Configuring, Troubleshooting server daemons such as Web and Mail
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CentOS as a file server on a Windows network help

Post by pyroguysf » 2007/04/23 05:27:33

I downloaded CentOS 5 and put it on a machine (2.4ghz, 256mb, 128mb radeon 9500) as a server for my windows network to use at home. I'd like to be able to at least use it as a file server for within my house, and from over the internet if possible. I'm very advanced with using Windows, but I'm new to Linux and the "art" of creating servers. So far, I'm able to see my shared Windows folders from CentOS, but from my Windows machines, CentOS is virtually invisible. If anyone could help me set up my machine with CentOS 5 to be a server on a Windows network, I'd greatly appereciate it.

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Re: CentOS as a file server on a Windows network help

Post by foxb » 2007/04/23 13:28:11

Look at the documentation


Maybe following topics will be interesting to you

NFS -> Unix way
FTP -> Filetransfer protocol
SAMBA -> windows way (this may be your solution)

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Re: CentOS as a file server on a Windows network help

Post by NedSlider » 2007/04/25 22:58:31


Read the documentation here:


Have a go at getting it set up and then post back with any specific questions :-)

TIP: It's highly recommended to use user-level security

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Re: CentOS as a file server on a Windows network help

Post by friguyb » 2007/04/28 05:21:57

If you are new to unix , I would suggest to use winscp (see http://winscp.net ) on your windows box. You will be able to manage and transfer files, look at the file hierarchy of the linux box from you windows desktop. The other thing I would suggest you is to use webmin ( http://www.webmin.com/) this will help you to understand and manage the box, you will even find a samba management. Do not forget to disable the firewall.

Then when you will get used to that , you may reinstall the linux box in a server mode, I mean without the graphical stuff. Personnaly , I allways install in text mode , 'linux text' at the boot time, then for the package selection I unselect everything and customize to use
MySql , Web Server (Apache), Windows File Server (Samba) . This is all you will need to run an extensible file server , I say extensible because one day you will like to use it as a multimedia server.... and you do not need a very powerfull box, it will use 650Mb

Regards, Guy

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Re: CentOS as a file server on a Windows network help

Post by erroneus » 2007/05/09 03:11:48

After I conquered the problem of setting up a samba server with active directory integration today, I feel like Samba-Superman. The reality is that I found a really good guide that addresses details that are often missing from other such guides. But in your case, you don't need any of the complexities involved here. You just want a stand-alone server and it sounds like authentication isn't even close to being an issue.

You're good at Windows (no insult intended, but that often doesn't mean a whole lot) so I'm going to assume you know the language. So here's what I think you should do:

Set up your linux box (GUI or Text... I recommend GUI because it's less likely you'll become frustrated during your trek) and select some basic options... take your time, read about what you're installing. Learn a little but don't stress yourself about it. It's more likely you'll install something you don't need rather than the other way around, but do pay attention to anything related to Samba and Perl. Later, if you think you forgot anything, there is an Add/Remove packages utility so you can make adjustments at your leisure as needed. Another thing you will probably want to do is disable the firewall and SELinux... it'll just make everything easier since this server won't be geared for security right?

First thing you should install is webmin. You can get it through www.webmin.com. Download it or install it... ultimately you want to install it, so choose what you like. Then you can configure your server-to-be from the confort of your Windows machine since it's likely to have a better monitor and display. (Most windows users commit their best hardware to windows and their lesser hardware to Linux.) You can then search around in webmin. You'll find just about everything makes sense and is exceptionally easy to follow. You'll have more icons than you need so you'll just have to feel your limits out. One thing you will want to do is go ahead and disable the GUI interface since you'll be controlling your server from the windows box from here on. You can do this by clicking on "system" and then "SysV init." Change the "id" option and set the runlevel from 5 to 3. Save save save out. Now under "System" go to "bootup and shutdown." At the bottom of this screen you can see where you can change from runlevel 5 to runlevel 3. Your Linux box will magically change from GUI to text mode without your touching the machine directly. It's magic!

And while you're in there, have a look at what else you can do in there. See what you can do to make sure that "smb" starts up at boot time. Don't worry, it's "Samba" not super mario brothers... yeah, I made that mistake too. You can disable and enable a lot of system services there... be careful, but also be curious! Look around, make some notes and maybe a google a few things you're unfamiliar with. But mostly, you want smb and webmin to start at boot time.

Now go over to "Servers" and Samba... much of the terminology will make sense to you. Just set some things up the way you might think they should be set. Read some of the howtos out there too. But with Webmin and the simplistic nature of the configuration you're trying to create, I doubt you will make many mistakes along the way. I will say this much though:

Since you're creating a fiile server, I trust that you created a very large and empty partition in which to contain all your files? You will want to want to set the user and group ownership to something like "nobody/nobody" or "apache/apache" or something else that would be relatively safe. (Use apache/apache if you think you might want to set up a web site or some web-driven application like "Gallery" to serve your pictures collection, for example.) Then, when you set up your shares, you can point to the large partition and set the attributes to "force user" and "force group" to whatever you decided. This will keep things very simple. Make the security type "share level" and you'll soon be on your way to a simple, easy file stoage server for your home network.

Samba has built-in limittions... file sizes of what? 2GB maximum? Forget about DVD ISO images.... NFS, on the other hand, can manage that. Does anyone know of a free NFS client for windows? That would be pretty ideal if one wants to access larger files from the file server...

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CentOS as a file server on a Windows network help

Post by arrfab » 2007/05/10 21:33:27

pyroguysf wrote:
... but from my Windows machines, CentOS is virtually invisible. ....[/quote]
This only means that :
- you have not confgured samba
- smbd is not started
- iptables rules block netbios traffic

I advice you to read official doc about samba on http://www.samba.org. There are a lot of tutorials with simple examples (what you're searching for)
Understand differences also between security = server , domain, ads, share or user to know what you're doing instead of just following advices ...
Same thing applies for filesystem permissions ....

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