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Networking Windows with Mac OS X, Part 2

Don't be afraid of the big bad smb.conf By Kevin Schmitt
In part 1 of this tutorial, Dave Nagel introduced you to the magical world of Jaguar's native Windows file sharing, for those of us who are forced to interact with one (or, heaven forbid, more than one) Windows machine(s) on a daily basis. For many, that's as much or more than you'll ever need in order to make your beloved Mac a good corporate citizen, but for those who demand a few more options than Uncle Steve decided to include by default, don't fret. With the help of some freeware, you can easily set a bunch of hidden settings to truly make your Mac just another faceless node in the vast machine of Windows boxen on your network. That is, if you're into that sort of thing.

A little history
The Windows sharing feature bundled with Jaguar, fortunately, isn't some proprietary piece of code thrown in by Apple engineers. Much like the open source Apache web server that Apple includes in OS X and calls Web Sharing, OS X's Windows sharing is actually the open source Samba server, which has been freely available to our Linux/Unix brethren for many moons now. About a year ago, I had a Linux friend of mine help me in downloading, compiling, installing and configuring the latest build of Samba through the terminal, which, for me, was a great exercise in discovering for myself how NOT to spend my time in OS X, but it did the job of getting my OS X machine integrated into our Windows network. A short time later, preconfigured OS X Samba packages began showing up on various Samba development sites, which eased the job considerably. Now that Jaguar is in the picture, the Samba installation headache is all but gone. And while the core functionality of Samba sharing is there, Apple, by default, only lets you get at a small portion of its potential through the System Preferences panel. So for those who want more, you'll need to learn to love the smb.conf file.


Step 1: Read part 1
Now, before you get all scared that I mentioned some obscure Unix configuration file as being your new Windows sharing best friend, go back and read part 1 of this tutorial. I promise you, part 2 won't get any more complicated than part one, but I'm also assuming that you've read part one, because we're just going to keep on keeping on from there.

Step 2: Download the Samba Sharing Package
Fire up your browser of choice, and point it at http://xamba.sourceforge.net/ssp/index.shtml. This is the home of the freeware Samba Sharing package, a combination application and Preference Pane that gives you GUI access to OS X's smb.conf file. I'm patient. I'll wait while you do this.

NOTE: Pre-Jaguar users, you're in luck. Download the older version of the Samba Sharing Package from the above link, as well as Samba X (the Samba server itself), which is available at http://xamba.sourceforge.net/sambax/index.shtml. Once you install the Samba X package and restart your machine, you'll be able to join in on the Windows sharing fun with all the Jaguar folks.

Step 3: Install the Preference Pane
Once you unstuff the Samba Sharing Package file, you should see a folder that looks like Figure 1. Drag the folder to your Applications folder (or wherever else you like to put your programs). Now drag the SambaSharing.prefpane to your /Users/yournamehere/Library/PreferencePanes folder to install the Samba pane into your System Preferences panel. If you don't have a PreferencePanes folder in your home directory already, just make a new folder, name it PreferencePanes, and then move the SambaSharing.prefpane over.


Figure 1


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Related Keywords:In part 1 of this tutorial, Dave Nagel introduced you to the magical world of Jaguars native Windows file sharing, for those of us who are forced to interact with one (or, heaven forbid, more than one) Windows machine(s) on a daily basis. For many, thats as much or more than youll ever need in order to make your beloved Mac a good corporate citizen, but for those who demand a few more options than Uncle Steve decided to include by default, dont fret. With the help of some freeware, you can easily set a bunch of hidden settings to truly make your Mac just another faceless node in the vast machine of Windows boxen on your network. That is, if youre into that sort of thing. Networking Windows with Mac OS X, Part 2 Dont be afraid of the big bad smb.conf

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