2013 Book Report 9: Using Samba – Gerald Carter

Samba is one of the great success stories of the Open Source movement. It takes a shared network space protocol created originally by Microsoft and makes it available within a Linux environment.  Massively popular around the world, it is also the bain of many a sysadmin’s life as it is complex to configure and manage.

The book ‘Using Samba’ tries to cover most of the bases of getting a Samba server configured and in use. It is very much the classic O’Reilly look and feel, and the text is clear, and largely well explained.

The challenges for a book like this are to keep pace with a rapidly evolving product and to cover the bases of what uses the software is going to be put to. In some respects this book falls down on the first of these challenges. The edition of the book I have is more than six years old. In terms of an open source project this can often be several epoch! Samba is, relatively, a staid project, people rely on it being stable and reliable, so often it doesn’t change much, but 6 years!

The actual content of the book is largely still relevant, though once you get away from a pretty standard set up it is worth spending a bit of time gooling in order to compare the current versions ‘take’ on how things are done.

In summary, this is a book that I dip into quite a lot, and it is very useful in my job of administering a Samba server, but it needs an update. It isn’t a cover to cover read, but it is full of useful information.



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