How to set up my 2-PC, mixed-OS (1 dual-boot, 1 Linux) Samba Server home network?

I have a question about installing Samba Server and setting it up as the server (as opposed to the client – assuming that this is the way it is done) on the most optimal of my two desktop computers. First, a word about the PCs and how they are OS-configured and on which of the two PCs I’druther, all other things being equal, set up the Samba Server (as opposed to the Samba Client)…

I’druther have Samba to function as the server on my backup desktop PC, a Dell Optiplex 320, with two 80 Gb HDD set up in a Raid 1 array, where the one HDD uses 33.5 Gb for openSUSE (on root ("/") only, no separate “/home” is set up) including 4 Gb for the swap, leaving 46.5 Gb on that HDD for the one RAID 1 drive, and with the same amount (46.5 Gb) on the second HDD for the second RAID 1 drive, leaving 33.5 Gb unallocated space on the second HDD.

My main desktop PC, a Dell Dimension 9200/ 410 XPS, has Windows 7 and openSUSE 13.1 on the one 160 Gb HDD (40 Gb for openSUSE, the rest for Windows 7), and with two additional HDD, each 160 Gb, as Dynamic Drives, set up in RAID 1 array. So there is plenty of file space on the main desktop PC for both Windows 7 and openSUSE files.

However, my thinking is that I would feel safer about all of this, given the inherent virus risk with Windows, to keep a copy of all of my very important files on the 46.5 Gb RAID 1 drive on the “Plex” machine, even though there is considerably more space on the “XPS” machine.

And the reason why I would prefer to have the Plex machine act as my Samba Server is that it runs cooler, and therefore can run all day long with little risk of burn-out (the risk of burn-out on the XPS machine is yet another reason to keep a copy of my most important files on the Plex machine).

Right now, just about all of my files are on the RAID 1 drive (Data Drive) of the XPS machine, because I haven’t yet gotten my home network ready for file transferring (I need to set up lots of empty folders and sub-folders on the RAID 1 target drive on whichever machine I settle on), nor do I have Samba Server set up yet, or rather, I did have it set up, but with lots of false starts/ mistakes, so I have uninstalled it, on both machines, waiting until I am clear about the overall setup I want, and how to go about setting it up, from start to finish, before installing Samba Server again.

So, any suggestions anyone about which of the two PCs I should use as the file server?


I gave up using Samba on my box and now prefer to use the facility on my Router, where a 500GB USB HDD is the shared space.
I also access my box over SSH but only on the LAN
There is a Samba guide in the blog section of the forum

Firstly, thanks for the reply, though, in my present circumstances, it is of little practical help - for the near future, I must use the inputs I have, as described above. Long term, it might be a good idea to use the setup you describe (I’m not sure what a “box” is, being a noob, but I assume that you are referring to either your PC/ a hard drive, or to a Virtual Box… which latter doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with file sharing, so “box” must be Linux jargon for a PC/ HDD).

I’ll check out the Samba guide you referenced, but I must say that I have read a few such guides and have difficulty applying the theory presented there to my personal practical problem (it is always good, when setting forth a theory, to illustrate it with 3-4 practical examples that cover the most typical situations/ scenarios… noobs are already drowning in an ocean of “theory”; resorting to forums like this one is where they hope to cut through the ocean of formless (non-specific) information and find some practical, hands-on advice!).

Actually, I am trying to set up a non-LAN solution involving a simple, crossover cable, but that involves Samba, as far as I can remember (I have so many sources bookmarked now that it is hard to remember what is what - I am on the verge of being more confused than sorted!).

Thanks again, I’ll check out that Samba guide,

Box = PC .

Yes, it can be a challenge to get started. Take it slowly and post with any questions if you get stuck.

Here’s a useful reference (refer to ‘Sharing files with Samba’)

I’ll see if I can get you started with basic working file sharing. Are you using KDE or Gnome? (Both have file managers that can navigate samba shares with smb:/)

You can use YaST to set up the samba server: YaST > Network Services > Samba Server and a nice guide by Swerdna

It can also be setup from a command line interface (ie a terminal) like this:

Start the samba servers in each machine (assuming you want to share both ways)

systemctl enable smb
systemctl start smb
systemctl enable nmb
systemctl start nmb

Add a samba user. (Easiest, just to add a samba user of the same username as you already have eg harry)

smbpasswd -a harry

then enter a password that you’ll remember.

If using KDE, it is possible to use Dolphin to create a basic samba share by right-clicking on a folder that you want to share, and configuring via the ‘Share’ folder.

Now, you can use the Nautilus or Dolphin file manager to find the other machine. Type ‘smb:/’ in the location bar. You should see the remote machine displayed as an icon. Navigate to the user you set up, and enter your user and samba password when prompted. You should be able to see the remote folders/files now.

Good luck.