Chapter 1. Installing and Administering Samba for IRIX

Samba for IRIX is a suite of programs implementing a subset of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, the file sharing protocol used by Microsoft Windows operating systems. Samba for IRIX allows a machine running the IRIX operating system to provide file system and printer services to Windows clients. Clients can be running any of the following operating systems: MS-DOS, Windows, Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or OS/2. The SGI Samba for IRIX implementation allows these clients to share resources, get transparent access to files, and operate as a fully unified network environment.

SMB is a client/server, request-response protocol. The Samba for IRIX implementation of SMB protocol uses NetBIOS over TCP/IP. Clients and servers exchange request and response protocol elements called SMBs. After establishing a network connection and successfully logging on, clients send the server commands (SMBs) to access directories; open, read, write, and close files; and utilize IRIX printer services.

Samba for IRIX allows SGI systems to be viewed and accessed like any NT server in the network. Users can directly access UNIX file systems and print services using standard PC local area network (LAN) commands and conventions.

SMB protocol supports the Common Internet File System (CIFS) which is being developed to provide a standard method for sharing file systems across the Internet.

A Samba for IRIX server provides services to Windows clients that are similar to services offered to UNIX clients: file system access similar to that provided by the Network File System (NFS), print services like those of the lpsched or lpd printer daemons, and distributed access control analogous to the Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) or Kerberos.

Samba for IRIX enables you to mount UNIX disks and printers on Windows clients. For example, you can define access to SMB shares (for a definition of a Windows operating system share, see “Windows Networking Terms”) on a UNIX system with NFS-like export permissions, such as granting access to groups of users based on IP addresses.

Samba for IRIX provides kernel oplocks support to IRIX 6.5.2f and later allowing data to be safely accessed simultaneously via local disk, NFS, and SMB/CIFS. File locks and file opens are visible between all protocols, ensuring that PC clients are aware of UNIX changes to data and vice versa.

In short, you can use Samba for IRIX software to provide seamless network connectivity between IRIX and Windows environments.

Note: For more information on Samba for IRIX, see the Samba for IRIX data sheet at:

About This Guide

This guide documents the installation, configuration, and administration of the Samba for IRIX product running on the IRIX 6.5 release (or later) of the operating system on SGI systems.

Note: You must be running the IRIX 6.5.2f release (or later) in order for kernel oplocks to be supported.

This guide is intended as a road map into publicly available information about using Samba for Windows and UNIX connectivity and interoperability. It is not intended as a detailed, comprehensive guide.

This guide contains the following sections:

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To obtain SGI documentation, go to the SGI Technical Publications Library at

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This guide is written for system administrators who are responsible for installing, configuring, and administering a Samba for IRIX server in an IRIX computing environment.

Finding the Latest Samba for IRIX Software Patch Release

The Samba for IRIX CD-ROM that you have received contains the tested software as of the Samba version indicated in the release notes. There may be newer bug fixes available as patches that can be found through your normal support channels at the following location:

All Samba for IRIX customers are eligible for patches while on support or for all released patches applicable to the base version of the purchased Samba for IRIX release.

Finding Information You May Need Before Installation

For information on how to use Samba for IRIX software to provide Windows networking services from an IRIX machine, see the following:

  • Samba for IRIX data sheet available at:

    This data sheet provides information about Samba for IRIX technical specifications and describes support coverage provided by the SGI Global Product Support organization.

  • Using Samba, 2nd Edition, By Jay Ts, Robert Eckstein, David Collier-Brown, published by O'Reilly & Associates, February 2003

    This book, which has been officially adopted by the Samba team under an open content license, is a comprehensive guide to Samba administration. This book is distributed in HTML format with the Samba for IRIX release.

  • Samba: Integrating UNIX and Windows, John D. Blair, published by Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc. (SSC), 1998

    This book is a comprehensive technical guide which describes in detail how to install and configure Samba software.

  • Just what is SMB, Richard Sharpe

    This document explains what the SMB protocol is and describes client and server implementations of SMB. This document is available at:

  • Samba for IRIX release notes

    To view the Samba for IRIX release notes before installing the Samba for IRIX software, install the module (see “Installing Samba for IRIX Software”).

  • Samba for IRIX man pages

    To view the Samba for IRIX man pages before installing the Samba for IRIX software, install the module (see “Installing Samba for IRIX Software”). You may want to read the following man pages before you proceed with installing Samba for IRIX software:


    Provides SMB (compatible with LanManager protocol) services to clients


    Provides NetBIOS nameserver support to clients


    Configuration file for the Samba for IRIX suite of programs

  • Samba for IRIX documentation

    To view Samba for IRIX documentation, install the module. This module contains a number of useful documents as follows:

    Samba FAQ 

    Provides answers for common questions about Samba


    This file describes the following topics:

    • Introduction and installation guide

    • Basic and advanced server configuration guides

    • Migrating to Samba version 3 from Samba version 2 and Window NT version 4

    • Troubleshooting and tuning

    Note: The HTML version of the Using Samba book is available in the /usr/samba/swat/using_samba directory.

  • Samba Home page

    The Samba FAQ, man pages, and additional Samba documentation are also available off the Samba Home Page and several mirror sites. You may locate the closest mirror site from:

Windows Networking Terms

This section describes some common Windows networking terms and when possible provides their equivalent UNIX terms. These terms were culled from sources listed previously (Blair, Sharpe, and the Samba documentation in the module). For more complete description of these terms, you may want to refer to those sources.

Windows Terms



A Windows operating system share is a directory that is made available to clients. A share includes the contents of the directory and all of its subdirectories.

share level

A share level is an SMB security level applied on a server. Each share can have a password. A client only needs the password to access all of the files under that share.

user level

A user level is an SMB security level applied to individual files in each share that is based on user access rights. Each client must log in to the server and be authenticated by the server. The client is given a user identification (UID) which is required for all subsequent access requests to the server.


Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) is a dynamically updated, central database used to resolve host names into IP addresses.


LMHOSTS is a LanManager Hosts file which allows specific host names to be mapped to IP addresses. The LMHOSTS file is like an /etc/hosts file for the WINS name service.


A workgroup is a collection of computers where each machine maintains its own security information. Windows for Workgroups is an example of share level security. Windows 95 software can pass user authentication off to an NT or LanManager server.


A Domain is an NT Domain which is a collection of computers where security is handled in a central location by one or more domain controllers. The domain controller maintains a database of information for each user including account names, groups a user belongs to, encrypted passwords, and so on. An NT Domain provides for the centralized administration of user accounts. Do not confuse the Internet domain naming convention with an NT Domain.


The act of browsing in a Windows network is viewing the resources available.

browse list

A browse list is a list of hosts and domains available on a network as seen on a Windows system.

master browser

A master browser is the system on which the browse list is maintained.

Installing Samba for IRIX Software

Use the inst(1M) software installation tool or the swmgr(1M) software management tool to install Samba for IRIX software. For more information on inst(1M) and swmgr(1M), see IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing in the IRIX Admin manual set and their respective man pages.

To install the Samba for IRIX release software suite ( samba_irix) for SMB/CIFS on IRIX systems, install these subsystems:


Samba release

Samba online documentation

Samba documentation

Man pages for Samba software

Release notes for Samba supported on SGI systems


Samba execution environment


Samba execution environment base


Starting with the Samba for IRIX 3.0.7 release, the Samba Web Administration Tool (SWAT) is contained in this subsystem. In earlier releases, SWAT is installed from samba_irix.sw.base.


Samba for IRIX Installation and Administration Guide

You can install the source code for this release of Samba by installing the samba_irix.src.samba subsystem.

Starting and Stopping Samba for IRIX Software

You can use the /etc/init.d/samba script with the start or stop argument to start or stop execution of the Samba for IRIX daemons. If your system reboots, the Samba for IRIX daemons will be started automatically, provided the chkconfig(1M) option samba is on. See the chkconfig(1M) man page for more information.

Administering Samba for IRIX

The Samba for IRIX Web Administration Tool (SWAT) allows you to change fields in the smb.conf(5) configuration file and manage user passwords. The smb.conf(5) configuration file defines options to control SMB networking services such as access to an IRIX file system, use of IRIX print services, appearance on the browse list, and so on. For more information on these services, see the HTML version of the book Using Samba included in the /usr/samba/swat/using_samba directory and the extensive /usr/samba/swat online help.

The SWAT password tool allows you to change server and client/server passwords. See the swat(8) man page for how to use SWAT and a description of its limitations. For those installations where SWAT is not appropriate you can edit the smb.conf file using any text editor.

You can use SWAT to perform the following tasks:

  • Create and view the Samba for IRIX configuration file

  • Set and view global variables for base, security, logging, tuning, printing, browsing, and Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) options

  • Create and delete file or printer shares

  • Set and view share parameters

  • Set and view printer parameters

  • Change user passwords and disable and enable users