Building a headless linux box : Part 2

In the previous post, we saw how to setup secure access to linux box using SSH server. In this post, we are going to setup the linux box as a NAS (Network Attached Storage) server and make it accessible to other clients on the network. For setting up the NAS server, we need to install SAMBA server which will magically make the linux server available to other computers on the network.

Fire up PuTTY to log into linux server via SSH, and run the following command to install SAMBA server

sudo apt-get install samba smbfs

Once SAMBA is installed, we need to start the service (if not started automatically) and configure share and access to the linux box.

Before we start running the service, we need to configure what directories we want to share and who would have access to it.

The smb.conf file is the main configuration file present in /etc/samba.

Edit the file using the your favourite editor:

sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

Look for the following section in the file:

; security = user

Change it to look like this

security = user
username map = /etc/samba/smbusers

Next, we need to create SAMBA users and link them to actual linux user logins. Run the following command and enter the desired username:

sudo smbpasswd -a <username>

Next, add the selected username to the smbusers file in the format <ubuntu_username> = “<samba username>”

sudo gedit /etc/samba/smbusers

Once this is done, now let us configure which directories to share. Basically, SAMBA allows us to share user’s home directory with minor configure. We can share more directories as required. We can also share a printer attached to the linux box.

In order to share user’s home directory, open /etc/samba/smb.conf and uncomment the following line:

comment = Home Directories
browseable = yes

By default, anyone having access to SAMBA can connect to any home directory. If we want to restrict access to their own home directory, uncomment the following line:

valid users = %S

By default, the home directories are read-only. You can make them writable using :

writable = yes

Now, start the SAMBA service by running the following command:

sudo /etc/init.d/samba start

Now, try to access the SAMBA share as \\linuxservername\username

There are more options in the smb.conf which can be modified to tweak access to directories, share more directories, printers etc.

In the next post, I’ll show you how to setup remote desktop access  to the headless linux box.

Previous Posts:

Building a headless linux box : Part 1

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