Basic configurations - cont.
Now, we need to modify the share to actually make it usable. Click Modify. We'd like to make it Writable and Browsable. Again, you can share the Directory and the Comment, as well as configure other advanced options, which we will not change now. Click OK when finished.
But we're not yet finished. We need to define the users that can access the shared directories. Click on the Samba Users tab. As you can see, there are currently no Samba users. We'll add one.
The Samba user can be defined only from the pool of existing users. For this reason, you have the option to access Userdrake and configure new users, if you do not wish to use your existing user as a Samba user. Too many times the word user has been ... used in the last sentence.
Now, we need to test our work. We need to locate the wShare directory inside Home.
And then, we shall create an empty file so when we access through Windows, we won't have any doubts.
Now, we will verify the IP address (as superuser in Terminal, /sbin/ifconfig) and then access this location from a Windows machine on the same network. When you access from Windows, you will be asked for the username and password (the Samba username and password). Voila! P.S. Isn't Windows so much less appealing?
Actually, as you can see, our initial choice of going via Set up sharing of your hard disk partitions was an unnecessary one. I could have simply not written anything about it. The goal was to show that when you stumble upon an obstacle, Linux is flexible enough to offer alternative approaches. This is indeed the case here. PCLinuxOS supports progressive (as in your solution evolves as you move along) thinking and troubleshooting.
The same logic and principles apply for Printer sharing, as well as other configurations. They can be done easily via command line for those in the know - but they can also be equally easily configured using only GUI.
What have we done so far?
Well, quite a lot actually. You are familiar with KDE, so you know what to do and how to do it. Graphic card, network, printers, and more can all be simply configured via the Control Center. Synaptic as simple as it gets, both including system updates and new software installations. We shared resources between Linux and Windows, using only GUI to configure them. That's about it, I believe. I will not go into details regarding the applications and other configurations. You can read about these in much details in my other articles.
I do not usually compare distributions, but there are some things worth mentioning, especially in regard to Ubuntu (or rather Kubuntu) as well as the previous version of PCLinuxOS (0.93 Big Daddy), which I have thoroughly tested only a few weeks ago.
- PCLinuxOS 2007 introduces some polish to an already shiny distro. Big Daddy did have some slight quirks; notably, Samba server would not start well and the mmc.conf (Control Center) would refuse to quit sometimes. These tiny bugs are gone. Well done.
- Synaptic / APT is slower than in Ubuntu / Kubuntu. This is because the default, free servers are not very fast. A donation will allow you to access premium server. In this regard, Ubuntu wins down with the 100% community approach.
PCLinuxOS if a fair choice for Linux newbies. It is a reasonable alternative to other distributions, although I still believe that Ubuntu takes place no.1 as the most newbie-oriented distro, but PCLinuxOS is darn close. Truth to be told, it is a young Linux distro and has yet to grow and reach its full potential.
Furthermore, the choice of colors and menus is simple and clean and pleasing to the eye. The most critical functions are easily accessible. PCLinuxOS offers a friendly hand to the new converts.
And in terms of functionality, like all popular choices, it offers everything, a broad range of excellent application, 3D gadgets, and an almost complete out-of-the-box experience. A fair bargain, by all means. If you have followed this article through and hopefully installed and tested the distribution for yourself, you have made yet another important step into the world of Linux.
You have mastered a new distribution (and successfully overcome the partitioning woes). You have learned to get around in PCLinuxOS, configure network and install drivers. You have learned how to configure Samba and share resources between Linux and Windows. You should have strengthened your existing knowledge and experience of Linux. That's all, folks. Happy Linuxing! Have fun and enjoy.