improvement to System-config-samba and Caja samba share browsing

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Bender72
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improvement to System-config-samba and Caja samba share browsing

Post by Bender72 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:17 pm

System-config-samba is a great little GUI tool to help Linux beginners set up samba shares. It works mostly fine (except for that little touch /etc/libuser.conf issue, but that's not what this post is about.)

Sometimes, new or inexperienced samba users use this tool to set up or add shares and run into the following problem: (the same can of course happen when you edit your smb.conf yourself):

Shares are configured apparently correctly as far as samba is concerned, they show up when you're browsing "Windows" shares on Caja, but when you try to open them, you get a strange error message "failed to mount windows share: cannot allocate memory". This is utterly mystifying as you have abundant free memory on your system.

If you know that you can debug the problem using smbclient, you determine that the actual samba error is NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED listing \*. , which may just deepen the mystery: didn't you set the share to be "browseable" in your samba config? You did, and yet you can't browse.

I've been there, and when you run into this situation, it's just unbelievably vexing and frustrating. A new Linux user may even decide to give up on Linux altogether at this point, if sharing files between machines at home is must-have functionality.

The NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED listing \*. problem can be caused by inappropriate Linux filesystem permissions. The shared folder and its parents need execution rights, not just read rights, in the Linux fs, which is rather counter-intuitive. Linux fs rights override Samba rights.

I have two suggestions for improving this situation.

1. Add a little functionality to System-config-samba to check the filesystem permissions of shares when you create them, and make sure the share and its parent folders are readable and executable to the samba user. Offer to set those permissions if they are missing.

2. Caja should respond more clearly to NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED listing \*.. It might respond with "Unable to browse share. This may be due to incorrectly set filesystem permissions. "

altair4
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Re: improvement to System-config-samba and Caja samba share browsing

Post by altair4 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:49 pm

I don't want this to come across as being harsh but you posted this request in the wrong forum.

Mint doesn't own system-config-samba. Ubuntu does. And I really don't think they will do anything with it.

The version of that package in Mint 18 is 1.2.63-0ubuntu6. The version in Xubuntu 18.04 ( Alpha ) is 1.2.63-0ubuntu6. No one has touched that program since 26 Jan 2014. It has an outdated option in it that if selected disables samba from running yet it remains an option.

The caja-share application ( allowing you to create a samba share from the file manager ) does what you want to some extent. It creates the share then adjusts the shared folder's Linux permissions to accommodate the share. The only problem is it's not installed by default in Mint and a new user wouldn't even know it existed. In fact it doesn't appear to be installed by default in any distribution that uses MATE. Why that is I do not know.
Please add a [SOLVED] at the end of your original subject header if your question has been answered and solved.

Bender72
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Re: improvement to System-config-samba and Caja samba share browsing

Post by Bender72 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:23 pm

I knew that System-config-samba was borderline abandoned. Could the Mint project not adopt it and make it a part of its system configuration?

One way or another, I think that the lack of out-of-the-box filesharing is a major problem for any desktop OS, especially an OS that is designed to be beginner-friendly. Having multiple machines at home and a common file server is common. It's a sad state of affairs that the best option for password-protected file sharing on Linux is to use an ancient, reverse-engineered windows protocol that is so tricky to set up that the #1 distro just ships without it and pretends the functionality is so obscure that no one really needs it (and those who do should just learn the arcana of Samba.)

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