The next tweak is needed to let the other computers on your LAN see the shares on your new Mandrake 9.1 installation computer. Just what you need to do here depends on (a) what operating systems are running on the other computers on your LAN, and (b) how the user-accounts on those machines are configured.
An important underlying principle here is that you want to maintain system security. If you are not careful, and you have an open connection to the Internet, you could wind up giving the entire Internet-world access to your computer. Restricting access to shares on your Mandrake Linux 9.1 box can help maintain system security.
One way to do this is to allow only people with user and Samba accounts on your Mandrake 9.1 computer to access shares on that computer. Thus, setting up user and Samba accounts for specific people on other machines to gain access to shares on your Mandrake Linux 9.1 box can help maintain system security.
You also can restrict the hosts (remote computers) that are allowed to gain access to your computer. Additionally, Mandrake 9.1 includes software firewall protections that you can enable if you wish. However, these topics are beyond the scope of today's article so they will not be discussed here.
Another important weapon in your system-security arsenal can be a hardware firewall/router. A hardware firewall/router is especially important if you are connected to the Internet via a broadband connection such as cable, DSL, ISDN, and so forth.
An example of a hardware firewall/router is the D-Link, DI-604, 4-Port, Ethernet Broadband Router It can be used with Linux-based, Mac-based, and MS Windows-based computers. Simply put, such a firewalled-router stops most types of attempts to crack or hack your networked computers that come from the Internet -- before those attempts ever get to the computers on your LAN. The MSRP is $50. (Link in the Resources section at the end of this article.)
It's likely there are users that you will want to let have access to shares on the Mandrake 9.1 machine from other (remote) computers on your LAN. These users on other machines need to have user and Samba accounts on your Mandrake 9.1 machine in order to access shares on the Mandrake 9.1 machine -- even though they might never directly log-on to your Mandrake 9.1 box.
Of course, we are taking a more conservative approach to security here. You could take a more liberal approach to security if you like. Your choice.
To add a user to the Mandrake 9.1 box, open the Mandrake Control Center (MCC) on the Mandrake 9.1 computer. Then click on System > Users. That opens the Users and Groups window. Drop the Settings menu to toggle between the users and groups screens. Toggle to the View users screen and add the users.
Next toggle to the View groups screen. Then add each user on the Mandrake 9.1 box that you wish to be able to participate in file-sharing to the fileshares group on your Mandrake 9.1 box. Next add the users that will access your Mandrake Linux 9.1 shares from remote MS Windows boxes and other remote Linux boxes to the fileshares group too. After that, configure file-sharing on the Mandrake 9.1 box.
All the root user needs to do is to type smbpasswd -a user-name at a root prompt on your Mandrake 9.1 box. Do this for each remote user that will have access to shared files on your Mandrake 9.1 box.
You must enable sharing for any folders on your Mandrake 9.1 box for which you want to open access from other computers on your LAN to allow sharing. To do this, right-click on a folder or shareable device in the Konqueror file manager. Then click on the Share tab. Then tick Shared.
The first time you try to set a directory for sharing, you will have to configure file-sharing. To do that, after you click on the Share tab in the properties pop-up box, click the Configure File Sharing button. You will need to have the root (system administrator) password in order to configure file sharing.
After you enter the root password, the fileshare box pops-up. Do NOT select Allow all users! Select only Custom. This is a security issue. Then click OK.
However, you already have added the users to the users list and to the fileshares group. So, if userdrake does pop up, just exit it. For us, userdrake never pops up here. Since we already have added the users to the users list and to the fileshares group that is not a problem.
Just how tricky it gets with MS Windows boxes depends on what Windows versions are involved. To keep things simple here is an easy way to handle things.
Use the exact same user name (profile name) that is used to log onto MS Windows for the Mandrake 9.1 user name and Samba-name entries for each Windows user. Use the same password too.
If things work right, the Windows-box Network Neighborhood should be able to find the Mandrake 9.1 box and give you access to the shares on the Mandrake 9.1 box from the Windows box. You might have to provide a password if prompted to do so. Please see Figure 3.