How to Install Samba4 on CentOS 7 for File Sharing on Windows

In our last article, we showed how to install Samba4 on Ubuntu for basic file sharing between Ubuntu systems and Windows machines. Where we looked at configuring anonymous (unsecure) as well as secure file...

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In our last article, we showed how to install Samba4 on Ubuntu for basic file sharing between Ubuntu systems and Windows machines. Where we looked at configuring anonymous (unsecure) as well as secure file sharing.

Here, we will describe how to install and configure Samba4 on CentOS 7 (also works on RHEL 7) for basic file sharing between other Linux systems and Windows machines.

Important: Starting from version 4.0, Samba can run as an Active Directory (AD) domain controller (DC). We suggest you read through our special series on setting up Samba4 Active Directory Domain Controller, which includes critical topics for Ubuntu, CentOS, and Windows.

Install Samba4 in CentOS 7

1. First install Samba4 and required packages from the default CentOS repositories using the yum package manager tool as shown.

# yum install samba samba-client samba-common
Install Samba4 on CentOS 7

Install Samba4 on CentOS 7


2. After installing the samba packages, enable samba services to be allowed through system firewall with these commands.

# firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=samba
# firewall-cmd --reload
Open Samba on Firewalld

Open Samba on Firewalld

Check Windows Machine Workgroup Settings

3. Before you proceed to configure samba, make sure the Windows machine is in the same workgroup to be configured on the CentOS server.

There are two possible ways to view the Windows machine workgroup settings:

  • Right clicking on “This PC” or “My Computer” ? Properties ? Advanced system settings ? Computer Name.
Check Windows WorkGroup

Check Windows WorkGroup

  • Alternatively, open the cmd prompt and run the following command, then look for “workstation domain” in the output as shown below.
>net config workstation
Verify Windows WorkGroup

Verify Windows WorkGroup

Configuring Samba4 on CentOS 7

4. The main samba configuration file is /etc/samba/smb.conf, the original file comes with pre-configuration settings which explain various configuration directives to guide you.

But, before configuring samba, I suggest you to take a backup of the default file like this.

# cp /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.orig

Then, proceed to configure samba for anonymous and secure file sharing services as explained below.

Samba4 Anonymous File Sharing

5. First create the shared directory where the files will be stored on the server and set the appropriate permissions on the directory.

# mkdir -p /srv/samba/anonymous
# chmod -R 0775 /srv/samba/anonymous
# chown -R nobody:nobody /srv/samba/anonymous

Also, you need to change the SELinux security context for the samba shared directory as follows.

# chcon -t samba_share_t /srv/samba/anonymous
Create Samba Shared Directory

Create Samba Shared Directory

6. Next, open the samba configuration file for editing, where you can modify/add the sections below with the corresponding directives.

# vi /etc/samba/smb.conf

Samba Configuration Settings

[global]
workgroup = WORKGROUP
netbios name = centos
security = user
[Anonymous]
comment = Anonymous File Server Share
path = /srv/samba/anonymous
browsable =yes
writable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = no
force user = nobody

7. Now verify current samba settings by running the command below.

# testparm

Verify Samba Current Configuration Settings

Load smb config files from /etc/samba/smb.conf
rlimit_max: increasing rlimit_max (1024) to minimum Windows limit (16384)
Processing section "[homes]"
Processing section "[printers]"
Processing section "[print$]"
Processing section "[Anonymous]"
Loaded services file OK.
Server role: ROLE_STANDALONE
Press enter to see a dump of your service definitions
# Global parameters
[global]
netbios name = centos
printcap name = cups
security = USER
idmap config * : backend = tdb
cups options = raw
[homes]
comment = Home Directories
browseable = No
inherit acls = Yes
read only = No
valid users = %S %D%w%S
[printers]
comment = All Printers
path = /var/tmp
browseable = No
printable = Yes
create mask = 0600
[print$]
comment = Printer Drivers
path = /var/lib/samba/drivers
create mask = 0664
directory mask = 0775
write list = root
[Anonymous]
comment = Anonymous File Server Share
path = /srv/samba/anonymous
force user = nobody
guest ok = Yes
read only = No

8. Finally, start and enable samba services to start automatically at next boot and also apply the above changes to take effect.

# systemctl enable smb.service
# systemctl enable nmb.service
# systemctl start smb.service
# systemctl start nmb.service

Testing Anonymous Samba File Sharing

9. Now on the Windows machine, open “Network” from a Windows Explorer window, then click on the CentOS host, or else try to access the server using its IP address (use ifconfig command to get IP address).

e.g. \\192.168.43.168.
Shared Network Hosts

Shared Network Hosts

10. Next, open the Anonymous directory and try to add files in there to share with other users.

Samba Anonymous Share

Samba Anonymous Share

Add Files to Samba Anonymous Share

Add Files to Samba Anonymous Share

Setup Samba4 Secure File Sharing

11. First start by creating a samba system group, then add users to the group and set a password for each user like so.

# groupadd smbgrp
# usermod tecmint -aG smbgrp
# smbpasswd -a tecmint

12. Then create a secure directory where the shared files will be kept and set the appropriate permissions on the directory with SELinux security context for the samba.

# mkdir -p /srv/samba/secure
# chmod -R 0770 /srv/samba/secure
# chown -R root:smbgrp /srv/samba/secure
# chcon -t samba_share_t /srv/samba/secure

13. Next open the configuration file for editing and modify/add the section below with the corresponding directives.

# vi /etc/samba/smb.conf

Samba Secure Configuration Settings

[Secure]
comment = Secure File Server Share
path = /srv/samba/secure
valid users = @smbgrp
guest ok = no
writable = yes
browsable = yes

14. Again, verify the samba configuration settings by running the following command.

$ testparm

Verify Secure Configuration Settings

Load smb config files from /etc/samba/smb.conf
rlimit_max: increasing rlimit_max (1024) to minimum Windows limit (16384)
Processing section "[homes]"
Processing section "[printers]"
Processing section "[print$]"
Processing section "[Anonymous]"
Loaded services file OK.
Server role: ROLE_STANDALONE
Press enter to see a dump of your service definitions
# Global parameters
[global]
netbios name = centos
printcap name = cups
security = USER
idmap config * : backend = tdb
cups options = raw
[homes]
comment = Home Directories
browseable = No
inherit acls = Yes
read only = No
valid users = %S %D%w%S
[printers]
comment = All Printers
path = /var/tmp
browseable = No
printable = Yes
create mask = 0600
[print$]
comment = Printer Drivers
path = /var/lib/samba/drivers
create mask = 0664
directory mask = 0775
write list = root
[Anonymous]
comment = Anonymous File Server Share
path = /srv/samba/anonymous
force user = nobody
guest ok = Yes
read only = No
[Secure]
comment = Secure File Server Share
path = /srv/samba/secure
read only = No
valid users = @smbgrp

15. Restart Samba services to apply the changes.

# systemctl restart smb.service
# systemctl restart nmb.service

Testing Secure Samba File Sharing

16. Go to Windows machine, open “Network” from a Windows Explorer window, then click on the CentOS host, or else try to access the server using its IP address.

e.g. \\192.168.43.168.

You’ll be asked to provide your username and password to login the CentOS server. Once you have entered the credentials, click OK.

Samba Secure Login

Samba Secure Login

17. Once you successfully login, you will see all the samba shared directories. Now securely share some files with other permitted users on the network by dropping them in Secure directory.

Samba Secure Share Directory

Samba Secure Share Directory

You can also check out these useful articles concerning Samba file sharing on a network.

  1. How to Mount/Unmount Local and Network (Samba & NFS) Filesystems in Linux
  2. Using ACLs (Access Control Lists) and Mounting Samba / NFS Shares
  3. How to Fix SambaCry Vulnerability (CVE-2017-7494) in Linux Systems

In this guide, we showed you how to setup Samba4 for anonymous and secure file sharing between CentOS and other Linux systems as well as Windows machines. Share any thoughts with us via the comment section below.

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