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 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” → PropertiesAdvanced system settingsComputer 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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51 thoughts on “How to Install Samba4 on CentOS 7 for File Sharing on Windows”

  1. It is possible to create a samba share between two linux servers, have some other tutorial I need to share files between two instances of my site.

    Reply
  2. Hi Aaron,

    Thank you for the great article. I followed all the required steps for a secure user share. In my case I had to share an existing folder structure. I have a user created for smb group and provided the required permissions for the folder as well.

    I am able to connect to the share fine as well. I am able to create new files and folders but unable open or edit the existing files in the share folder.

    Is there anything i might be missing. Thank you for the help.

    Regards,

    Vishwa

    Reply
    • @Vishwa

      In this case, you need to update the permissions on the directory (folder) and the files in it. Try to use the permissions in the article, something like this:

      #chmod  -R  770 /path/to/folder/
      

      The -R flag allows for recursively adding the permission bits to sub-folders and files. And this means that the user and group have read, write and execute permissions on the folder, sub-folders and files in them.

      I hope this will help, otherwise, reach us again.

      Reply
      • Hi Aaron,

        I have tried the above command on the folder I am sharing. Also this folder is within the /home/ directory, if this would need any special permissions. I created a new folder in the share as a smbuser and also compared the permissions of the new folder ( where i can create the files and edit them ) with the existing folder. There is no change in the permissions, following are the permissions i notice

        drwxrwx---.  57 root smbuser       4096 Sep 20 15:07 433.697dir (Not working)
        drwxrwx---.   3 root smbuser         23 Feb 28 13:18 test folder (newly created and working)
        

        Regards,

        Vishwadeep

        Reply
          • Hi Aaron,

            Thank you for the help. I figured out the issue when i was reading up the smb.config.example.

            It was the following which resolved the issue..

            Turn the samba_enable_home_dirs Boolean on if you want to share home
            # directories via Samba. Run the following command as the root user to turn this
            # Boolean on:
            # setsebool -P samba_enable_home_dirs on

            Thank you again for taking time to help me out on this.

            Regards,

            Vishwa

  3. by following this tutotial, It asks for password in Anonymous connection
    I added in smb.conf guest only= yes and guest account = nobody and then it’s ok

    But i can create files and folders in the share and they are read-only after creation.

    Reply
  4. Hi,

    I have installed CentOS 7, and i done the same thing as what you done in this but secure samba is not working…

    its told login failure: unknown username and bad password

    Reply
  5. On Server using SAMBA and the same directory is shared on client machine via NFS, from there not able to move the images, getting error operation not permitted even tried to do it from root user.

    permission is showing nobody.

    Reply
  6. My brand new plain vanilla install of Clearos 7 in step 5 when running the “chcon” command I produces the following message:- “Cannot apply partial context to unlabelled file”.
    What am I doing wrong. I am a novice wrt Linux

    Reply
  7. For some reason, I could not access Anonymous Folder on step No. 10. After completing the rest of the tutorial, I was able to access Anonymous Folder, Secure Folder without entering any password, and I had an extra user Folder but i could not access this one even though I enter the correct user name and password.

    Thanks for all the info you share.

    Reply
    • @julian

      There is probably an issue with your configuration; check whether you have used the security = user variable for User-level security. And also create a samba group and add the samba users in it.

      If it is something else then try to troubleshoot. Many thanks for the feedback.

      Reply

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