I'M reading "Linux + Guide to Linux Certification" and I've come to samba and I'M having trouble understanding a few things. The book says I need to add a username and password on the Linux system that corresponds to the username and password on the Windows clients? And then another samba password that's the same as the Windows password. This raises a few questions with me. If a lot of the servers out there are Linux servers I doubt they all have a username and password for the millions of clients they get per day/month. I'M setting all this up in part just to learn Linux, networking, and servers and I may use it as a local media server for my house. So how would a devices like my D-Link media streamer or my WD TV Live Plus take advantage of such a server being that they don't have usernames or passwords? Also, Linux wants usernames to start with a lowercase letter and all my Windows usernames start with a capital, how's all this to work out? Thanks.

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Consider Linux samba shares just like Windows shares. If you don't have AD (Active Directory - or OpenLDAP, the Linux equivalent to AD) installed on your system, then you need to have a userid/password for each authenticated user who can access your Samba shares, on each Linux system you want to allow them access to. This is why a single-sign-on method, such as AD or OpenLDAP, is so useful.

So, I think you have some more studying to do, and a recommendation? Install a Linux virtual machine (or 2 or 3) on your Windows PC and experiment with these tools.

You may have set a username in windows with uppercase but windoze does not pay any attention to case in user names.

You can setup a share without authentication in samba. Sort of a guest account which would seem sufficient for your media server and WD TV. It can be readonly so there is less of a security concern.

Have a look at this article: http://www.debuntu.org/guest-file-sharing-with-samba

I think this would be the best solution for the use case you are describing.

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