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Re: Very Basic Help Needed

On Mon, Feb 12, 2007 at 11:34:04AM -0500, Jan Sneep wrote:
> Hi,


> I managed to download and successfully run the latest stable NetInstall
> version last week-end, but now I'm having a very frustrating time finding
> documentation on how to some pretty basic stuff.

congratulations. Its scary, but its gets better...

> I managed to find
> http://newbiedoc.berlios.de/wiki/Installing_Samba_Linux/Windows_networking
> which was sort of helpful ... unfortunately the documentation doesn't
> explain what the various things are or how to get them running ... the GUI
> desktop appears after I log in and I used the Action -> Run window to do the
> "install samba etc" command, which I assume worked as I didn't get any error
> messages ... 

instead of using the Run window, try using a terminal emulator. This
is a window that contains a command line interface (like the windows
"MS-Dos" window). There are many terminal emulators. you most likely
have at least xterm if not others already installed. 

You should run these command line things (apt-get install...) from a
command line so that you can see the output the program
generates. otherwise, often-times, a Run window will hide the output
from you and you won't know what's going on. 

Also, learning the command line, at least a little, is kind of
important in linux. many of the programs you use in a gui are actually
command line programs with a gui tacked on the front. They can still
be run from the command line if you want. Also, if something happens
to break the whole gui interface, you will still be able to use the
computer and fix it up, provided you are at least masically
comfortable using the command line.

then once I figured out how to log in as "root" by changing the
> options ... as an aside why would the default be to NOT allow the "root"
> user to log in?

the GUI is not set up for root usage. There are too many dangerous
factors involved that could hose the whole system if you log into the
GUI as root. If you need to do things as root, pull up an xterm and
enter 'su' without the quotes. It will prompt you for the root
password and 's'witch 'u'sers to root. Then you may do stuff as root,
typing 'exit' when you are done to switch back to your regular
user. This behavior allows you to segregate everyday computing tasks
from system administration tasks making for a safer operation.

[... snipped SWAT stuff about which I know naught] 

> I can't find "Samba" under the "Application" button as a program to run or
> under the "Action" button as a known command to run? I'm assuming that this
> will present a tree of the file folders and files so I can specify which
> users or groups have access to specific folders? Is there no way to simply
> "share" a folder and it's sub-folders with or without a password to all
> users on the LAN regardless of their USER ID or do I have to create a User
> for everyone using the LAN? The Newbie Doc mentioned above seems to indicate
> that I have to make sure that I have passwords on the Windows machines that
> are the same as those I need to create on the Debian machine. What happens
> if I'm not using passwords on the Windows machines? Do I need to create
> them? or can I just share the folder without passwords?

"Samba" is essentially a communications protocol that allows machines
to talk to each other over the network. it is not a "program" as
such. Depending on what GUI you are using, there may be various
options that make it as easy as clickiong your way through to share
stuff, but if not, it is not difficult to share stuff by editing
/etc/smb.conf. I think you can pretty much turn off all the checking
as well so that just about anybody can view your stuff (not very secure).

> I haven't looked at trying to find drivers for my two printers yet, but in a
> recent post I see someone mentioning running a "CUPS configuration wizard"
> of some kind to setup the printers. Where would I find that under
> "Applications" or "Actions"?

localhost:631 in a web browser, or there are various printer
configuration wizards, depending on what GUI you are using (sounds
like gnome?). Applications->system->printing, or maybe
Desktop->admin->printing, not sure as I don't use gnome. 



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