SMB is a popular cross-platform file-sharing protocol. Learn what it can be used for.
- [Instructor] We can share files with clients on a network using the SMB or CIFS protocols. The acronyms stand for server message block and common Internet file system. The name CIFS referred to an older version of the SMB protocol but the name still pops up here and there. So it's important to know that, in modern times, the terms pretty much mean the same thing even if, strictly speaking, they're a little bit different. The SMB protocol was originally developed at IBM and then was modified by Microsoft. It formed the foundation for Microsoft Windows networking and, largely through its use there, became widespread in organizations and businesses.
On a Linux machine we use the Samba package to set up a server to host this service. Samba file shares are compatible with Linux, MacOS and Windows. So if you're working in a mixed environment it's a good choice for cross platform file sharing. Samba can provide print and login services in addition to file sharing as well but here we'll just focus on the file sharing part. Samba uses local user accounts on the host system to access files and figure out permissions but we need to set a separate Samba password for users. One that's managed separately from their local account password.
Samba shares are good for a file sharing scenario where a user might frequently leave and rejoin the network or where they need to access the same share on different systems. As I mentioned earlier it's good for a mixed platform environment so you'll find Samba shares being used widely in organizations for group or team collaboration spaces.