I discussed FreeBSD's SMB filesystem support well over a year ago. At the time, it was highly experimental and suffered occasional seizures.
It has since improved to the point where it is reliable enough for use in production settings. If you want to access a Windows share from your FreeBSD workstation, this is how you do it. Before you start, gather some basic information about your Windows network.
- The workgroup or Windows domain name
- A valid user name and password
- The IP address of the WINS server, or the DNS host names of all the
hosts you want to access. (You can get the WINS server IP by running
ipconfig /allon a Windows system.)
The first problem you have is supporting the multiple character sets
so common in Windows. It's very easy for a Windows user to use
characters not found in the standard ASCII alphabet. You don't want
to dump such a character into your kernel; you'll only confuse it, and
a confused kernel is not a happy kernel. The FreeBSD kernel does not
include the libraries to handle this. Install the
libiconv port from
/usr/ports/converters/libiconv before you proceed. Note that
is under the LGPL; if you're interested in using SMBFS in an embedded
system, run this by your legal department.
Now recompile your kernel to handle SMB. Just add the following options to your kernel.
options NETSMB options NETSMBCRYPTO options LIBMCHAIN options LIBICONV options SMBFS
The SMBFS kernel option is also available as a module. Because you already must rebuild your kernel to include SMB networking support, however, you might as well compile it statically.
Once you have the kernel built, install the SMB tools from
/usr/ports/net/smbfs. The SMB tools must be exactly synchronized with
your kernel. This makes packages mostly useless, unless you have
several identical machines. If you upgrade your FreeBSD install, you
must upgrade the port. To make life somewhat more difficult, the
master SMBFS source code repository lurks behind a very slow link in
Kazakhstan. I recommend that you store the distribution file somewhere on your
network, so you can easily rebuild the tools without having to re-fetch
the source from the other side of the world.
The SMB tools use a configuration file, either
/usr/local/etc/nsmb.conf. Any settings in
nsmb.conf override settings
in user home directories. The configuration file is divided into
sections by labels in angle brackets. For example, settings that
apply to every SMB connection are kept in the
[default] section. You can create your own sections by specifying servers, users, and share,
in one of the following formats.
[servername] [servername:username] [servername:username:sharename]
For example, information that applies to an entire server goes in a
section named after the server. Information that applies to a
specific user is kept in a user name section, and information that only
applies to a single share is kept in a label that includes the
share name. You could lump the information for all the shares under a
[servername] entry if you don't have more specific information per
These values are all SMB values -- i.e., my Windows user name is
"mlucas", but my Unix user name is "mwlucas", so I use "mlucas" in
You use keywords to assign a configuration to a section. Some keywords can only be used in particular sections. For example, servers have IP addresses, users don't. You assign a value with an equal sign, such as "keyword=value". Here are the keywords.
This is the name of the NT domain or Windows workgroup you want to access.
This is the IP (or IPX) address of a SMB server with this name. This
can only appear under a plain
This handles conversions between the character set used on the FreeBSD system and the character set used on the SMB server. (As SMBFS was written in Central Asia, this was a matter of no small concern!)
This is the IP address of the NetBIOS (WINS) name server. You can put
this in the
[default] section or under a particular
This is the NetBIOS scope. If you don't know what NetBIOS scope is, you probably don't need to set it.
This is the number of times the SMB client will try to contact the server before assuming that the connection has broken. The default is probably fine.
This is the length of time the system will wait for a response to a SMB request. Again, the default is probably fine.
This is a clear-text password for a user or a share. If you
must store passwords in
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