23. Other stuff

Here is some other things you might want to hear about.

23.1 Samba
23.2 Novell
23.3 AppleTalk
23.4 skim-0.4++ newsreader
23.5 slrn newsreader
23.6 dial_ppp
23.7 /etc/ppp/chat_isp



Samba allows WIN.311 shares to be accessed/provided by Linux.

It uses the SMB LanManager protocol, that is also used by Win95 and NT. You can also get PD clients for DOS, or other TCP/IP tools - eg to drive a printer over the network, from a DOS or FreeDOS diskette (a good use for 286 PC's).

With Linux as the printer server, the PC downloads the printer file over the LAN to Linux, which then prints it. You can have subsequent redirections, and conversions from postscript to epson.


ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/peropsys/windows/public/tcpip/wfwt32.exe is the file that converts WIN.311 to TCP/IP (as well as netbios). No you don't need Win95, or a commercial stack, or a pd stack, just download this from Microsoft's anonymous ftp site.

Run the file in the c:\windows directory, and it expands itself into all the files. Add the TCP/IP protocol stack to the Windows menus, and reboot. Test that telnet and ftp work to the Linux host.

You need to make a few manual .ini changes so that share browsing works on the net. This can appear hap-hazzard, as changing this of that doesn't seem to work. A list of changes is really required.

Mostly, you will need to define a workgroup domain (eg HARROW).


Expand this tar archive, and edit the Makefile to select Linux. (Follow the Docs). Compile it and install it.

samba.conf and others

I put both stations into the HARROW workgroup, and made a few services available. I added a user with the same UID (pc_gps) but a different password, and no shell, so that the client could have my password somewhere, but not my shell password.

I did have a problem, where Samba decided to listen on the wrong network address (ie the Internet address, not the LAN address). I think I did something with nmbd -I.


The Linux workstation can first be tested against itself, then against other servers / clients.


Samba is a protocol a bit like ftp. smbfs makes the individual files on the PC appear as a file-system on the Linux box, which you can mount like a disk.

When I did it, you only needed to make the module.o file available to the kernel (insmod), and use the special smbmount command. This can be done from the BOOT+ROOT disks (that's how I imported the /cdrom from the other machine, when one was broken).



Linux can act as a Novell file server or client, and also as a print server or client. I don't use Novell, so I haven't tried it, but the IPX HOWTO /home/ftp/HOWTO/IPX-HOWTO.html seems to be quite readable.



MAC's can print and share files, but I haven't tried it personally.


skim-0.4++ newsreader

Traditionally news is either accessed or transferred.

Access is usually by the NNTP protocol, where a workstation accesses individual mail items, or lists of headers. This is what PINE or your web browser uses.

News transfer, is where a host, subscribes to a list of groups, and all messages in that group are transferred. This occupies disk space and take time over modems, but the site gets local copies of files. The files get deleted after 2 weeks or so.


Skim is slightly radical design that is suited to an individual reading news over a slow link.

You give skim a list of groups you want to monitor, and it fetched (when you connect), the headers of all new messages in those groups.

You then dis-connect, and flag all the message lines that look interesting. You connect again, and skim fetches all the message texts you selected. You disconnect.

You browse, reply and connect again.

This means that your phone line is only used for a few minutes at a time, and can be much cheaper.


slrn newsreader

I tried slrn but couldn't get used to it. (knews is a tough act to follow), however, I did get a lot of use from slrnpull to download articles into /var/spool/ and to thread them.

It might seem rather stupid, but two plain text consoles, running mc (one on the overview, the other on the files), was rather a good browser.



dial_ppp has an extra wrapper that you will install later, so that you don't have to be root, when running pppd (or dip). However it is an option, and before getting confused with one more thing to be wrong, get the basic scripts running as root, then add the suid wrapper. Read it now, as it helps you set up the basic ppp_script. In particular, the diap_ppp.sh script and chat_tdc file, will help you get PPP running.

IE if running the shell script as root works, running the binary as another user should work or fail.



This is the script that initialises the modem, dials the number, logs in with your password, and answers the protocol question.

At every step it has a magic substring, such as "OK", "login:", "Password:". Before sending the next line (word), it checks the return string from the previous action. It is also good practise to get and check for the final message that says "everything ok from now on it's ppp". This is just to confirm that everything is ok. eg "Packet mode enabled"

You will have to re-write this for your site.

'' ATZ
OK 'AT Q0 V1 E1 X4 L0 W1 S95=47 M1 I4'
OK 'ATDT 0181 265 2211'
login: trix
Password: PaSsWoRd
Protocol: ppp