Book review: Samba-3 By Example, 2nd Edition <i>by John H. Terpstra</i>

Book review: Samba-3 By Example, 2nd Edition by John H. Terpstra

Humans often learn best by example, and the Samba documentation team has responded with this very admirable collection of example Windows networking projects with Samba. I liked the design of this book, and although you will obviously need to access the Samba-3 howto for reference purposes, I would personally recommend buying this one and reading the howto online, if you must choose. This is essentially a cookbook, but it also has a consistent context which makes the examples hang together.

Samba-3 By Example, 2nd EditionSamba-3 By Example, 2nd Edition

The book is structured overall to make it quite easy to find an example that probably comes fairly close to your own needs

The contents

This book tells a story of the rise of a fictitious company, following its increasing needs for network sophistication, giving a thoroughly grounded presentation of basic networking concepts at each level. Each chapter is a story in itself, and the book is structured overall to make it quite easy to find an example that probably comes fairly close to your own needs. Also, at 457 pages, this book is much more convenient to carry than the howto.

The included CD contains all of the example data files, which will certainly save a lot of typing, and makes a useful cut-and-paste resource in itself.

Who’s this book for?

Unlike the howto, Samba-3 by Example does address the needs of people coming from a posix background, even though you need to skip ahead to read chapter 16 to find it. Anyone given the practical problem of installing Samba would benefit from a copy of this book.

Relevance to free software

Both Samba and this book are free-licensed. While it’s true that you only need Samba if you have to deal with proprietary Windows networks, it is still a flagship free software project.


This book makes a fairly good read, which is a rare thing in technical literature—the ongoing story of Abmas Design, Inc. gives it that human element, as well as a consistent grounding to use in comparing examples and examining the social context (networking always being a social act). The overall structure is also good for finding what you need when you are setting up your own network and you need to use the book as a reference.

This book makes a fairly good read, which is a rare thing in technical literature

This book is written by Samba development team member John Terpstra, and so you are supporting at least one of the developers when you buy it, which may be motivation enough for many readers. If you can only buy one of these two books, I recommend getting Samba-3 By Example, and accessing the howto virtually.


The book does share some of the problems of the howto published at the same time, notably the use of proportional font for file listings. On the whole though, it is much more consistently well-written.

While you may use Samba-3 By Example as a reference, it isn’t meant to be one, and there are many times you will want to access the reference material in the howto (either by buying the companion book, or by reading the howto online).

Title Samba-3 By Example, 2nd Edition
Author John H. Terpstra
Publisher Prentice Hall
ISBN 013188221X
Year 2006
Pages 457
CD included Yes
FS Oriented 8
Over all score 8

In short


Author information

Terry Hancock's picture


Terry Hancock is co-owner and technical officer of Anansi Spaceworks. Currently he is working on a free-culture animated series project about space development, called Lunatics as well helping out with the Morevna Project.