Order (or just read more about) Samba-3 By Example from Amazon.com
Order (or just read more about) The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide from Amazon.com
I've put these two together in one review because that's the way they came to me and they really do fit well together. "Samba-3 by example" is a "getting started" guide, while the other is a deeper technical reference. Both of these books are available on-line:
I have to say first that I do not like the pedantic style of Samba-3 by Example. I feel like I'm taking a certification exam, and even though each hypothetical situation is followed by the solution, I just keep finding myself annoyed by that feeling. I also dislike the excessive wordiness and the cutesy names ("Mr. Alan Meany of Abmas Accounting"). The fluff of sentences like "You have made Mr. Meany a very happy man" and "he has no desire to understand networking" make me grind my teeth.
On the other hand, these comments are supposed to give you a better feel for why certain decisions have been made, and are quite typical on certification exams nowadays, so if certification is part of the reason you'd be reading this, this silly stuffing may have some value. I certainly can't complain that the technical explanations are lacking; each situation presents a completely commented solution with plenty of detailed explanation and trouble-shooting advice. If you can stand the fluff, the rest is excellent.
There's little or no fluff in the HOWTO and Reference Guide. Frankly, this is more my style: direct, to the point, no imaginary customers for me to get angry at. That's what I like, but I understand that others prefer to be led through things before they go exploring on their own.
Together, these books have the right stuff for anyone wanting to learn Samba. I personally wouldn't bother with the "By Example" volume, but other reviewers certainly seemed to like the first edition of that, so your feelings may be different. At the worst, you'll be as annoyed as I was, but there is a lot of good configuration information to make up for it. If a sentence like "Christine is enjoying a stable and predictable network environment" doesn't make your lips quiver, you might even enjoy it.
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