Mac OS X Unleashed

Mac OS X Unleashed

By John Ray and William C. Ray

Mac OS X 10.1 SMB/CIFS Client

With Mac OS X 10.1, Apple has finally acknowledged that Mac users do need to access Windows networks. Although it does not providing nearly as friendly service as AppleShare, the Mac OS X CIFS client is still relatively straightforward.

Before trying to connect to a Windows or Samba share, you must first know the resource string required to access the share. Those accustomed to Microsoft Windows may have seen these strings denoted in the fashion:

\\<server name>\<resource name>

Mac OS X changes this into a more conventional URL, prefixed by either cifs or smb to denote the protocol. For example, the Windows connection string of \\pointy\mp3 becomes smb://pointy/mp3 in Mac OS X. Besides using the names of local servers, you can also enter the domain name or IP address for the server you want to access.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that Apple will be including the capability of browsing Windows networks (unless they are using SLP—the service locator protocol) at this time, so you will need to know the name of the resource you're accessing before you connect. If you'd like a more user-friendly method of connection, read about the Sharity application in the next section of this chapter.

After you determine the CIFS/SMB URL for the connection youwant to make, choose Connect to Server (Command+K) from the Finder's Go menu, enter the URL into the Address field (as shown in Figure 30.11), and then click Connect.


Figure 30.11 Enter the CIFS/SMB URL to connect to.

After a few seconds, the system should prompt you for Domain/Workgroup information as well as the username and password for the connection, demonstrated in Figure 30.12.


Figure 30.12 Provide the login information for your CIFS/SMB server, then click OK.

Fill in the requested information appropriately. For peer-to-peer connections, you can typically leave the Workgroup/Domain field blank. The username and password are determined by the administrator of the Windows or Samba resource and are not related to your Mac OS X login. When finished, click OK.

After a few seconds, the network share will be mounted on your system and will be virtually indistinguishable from a standard AppleShare connection. This capability is extremely important for the acceptance of the Mac inside existing networks. Some users, however, might need a more advanced solution, such as Sharity.

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