If you own a Mac and have recently tried advertising a Samba-service/share (most likely from a computer running Linux or a NAS-server), you properly also ran into the same problems that I were having, when trying to connect to it from the OSX Finder.
It seems the way that newer versions of OSX automatically discover Samba-services, changed at some point.
The old-fashioned configuration that DOES NOT work
In the “good ol’ days”, advertising a Samba-service from a Linux-based server (in my case, a Debian-server), involved something as simple as installing the “avahi” package with “aptitude” and afterwards creating the file “/etc/avahi/services/samba.service”, with the following content.
<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?> <!--*-nxml-*--> <!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd"> <service-group> <name replace-wildcards="yes">%h</name> <service> <type>_smb._tcp</type> <port>139</port> </service> </service-group>
With the above configuration, the Samba-service gets advertised to clients on the network. At first glance, OSX’s Finder also seems to discover the Samba-service, but when trying to connect, the following error-message gets displayed.
The configuration that DOES work
As I mentioned earlier, newer versions of OSX discovers Samba-services slightly different. Apparently the port-number changed from “TCP 139” to “TCP 445” as shown here, in the alternative configuration of the “samba.services”-file.
<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?> <!--*-nxml-*--> <!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd"> <service-group> <name replace-wildcards="yes">%h</name> <service> <type>_smb._tcp</type> <port>445</port> </service> <service> <type>_device-info._tcp</type> <port>0</port> <txt-record>model=Xserve</txt-record> </service> </service-group>
As soon as I change to the above configuration, OSX Finder connected immediately and flawlessly. No need to restart the Avahi-service.
On a side note, the last “<service>”-block in the above configuration is purely aimed at OSX clients. It seems to advertises the Samba-service as being hosted by an Apple “Xserve”-computer, and so it changes the icon of the discovered Samba-service in OSX’s Finder sidebar.
Discovering advertised Samba-services in Windows
As this is the first time I’ve tried advertising my Samba-service with Avahi, I found that it is also relatively simple to get Windows-clients to discover the service automatically.
When installing the program “Bonjour Print Services for Windows” made by Apple, my Windows 7 computer also discovered the Samba-service through Windows explorer.
You might be wandering about configuring your firewall, but according to this link “http://support.apple.com/kb/dl999” (which is also where you can download the program mentioned above), installing the program also takes care of that for you.
A forum-post by user “Nezil”: http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=14623.0
“Bonjour Print Services for Windows”: http://support.apple.com/kb/dl999