Linux.com: Linux and Windows NT 4.0: Basic Administration – Part IV, File Sharing

“Linux, (like Unix before it) was designed with the concept of a
server in mind. Originally when a user connected to a Unix machine,
it was a direct physical connection as a terminal. … Microsoft
originally developed Windows as a simplified interface for DOS,
then with Windows 3.11 (and subsequent releases) it began to use
peer-to-peer networking to connect individual PC’s. With the
initial release of Windows NT, Microsoft threw its hat into the
server arena. However, that NT’s concept of a server still remains
with the concepts established with peer to peer networking such as
NetBIOS broadcasts with WINS to resolve BIOS names to IP

“Samba is, by far, the most crucial tool in a successful NT
to Linux migration. This package serves Microsoft’s SMB protocol,
enabling Windows Clients to see the Linux machine as a file and
print server; this closes the gap between the unix server-centrix
mentality and the Windows peer-to-peer mentality.

Incidentally, some of the more excitable Linux zealots tend to pit
Windows NT against Linux, but to date, Andrew Tridgell (creator of
the samba project) has been most prolific in making the playing
ground level. Microsoft’s proprietary SMB can be run on Linux, and
often with faster results than its Microsoft cousin.”

“Network File System (NFS) is amazingly easy to set up, provided
that both TCP/IP and name resolution have been set up properly.
This also requires that they there are other UNIX machines on the
network as this is a UNIX specific function. NT is not
automatically capable of this, but as it is nearly crucial to
unix-to-unix filesharing, it is being covered here briefly.”