Samba is an open-source software suite that runs on Unix/Linux based platforms but is able to communicate with Windows clients like a native application. So Samba is able to provide this service by employing the Common Internet File System (CIFS).
At the heart of this CIFS is the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Samba does this by performing these 4 key things –
- File & print services
- Authentication and Authorization
- Name resolution
- Service announcement (browsing)
Samba can be run on many different platforms including Linux, Unix, OpenVMS and operating systems other than Windows and allows the user to interact with a Windows client or server natively. It can basically be described as the Standard Windows interoperability suite of programs for Linux and Unix.