Essay Software's PowerSMB

With its simple, intuitive interface, PowerSMB is a worthy tool to configure and manage the Linux services required to create a Windows Domain Controller.

July 21, 2005

2 Min Read
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From setting up and managing a small business with simple shares to creating a new Windows Domain or even replicating a current Domain over to a new setup, PowerSMB handles each task with ease. The interface makes management of users, groups and shares simple and fast. Advanced options include scheduling when users or groups are allowed to use certain resources and generating reports for users. Another feature is the ability to easily allow or deny access to the Linux server by users.The installation process follows the same simple course. PowerSMB is packaged for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4, CentOS 3 and 4 (a Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivative), SuSE Professional 9.2, Mandrake 10.1, Fedora Core 1 through 4 and Debian 3.1. The installation instructions are simply to unpack the downloadable package and run the install script. Everything is put in its place. Then, simply run 'psmb -i', and you will be prompted for the registration photokey. The photokey is an image file that you should receive when you purchase the software. Simply drag and drop the image file from a file browser onto the PowerSMB window, and you're ready to move on to configuration.

Although everything that PowerSMB can do is possible by editing configuration files, the simplicity of configuration alone is worth giving the product a try. PowerSMB's management interface is easy to use, even with a large number of users. Of course, with all those users you need a way to monitor the health of the server. Not to worry, PowerSMB has builtin log viewers that constantly show the latest state of the servers as well as the actual log files for those who want to see them.

PowerSMB is very powerful, but it also has drawbacks. Being relatively new, it lacks documentation. Most of the configuration is very straightforward and understandable, with tooltips to help with the details, but beyond a simple walkthrough distributed with the installation package, no thorough documentation exists on how to set up the Windows Domain. Despite the lack of documentation, PowerSMB is an excellent tool to create and manage users for business networks.

PowerSMB is only one of a suite of tools designed to simplify the configuration of advanced options in common Linux utilities. Also available are PowerMSG, PowerNS and PowerProx, which configure e-mail, name servers and Web proxies, respectively.

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