Finding the Drumbeat to Differ, Decades Ago
Curating a Collective of MPE Advice

Samba, and making it dance on MPE/iX

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HP 3000 sites have the Samba file sharing system, a universal utility you find on nearly every computer.

Samba arrived because of two community coding kings: Lars Appel, who ported the Samba open source package to the 3000, and Mark Klein, who ported the bootstrap toolbox to make such ports possible. As John Burke said in the sunnier year of 1999:

Without Mark Klein’s initial porting of and continued attention to the Gnu C++ compiler and utilities on the HP 3000, there would be no Apache/iX, syslog/iX, sendmail/iX, bind/iX, etc. from Mark Bixby, and no Samba/iX from Lars Appel. And the HP 3000 would still be trying to hang on for dear life, rather than being a player in the new e-commerce arena.

So Samba is there on your HP 3000, so long as you've got an MPE version minted during the current century. Getting started with it might perplex a few managers, like one who asked how to get Samba up on its feet on his 3000. One superb addition is SWAT, the Samba administration tool. Yup, the 3000's got that, too.

As a total network newbie, I tried to get Samba up and running from the directions at, but failed miserably. Do you need Samba running before you can run SWAT? Where can I find the instructions for Samba on the 3000 for the complete idiot?

When this user asked how to do the Samba, OpenMPE director Hofmeister showed off some steps to walk through to get it started.

1. What OS version are you on?  And Samba’s version?
2. When you click on explore your network on your PC (aka network neighborhood, in old-speak) is there a domain/workgroup name?  Did you add that to your smb.conf file?  Is your MPE server on the same network as the rest of your servers?
3. Did you edit smb.conf with vi or another bytestream-friendly editor?
4. In smb.conf, is interfaces set correctly to your MPE system’s IP address and mask?
5. You probably don’t want to be a domain master or preferred master.

Samba is generally pretty easy to get started.  There’s not a whole lot to change in the smb.conf file (adding logons is a bit different though). A few minor changes and Samba should start up.

In addition to Donna's advice, we can add a few pointers to help. First, SWAT runs on the HP 3000 fine. Have a look at the webpage about the last version of MPE/iX Samba to see a SWAT confirmation. SWAT's been around since we took note of when Appel ported it, in 2002.

There's also a nice roundup of a Samba startup regimen for the HP 3000 at the Enterprise Systems Journal website. Enjoy the news about the pizza contributions on that page, too.