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I recently followed a guide to configure Samba but I couldn't get it configured properly. After realizing that the guide was six years out of date I thought I should start again.

I reinstalled samba by first using these commands:

sudo apt-get purge samba
sudo apt-get install samba

But after reading my configuration file (/etc/samba/smb.conf) I noticed that it was the same file, containing the same edits I had made. I then proceeded to delete the directory and then re-install samba again.

However, the directory is not replaced after re-instillation and now I don't appear to have a configuration file. How do I get it back? Or install Samba correctly?

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Samba's configuration is managed by the package samba-common. Have you tried to purge and re-install that package? This might actually not work still, as the Debian/Ubuntu package maintainers of Samba decided to use ucf for configuration management. – gertvdijk Dec 5 '12 at 15:34
@gertvdijk if you provide this as an answer then I can mark it as correct. – Sheldon Dec 5 '12 at 16:16
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yes, already posted in the comments as a verified solution, but posting as an answer anyway.

Purging should indeed remove the configuration files as well, yet the configuration of the Samba server is tracked by the package samba-common, not samba. Yes, it's a bit confusing.

So, try purging and re-installing both packages like this:

sudo apt-get purge samba samba-common
sudo apt-get install samba
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I wonder if you can help me with this one as well. I'm trying to start samba but I get unknown service. I've tried sudo /etc/init.d/samba start, sudo service smbd start but that doesn't work. Also, the /etc/init.d/samba file doesn't seem to exist. – Sheldon Dec 5 '12 at 16:33
There really is a file /etc/init.d/smbd in the package samba. See this. sudo service smbd restart should work. It's already started after install, so use restart. – gertvdijk Dec 5 '12 at 16:38

If you only need the smb.conf configuration file, there is no need to reinstall samba. The default copy can be found in /usr/share/samba/smb.conf. The following will copy it to /etc/samba/, replacing the file you've been editing:

sudo cp /usr/share/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/
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