My frustration level with Samba on my VMWare Linux guest OS had reached the tipping point last night when I finally had a breakthrough.
Installing the samba-client and samba-swat packages helped a bit. I used samba-client to validate that my Linux box could connect to its own shares. I used samba-swat to validate my config and get context-sensitive help on some of the smb.conf parameters.
But my Windows host OS still couldn’t see the linux shares. The host and guest could ping each other so I knew I had a base level of connectivity. Then I noticed that my Windows box couldn’t telnet to the Linux guest. That’s when I started suspecting a firewall problem on the Linux box.
I fired up the security level configuration dialog in Gnome and noticed that “eth0” was not a trusted device. As soon as I checked the box to make eth0 trusted I was able to map the shares to the host Windows box.