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I just set up an old box as a Samba server (OS is DamnSmallLinux). I can read all the files from it on my XP machine. But I can't write to it, and I'm not sure why.
Here's the smb.conf file:

# 1. Server Naming Options:
# workgroup = NT-Domain-Name or Workgroup-Name
workgroup = WORKGROUP

# server string is the equivalent of the NT Description field
#server string = machina

# 3. Logging Options:
# this tells Samba to use a separate log file for each machine
# that connects
log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m

# Put a capping on the size of the log files (in Kb).
max log size = 50

# Set the log (verbosity) level (0 <= log level <= 10)
log level = 10

# You may wish to use password encryption. Please read
# ENCRYPTION.txt, Win95.txt and WinNT.txt in the Samba documentation.
# Do not enable this option unless you have read those documents
# Encrypted passwords are required for any use of samba in a Windows NT domain
# The smbpasswd file is only required by a server doing authentication, thus
# members of a domain do not need one.
encrypt passwords = yes
smb passwd file = /etc/samba/smbpasswd

# Configure remote browse list synchronisation here
# request announcement to, or browse list sync from:
# a specific host or from / to a whole subnet (see below)
; remote browse sync =
# Cause this host to announce itself to local subnets here
remote announce =

# 8. File Naming Options:
# Case Preservation can be handy - system default is _no_
# NOTE: These can be set on a per share basis
; preserve case = no
; short preserve case = no
# Default case is normally upper case for all DOS files
default case = lower
# Be very careful with case sensitivity - it can break things!
case sensitive = yes
preserve case = yes

# Enabling internationalization:
# you can match a Windows code page with a UNIX character set.
# Windows: 437 (US), 737 (GREEK), 850 (Latin1 - Western European),
# 852 (Eastern Eu.), 861 (Icelandic), 932 (Cyrillic - Russian),
# 936 (Japanese - Shift-JIS), 936 (Simpl. Chinese), 949 (Korean Hangul),
# 950 (Trad. Chin.).
# UNIX: ISO8859-1 (Western European),
# ISO8859-2 (Eastern Eu.),
# ISO8859-5 (Russian Cyrillic), KOI8-R (Alt-Russ. Cyril.)
# This is an example for french users:
client code page = 850
character set = ISO8859-1

#============================ Share Definitions ==============================
comment = Home Directories
browseable = yes
writable = yes

Any help here?

P.S. Does it matter that the home directory on the Samba box that I'm accessing from XP is in ext2 format?
the partition type doesn't matter. The reading and writing is done by that system, not the XP system.

You may want to check the permission on the folder, that could be causing the problem. Nothing struck me as wrong in your conf file, but I might have missed something. Start by checking the folder permission and we will work from there.
This is more than likely a permissions problem. Did you add your users to samba using the smbpasswd command? Okay, here's an example on what I would do:

Say, for example, that on my Samba server I created a linux user named "duende", gave it a password and a home directory (/home/duende). Not only do you need this, but you also need to add this user to samba:

smbpasswd -a duende

This will ask you to set a password (as far as i know, i don't have a samba system here to work with).

By the looks for your config file, you have everything else setup okay, just ensure that your samba clients are setup to use the same workgroup (i think winxp will work anyways).

Now, when you try to connect to your client, use your username/password that was stated above. So, in my case, in Windows XP i would tell it to logon to the share using "duende" instead of the default (which could be either the currently logged on user, or Guest, i don't remember).

Also, remember that UNIX permissions matter too, so, the /home/duende directory (or whatever you're sharing) must have the correct permissions set to it. Chances are, if you're just using home directories, then this is done already.
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