I’ve just finished about a 45 minute troubleshooting session, I’ve discovered why my Mac wouldn’t connect to my Linux box to let me back it up. After going through the Mac logs and trawling through some web sites, I found the problem – a bug in the OS X Samba client when used with certain versions of the server – specifically 3.0.14 and variants of it, which just happens to be the version I have on my Fedora Core Linux box. The workaround is to use the command line rather than the ‘browse’ function, and then update the Linux Samba server as soon as possible.
The reason I mention this is because as I’ve found quite often, when troubleshooting an OS X problem, never forget that it’s closely related to BSD, and those people really know their hard core stuff. The BSD page I found is here, the Samba bug note is here, which is then referenced on an Apple Support discussion, which illustrates why it’s better to follow BSD pages.