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Old 02-08-2009, 11:33 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2009
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Samba Authentication Mechanism

Hi Linux Security Gurus,

could someone please elaborate on how Samba authenticates windows clients?
simply put, there are a bunch of windows clients wishing to access some Samba shares on a UNIX system, shares were set up and Samba user authentication mode was selected. i am intersted in knowing how Samba will authenticate windows users?
i am newbie to Samaba and I haven't gotten it to work OK yet.

Thanks all.
Old 02-08-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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How do the windows users normally authenticate when they log in? Which kind of clients are they?

The default if you haven't changed it is that the smbpasswd file is used. In this case, you need to use the `smbpasswd' command to add users and their passwords to this file. The users also need to have entries in /etc/passwd so that permissions in Linux can be mapped to samba permissions.

If the server is a domain controller, then a user on a client machine is querying the samba server when they log in. When a user changes their password, a script is run on the server to change the password. This can still use the smbpasswd file or a samba database.

Both of these methods might be used and more details are needed on where credentials are saved.

Another method is using LDAP or Active Directory. In this case kerberos is used for authentication instead of the samba server. You aren't using this with "Security = User".

You might want to install the "samba-doc" package. It contains three books. The "Samba 3 by Example" and "Samba 3 HOWTO & Reference Guide" may be very useful. The "Samba 3 by Example" book contains a number of sample network configurations and goes step by step in great detail, including some items on the Windows client side.


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