Samba is an open source free, software suite that provides seamless file and print services between Windows clients and UNIX-like platforms.
It can be run on a UNIX-like platform like AIX, BSD UNIX, Linux, IBM 390 and OpenVMS. Samba uses the TCP/IP protocol that is installed in the host server. When configured, this server software allows the host machine to share files and printers and make them accessible from Windows clients.
Samba binaries for AIX are available in the AIX 61D Expansion pack CD. Version 3.0.24 of Samba has been packaged.
Important features available in the AIX versions of Samba are:
- Installation of binaries through SMIT
- SMB-based file and print services
- Share and user creation
- Configuration and maintenance through SWAT, a Web-based System Manager
- Trace and log capabilities
- Send-File API support
- Support for long AIX usernames and filenames
- Resource Browsing Protocol (Network neighborhood)
- Pass-through authentication
- Guest logon support
- Share and domain-level security support
- Unicode support
- Multiplexed SMB support (Windows Terminal support)
- NETBIOS-less connections
- SMB signing
- Active Directory support
- Directory change notification
- MSDFS support
- Support for AIX Classic and NFSv4 ACL
- Network logon support, including roaming user profiles
- Server-level security - Domain Controller capabilities
- Large file support
- DOS file attribute mapping
- Browse master support
Some features that are not provided in the AIX version of Samba are:
- Samba as LDAP server or client
- Samba as Active Directory server
- Kerberos server support
- DCE/DFS support
- DNS Updates support
- Automount / smbmount support
- PAM support
- NISPLUS support
- Cluster support
Samba runs on any machine that supports AIX with the 6100-02 Technology Level or later. The server must have the following minimal memory requirements:
- 30MB of RAM
- TCP/IP-supported LAN adapters connected to the network
Each client PC must have an installed LAN adapter; should be physically connected to a network; and have one of the Windows flavors installed on the client such as Windows 98, Server 2003, NT®, Vista®, and XP®.
Note that Samba is incompatible with Fast Connect. Hence, any existing version of Fast Connect has to be uninstalled.
Samba on AIX requires the following packages:
|Samba.license S||amba.license||Samba licenses|
|Samba.man||Samba.man||Man pages for Samba|
In order to be able to connect to the Samba server, you must create users and shares. The configuration file that stores information of shares is /usr/lib/smb.conf. This file can be edited using a text editor in AIX or using the SWAT interface.
In order to configure SWAT, do the following:
- Add the following line to /etc/inetd.conf:
swat stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/swat swat
- Add the following line to /etc/services:
- Refresh inetd as follows:
$ refresh -s inetd
Now that SWAT is configured, it can be connected using a browser and the following URL:
The SWAT page gives help on all configuration parameters. These man pages are also accessible from the AIX command-line through the man command.
Samba has two daemons, nmbd and smbd, that need to be running in order for Samba to work correctly.
nmbd is a server that understands and can reply to NetBIOS over IP name service requests, like those produced by SMB/CIFS clients such as Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and LanManager clients. It also participates in the browsing protocols that make up the Windows Network Neighborhood view.
smbd is the server daemon that provides the file-sharing and printing services to Windows clients. The server provides filespace and printer services to clients using the SMB (or CIFS) protocol.
These can be started from the command line as follows:
$ nmbd $ smbd
The logs of these daemons can be found in the /var directory as log.nmbd and log.smbd, respectively.
These daemons can also be started automatically during system reboot by adding an entry into /etc/inittab, as follows:
mkitab nmb:2:once:/usr/sbin/nmbd mkitab smb:2:once:/usr/sbin/smbd
Now the two daemons get started during every reboot. The daemons get listed in the process lists:
# ps -ef | grep mbd root 667870 708792 0 12:49:24 - 0:00 smbd root 675974 1 0 12:49:24 - 0:00 nmbd root 708792 1 0 12:49:24 - 0:00 smbd
New users can be created using the Password menu in SWAT or using the pdbedit utility:
# pdbedit -a guest new password: retype new password:
The new user to be added is essentially an AIX user. The password of existing users can be changed using the smbpasswd utility:
$ smbpasswd -U guest
New shares can be created by editing the smb.conf file or using the Shares menu in SWAT. The following is an example share definition from smb.conf:
[samba] path = /samba
The contents of smb.conf can be tested using the testparm utility. If errors are listed, they can be solved by editing smb.conf and then be retested with the following utility:
# testparm /usr/lib/smb.conf Load smb config files from /usr/lib/smb.conf Processing section "[tmp]" Processing section "[public]" Loaded services file OK. Server role: ROLE_STANDALONE Press enter to see a dump of your service definitions [global] workgroup = USERS [samba] path = /samba
Connectivity to the share can be listed in the AIX machine using the smbclient utility:
# smbclient -L //beas.in.ibm.com/samba Password: Anonymous login successful Domain=[USERS] OS=[UNIX] Server=[Samba 3.0.25b] Sharename Type Comment --------- ---- ------- tmp Disk public Disk IPC$ IPC IPC Service (Samba 3.0.25b) Anonymous login successful Domain=[USERS] OS=[UNIX] Server=[Samba 3.0.24] Server Comment --------- ------- BEAS Samba 3.0.24 Workgroup Master --------- ------- USERS
The share can also be connected using the smbclient utility:
# smbclient //beas.in.ibm.com/samba -U root Password: Domain=[BEAS] OS=[UNIX] Server=[Samba 3.0.24] smb: \>
The current directory can be checked as follows:
smb: \> pwd Current directory is \\beas.in.ibm.com\samba
The Samba server can be shut down as follows:
smbcontrol smbd shutdown smbcontrol nmbd shutdown
In order to disconnect open shares from the server machine, run the following command:
smbcontrol <process id of smbd> close-share <sharename>
# smbcontrol 352494 close-share homes # smbcontrol 352494 close-share guest
Note that if any files are open in the client, these commands have no effect.
To timeout a client, run the following command from the server machine:
# smbcontrol --timeout=100 smbd close-share tmp
After the timeout, the client is disconnected.
Alternatively, a timer can be mentioned in the smb.conf, as follows:
[global] dead time = 1
Connect a client and keep the drive idle for a minute. The drive is disconnected after a minute.
To ping a client from the server machine, run the foillowing:
smbcontrol <pid of smbd> close-share <sharename>
# smbcontrol 352494 ping PONG from pid 352494
The response from client is a PONG message.
Samba offers logs for both daemons, nmbd and smbd. The nmbd logs are appended to /var/log.nmbd and the smbd logs are appended to /var/log.smbd.
This section discusses some salient features in Samba and how to configure them.
The authentication described in the previous section is user-level security. Here users are defined in the Samba server. The client authenticates through one of the users defined in the server. The global option in smb.conf is:
[global] security = user
This is the default option for the Samba server.
A standard internal user list is compiled in Samba consisting of users such as nobody, Administrator, and more. Access to a file or printer resource is based on successfully authenticating as any one of these standard users.
If a resource should be accessible only by a specific user, it is configured in smb.conf as follows:
[global] security = share [tmp] only user = yes user = ann path = /tmp [samba] path = /samba
In this configuration example, /tmp can be accessed only by ann, but /samba can be accessed by a guest user.
only user option indicates whether Samba allows
connections to a share using share-level security based solely on the
individuals specified in the username option, instead of those users compiled on
Samba's internal list (nobody, Administrator, etc.). The default value for this option is no.
Server-level security is a kind of security in which authentication can be passed to another server. This is also referred as pass-through authentication. The following is the configuration in smb.conf:
[global] workgroup = IN.IBM.COM encrypt passwords = yes security = server password server = jhelum.in.ibm.com [share2] comment = mnt path = /home/mary/mnt2 read only = No valid users = mary [share1] comment = mary path = /home/mary/mnt1 writeable = yes valid users = nobody
In this example, the user "mary" is allowed to access share2 and "nobody" is allowed to access share1.
The domain controller is the authenticator for all machines in that domain, both Windows and AIX. A domain usually pertains to the same subnet. Samba can act as a domain controller. The smb.conf should contain code as shown below:
[global] workgroup = SAMBA security = user domain master = yes local master = yes preferred master = yes os level = 65 domain logons = yes add machine script = /usr/sbin/useradd -d /var/lib/nobody -g 100 %u
In Windows client settings, join the Samba domain. Add permissions from the Samba domain to the remote user list. These users do not necessarily exist in Windows, but do exist in the Samba domain.
Samba is a domain controller. Windows is a member of the domain. When a domain is selected and the user name and password are input from the Windows client, the request for authentication goes to the Samba server. You can implement a pass-through to another Samba server, which is a domain controller, as follows:
[global] security = server password server = jhelum.in.ibm.com
Here jhelum is running the Samba server and is the domain controller. The authentication is passed to jhelum.
In case the domain controller is not known for adding in smb.conf, the Samba server can search for the same in the domain. This should be indicated as follows in smb.conf:
password server = *
If an Active Directory (AD) server is installed in Windows, Samba can be configured to re-direct all incoming connections to the Active Directory server for authentication.
This can be achieved as follows.
Create user rocky in both AD as well as in Samba, with different passwords. Assume AD is installed in the Windows client 184.108.40.206. Configure smb.conf as follows:
[global] WORKGROUP = mygroup security = server password server = 220.127.116.11 [tmp] path = /tmp msdfs root = yes public = yes [rocky] path = /home/rocky public = yes
Map as user rocky using the two different passwords (for Samba and AD). Both authenticate.
Multi-user logon capability allows multiple clients to access the shared resources through one connection with the server.
To test this capability, install Windows Terminal Server in a Windows machine. Reboot the machine. Map a drive to the Samba server. Connect to this Windows machine from another client through the Remote Desktop service.
You should be able to see the mapped drive and access it as usual without a password prompt. Just logging into that machine is enough.
There should be interactions only between the mapped client and the Samba server. The second client's IP does not appear anywhere, while still interacting with the Samba server.
Guest logon can be enabled by setting the following parameter in smb.conf:
[global] security = user guest ok = yes
The guest account can be implemented for wrong passwords or wrong usernames. If the option is bad password, then the server logs in for all/nil password. If it is bad user, the server logs only for wrong usernames, not in Samba. This is shown as follows:
[global] map to guest = Bad user
The user that is assigned for guest logon is indicated by a parameter guest account:
[global] guest account = mary
Samba allows for the enforcement of specific users or permissions on a shared file or printer.
The following options can be used in the definition of a share:
##force permissions on files created on a share create mask = 0777 ##force permissions on directories created on a share directory mask = 0444 ## force user and group for files and directories created on a share force user = root (username) force group = system (groupname)
Connect a Windows client drive to the share with any other user (not root) that has read/write permissions and create a new file. Check the permissions of the file that is created in that share. You can see that the new file has the permissions of root and system.
To allow only specific users to read/write to a share, the following configuration should be used in smb.conf:
[tmp] path = /tmp writable = no write list = root read list = root
When password encryption is disabled in Samba, authentication is done by AIX. Samba authenticates only when password encryption is enabled.
Add the following in smb.conf:
[global] password encryption = no
Create a user in AIX that does not exist in Samba. If you connect a drive in the Windows client, using this user you find that AIX authenticates the user. Now change the following in smb.conf:
[global] password encryption = yes
Try to connect the above user. It should fail, stating that the user does not exist.
This shows that AIX authenticates the user, when the user is present in AIX and not in Samba when encryption is turned off. Samba authenticates when the password is encrypted, as in the second case above.
MSDFS allows multiple file servers to be seamlessly integrated into one logical namespace, which results in the following:
- A single drive-mapping can be used to access multiple file servers, possibly dispersed across the entire network.
- Multiple file servers can be mapped to the same name, thus providing redundancy and locality of data access.
- This complexity of logical and physical topology appears as a single directory tree (drive mapping), with sub-directories that may actually be located on remote servers.
MSDFS is organized as a topology of MSDFS root file shares, which can contain MSDFS links to other local or remote file shares. These MSDFS links appear as sub-directories, and so that transparent re-direction to the remote file shares occurs, as long as the user is properly authenticated at the remote servers. (Windows client software manages the MSDFS re-direct and remote-server authentication.)
To use this feature in Samba, the smb.conf file should mention the MSDFS root.
[global] host msdfs = yes security = user [tmp] path = /tmp msdfs root = yes public = yes
Link to the DFS root as follows:
cd /tmp ln -s msdfs:beas.in.ibm.com\\radhika t1
where beas.in.ibm.com\\radhika is a share and beas is also running Samba, and is compiled with the --with-msdfs option. If you map the tmp share from a Windows client, the directories of t1 can be accessed. Thus, this feature allows directories of one share to be universally accessed from a DFS root.
Samba supports both AIXC and NFSv4 ACL. The following are the configuration details for using NFSv4 ACL with Samba.
Create a new file system with v2=extended attribute /samba. Check the ACL types supported by the file system:
# aclgettypes /samba Supported ACL types are: AIXC NFS4
Create a new file called test1.txt and check the ACL of that file:
# aclget test1.txt * * ACL_type AIXC * attributes: base permissions owner(root): rw- group(system): r-- others: r-- extended permissions enabled
extended permissions is disabled, enable it. Convert the ACL type of test1.txt to NFS4:
# aclconvert -t NFS4 test1.txt
Get the ACL on test1.txt:
# aclget test1.txt * * ACL_type NFS4 * * * Owner: root * Group: system * s:(OWNER@): a rwpRWaAdcCs s:(OWNER@): d xo s:(GROUP@): a rRadcs s:(GROUP@): d wpWxACo s:(EVERYONE@): a rRadcs s:(EVERYONE@): d wpWxACo Include a new share for the created filesystem in smb.conf: [samba] path = /samba public = yes
There is no predictable mapping between UNIX mapping and NFS4 ACL. Hence, it can be misleading if you compare NFSv4 ACL and permissions in the ls âl listing.
Map a drive from the Windows client using the user "john" (who belongs to the system group). Create a new file in /samba. The server does not allow deletion of that file. Access is denied for delete, as D is denied for that group.
SMB signing provides mutual authentication and message authentication capabilities for the Samba server. By default, SMB signing is disabled. If enabled, each message is also validated with a digital signature.
The following should be added to smb.conf to enable SMB signing:
server signing = yes
Enable SMB signing in the Windows client. Thereafter, the SMB header contains the comment "Security signatures are enabled."
Large files are those whose sizes exceed 4G. The Samba server supports large files by default. It does not require any specific parameter to be set. To test this feature, transfer a large file from AIX to the Windows client through a mapped drive. It will be successful.
Printer resources in AIX can be shared across and accessed from Windows clients.
Consider the following print queues configured in AIX.
# lpstat Queue Dev Status Job Files User PP % Blks Cp Rnk ------ ---- -------- --- ---------- ------ ---- -- --- --- --- badq lxx READY 52ps hp@9 READY 52cl hp@9 READY 52vcl lxx READY
The printer share can be added in smb.conf as follows:
# cat /usr/lib/smb.conf [global] print command = /usr/bin/lpr -r -P%p %s lpq command = cat %p >> /tmp/lpq.log ;/usr/bin/lpq -P%p lprm command = /usr/bin/lprm -P%p %j [52vcl] printable = yes use client driver = yes browseable = yes print command = /usr/bin/lp -d 52vcl %s path = /tmp printing = AIX guest ok = yes print ok = Yes
You can see the configured printer in the Windows network neighborhood in the same subnet. Alternatively, in the other subnets, add the networked printer as a new printer.
You can test print using the SMB client as follows:
# smbclient //aixfvt49.in.ibm.com/52vcl -U joe Password: Anonymous login successful Domain=[SAMBA] OS=[UNIX] Server=[Samba 3.0.26a] smb: \> put /etc/motd putting file /etc/motd as \/etc/motd (6.5 kb/s) (average 6.5 kb/s) smb: \>
You can send requests from Windows to this networked printer.
Samba supports DOS file attributes with the following options:
map archive = yes map system = yes map hidden = yes
The following figure shows mapping of permissions with DOS attributes.
Permissions with DOS attributes
You can create a file in the shared directory with some permission bits. You can view the same using the SMB client tool as follows:
-rwxrwxrwx 1 john staff 0 Jan 29 14:25 New Text Document (4).txt -rwxrwxrwx 1 guest usr 0 Feb 27 15:23 New Text Document (5).txt drwxrwxrwx 2 ldapdb2 dbsysadm 256 Feb 08 10:46 SQLDIR.LK0
New Text Document (4).txt AHS 0 Tue Jan 29 14:25:56 2008 New Text Document (5).txt AHS 0 Wed Feb 27 15:23:34 2008 SQLDIR.LK0 D 0 Fri Feb 8 10:46:05 2008
Teh directory change notification feature is implemented by default in Samba. Samba generates an "NT NOTIFY" message when a change to a directory is made from the client, such as creating a new file.
In case the change interval has to be changed, edit the smb.conf as follows:
change notify timeout = 10
The iptrace shows NT NOTIFY requests and responses.
Disable NETBIOS over TCP/IP in a Windows client and reboot. Now connect a drive. The connection is successful, indicating that NETBIOS-less connections are possible in Samba.
Samba is visible in the network neighborhood of Windows clients in the same subnet.
This can be tested as follows. A Windows client machine in the same subnet as the Samba server is required. Assume that the Samba server runs in jhelum and 18.104.22.168 is a Windows client in the same subnet.
Edit the smb.conf as follows:
[global] workgroup = WORKGROUP security = user [samba4] path = /samba4 writeable = yes valid users = root
Now browse the network neighborhood in the Windows client. You can see the Samba server in the network neighborhood of the client.
Network browsing is a concept that enables Windows and Samba servers to appear in the Windows network neighborhood. Inside the network neighborhood, icons are represented as servers and if opened, the server's shares and printers that are available are displayed.
A domain master browser collates the browse lists from the local master browsers on all subnets so that browsing can occur between workgroups and subnets. Also, the domain master browser should preferably be the local master browser for its own subnet.
Samba can act as browse master with the following setting:
[global] local master = yes preferred master = yes WORKGROUP = SAMBA
The interval in seconds for which nmbd can wait before repeatedly broadcasting LAN Manager announcements can be set as follows in smb.conf:
lm interval = 120
Now test the connectivity from a Windows client.
Test the browse master functionality using the SMB client tool as follows:
# smbclient -L //aixfvt21.in.ibm.com/tmp Password: Anonymous login successful Domain=[SAMBA] OS=[UNIX] Server=[Samba 3.0.26a] Sharename Type Comment --------- ---- ------- tmp Disk samba Disk IPC$ IPC IPC Service (Samba 3.0.26a) Anonymous login successful Domain=[SAMBA] OS=[UNIX] Server=[Samba 3.0.26a] Server Comment --------- ------- AIXFVT21 Samba 3.0.26a Workgroup Master --------- ------- SAMBA AIXFVT21
The following is the relevant excerpt from log.nmbd:
[2008/03/27 13:22:10, 0] nmbd/nmbd_become_lmb.c:become_local_master_stage2(396) *****
Samba name server AIXFVT21 is now a local master browser for the workgroup SAMBA on subnet 22.214.171.124
local master = yes guarantees that Samba will
participate in the election and that's all it does.
master = yes forces browse election when Samba first comes on-line.
The message packets between client and server can be traced using the tcpdump command in AIX.
Start the tcpdump command in the server as follows:
tcpdump -s 0 -w <tracefile> host <hostname> and <hostname/ipaddress>
tcpdump -s 0 -w cap_1.cap host aixfvt21 and 126.96.36.199
The transaction between the client and server should be completed and then the tcpdump can be killed. The trace file created can be viewed using Ethereal or any tool.
/var/log.smbd records messages from the SMB daemon and /var/log.nmbd records messages from the nmb daemon.
The log levels can be increased by the following in smb.conf:
[global] log level = 5
The logs can be looked at for any error messages, whenever it is required.
This article showed how to set up and configure the Samba server. You saw how shares can be defined and accessed from Windows. Different authentication mechanisms are also discussed.
- Make UNIX work with
Windows XP and Mac OS X (developerWorks, April 2006) discusses the free UNIX implementation of SMB
or CIFS, called Samba.
- The article, Use
free software within commercial UNIX (developerWorks, February 2006), looks at the development of
tools and file utilities that started as free software alternatives under UNIX.
- Improve your memory
programming (developerWorks, May 2007) helps you conquer these pesky memory defects.
- The importance of UNIX in SOA
environments (developerWorks, August 2008): Discover how and why existing systems and applications with which you are already familiar deployed on operating systems that you know well are so critical to the present and future of Web-based computing, particularly in the area of SOA.
- POWER5 virtualization: How to set up the IBM
Virtual I/O Server (developerWorks, June 2005): Get more information on the virtualization capabilities of the IBM POWER5 servers.
Administration Toolkit: Monitoring disk space and usage (developerWorks, June 2006): Look at methods for determining disk usage across multiple UNIX systems and how to create a simple warning system to alert you of potential problems.
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Radhika Parameswaran is a postgraduate from BITS Pilani, where she was also teaching the graduate and post graduate students. She joined IBM in 2004 and works on AIX operating system technologies. Her present engagement is on SMB file system-related products on AIX. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.