Samba prealpha on AIX

Scott Parish ssparish at
Fri Sep 24 15:27:07 GMT 1999

Burt Avery wrote:
> Greetings:
> On this list I see many reports of success for people running Samba
> prealpha on many flavors of UNIX with the exception of AIX. If anyone is
> using prealpha on AIX successfully to authenticate NT machines and client
> users, I would be interested in exchanging experiences: your experience
> hopefully good, mine less than favorable, particularly concerning account
> authentication.
> Speaking strictly as a departmental systems administrator who does not have
> the time the developers dedicate to delving into the code, I suspect
> authentication is busted on AIX. Any confirming or contradictory experiences?
> Please don't tell me to get Samba off AIX. It's not an option.

Short answer:  In my experience Samba requires some work to get going under

Longer answer:  We are running AIX at our university and I have explored the
feasability of running samba to authenticate our users.  Getting Samba running
under AIX required a bit of work.  About a day, maybe two, poking through the

I have successfully compiled, with some code tweeks, installed, configured and
run Samba under AIX 4.2.  I have been able to successfully authenticate to the
Samba domain on the AIX machine and mounted my home directory.  This is as far
as my experiment went.  One NTWS, one domain, one user--but it works.  

Don't know about profiles (it complains after logging in about not being able
to create a profile.pds directory, and after I manually create it it tells me
the roaming profile is not found, but doesn't create one), NT security
policies, password changes or syncing--I haven't tried working with any of

There were several problems that I experienced.  First the HEAD branch
smbpasswd, often times (maybe just when I grab it), seems to be broken which
makes adding machines to the password file a pain.  This is merely a minor
inconvenience though; just grab any working smbpasswd (from 2.0.5a) and you're
in business.

Second thing I encountered, which was a show stopper for a while and not
directly related to the Samba code, was figuring out how our WINs was setup and
making sure machines could see each other.  We are using real NT servers for
WINS.  The test workstation and the server were on different subnets, and the
WINS servers were not replicating entries.  So the server could see the client,
but the client couldn't see the server.  That was a pain and basically the
symptom was that the client could not find a domain controller for the domain
when a login was attempted.  This probably could be aleviated if we just let
Samba be the WINS server.

Third issue that has been temporarily patched in my code deals with the number
of available files and some offset (the mind is foggy here).  There was a brief
discussion of this a while back on this list.  Anyway, AIX reports it has some
enormous number of available files...let me do some poking to refresh my
memory...  Appears to be a problem with the pipe_handle_offset in
rpc_server/srv_pipe_hnd.c and smbd/files.c or some such.  Forgive me, it has
been since the middle of August since I messed with this.  I believe this
manifested itself as a client side message in the event log that redirector
received an SMB that was too short.  The solution, for me I think, was to hard
code an offset because the one samba was determining was not working.  There
should be enough information in the archives to get you started looking should
this be the problem you are encountering.

There was an (long?) int vs. UINT problem that should be gone from the HEAD
branch now as well.  I forget what the symptoms of that were, but it should be

The other issues with AIX and probably some other OS's are 8 byte limitation on
userids.  This is a real kicker for us, because most of our hostnames are
longer than 8 bytes, thus making a unix userid for NT machines rather
problematic, at least in our case.

Please feel free to contact me.  I don't know how much help I'll be, but I
could be of some assistance.  I would also like to hear of other's experiences
with AIX.

Scott Parish           | "I really can't live without Christ.  It's like 
ssparish at | impossible to really have a true life without Him."
                       | -- Cassie Bernall, martyr at Columbine High School.

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