HOWTO: get familar with the Samba source code

Gerald Carter gcarter at
Thu Sep 28 04:51:35 GMT 2000


for anyone interested in getting up to speed with SMB/CIFS, 
NetBIOS, MS-RPC, etc...  Here's some links to help out.
I will add this to the FAQ.

* Which branch should I be looking at?

  Look at TNG for specific RPC implementations.  However,
  enhancements should be coded for HEAD.  For more 
  information on getting Samba source code via CVS,

* How can I learn more about CIFS, MS-RPC, Samba 
 internals, etc...

  o get a copy of MS network monitor (legally).  Even the 
        one with the NT server is ok.  We can convert 
	tcpdump format to CAP format).  This is the best
        network sniffer for decoding SMB/MS-RPC.
        Ethereal ( has some code for
        parsing SMB/NetBIOS and I think Andrew and Tim
        are adding some MS-RPC support in it.

  o See the docs at

  o get a copy of Luke's book with New Riders Publishing
        "DCE/RPC over SMB: Samba and Windows NT Domain 
        Internals" or something like that.

  o get a symbolic debugger (gdb, ddd, ups, etc...) and
        step through the smbd source code as it is running 
        in response to a SMB call (or RPC) that you are 
        interested in.

  o The MSDN site ( is pretty good 
        as well if you know what you are looking for

 My personal preference is for a debugger alongside 
 the protocol specs and a netmon session. :-)  

* Which editor should I use?

 As far as what editor to use, it is your preference.
 Obviously is needs to be one that doesn't much up 
 formatting automatically (just to help you out). :-)
 I use RedHat's Source Navigator which does generate 
 **huge** cross reference databases but let's you get 
 around in the code fairly well.  See

 for a download link.

 Of course, vi and grep will get you there too. :-)

Cheers, jerry
   /\  Gerald (Jerry) Carter                     Professional Services
 \/  VA Linux Systems    gcarter at       SAMBA Team           jerry at

       "...a hundred billion castaways looking for a home."
                                - Sting "Message in a Bottle" ( 1979 )

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