Samba Management

Gautier, B (Bob) Bob.Gautier at
Thu Jun 22 11:08:02 GMT 2006


> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> at lists.samba.o
rg [mailto:samba-technical-> at] On Behalf 
> Of Volker Lendecke
> Sent: 22 June 2006 11:11
> To: Chetan D Shringarpure
> Cc: Frank Kolb; samba-technical at
> Subject: Re: Samba Management
> Hi, Chetan!
> Taking this to samba-technical, this is of broader interest I think.
> On Thu, Jun 22, 2006 at 02:56:36PM +0530, Chetan D Shringarpure wrote:
> > I have been following the libelektra development on samba-technical 
> > and I would think that storing of smb.conf in binary format 
> has been 
> > and will be shot down whenever it is brought up.  Its 
> invariably tough 
> > to prove it to *nix people that anything not editable by vi 
> is a good idea.
> Putting conf data into binary files is a bit hard to swallow, 
> true. But as the requirement to machine-edit that data grows 
> we probably have to do it somehow.
> The idea is the following:
> We convert Samba to look up its config data via libelektra 
> (or some derivative).
> The first config that is asked is the binary one that is 
> fully editable via msrpc.
> We enable "include =" in libelektra, this should then include 
> the classic smb.conf. Probably libelektra needs to be adapted 
> to our smb.conf specialities.
> When presenting the classic smb.conf retrieved via include, 
> libelektra refuses changes to this part of the configuration.
> We ship with a default binary file that only does "include = 
> /etc/samba/smb.conf"
> (or /usr/local/samba/lib/smb.conf)...
> This would give compatibility with existing setups. It is the 
> the admin's choice to go with the hand-written smb.conf that 
> is read-only via the fancy API and the editable part that is 
> stored in some obscure format.
> Something else that needs to be done is to convert an 
> existing smb.conf into the internal format for an admin to 
> change his preference.
> I think this might be a possible compromise that satisfies everybody.

I like the idea of keeping an smb.conf around, or at least preserving
the simple text file as a way of configuring Samba.

But I would do it the other way up: leave the traditional smb.conf as
the primary configuration method, and allow a new config method to be
configured in there (e.g. "include = plugin:elektra").

That way there is no impact at all for users that want to carry on using
smb.conf, and those that want to change can write a simple minimal
smb.conf that simply says 'look over there for your configuration'.  It
also means there will still be an smb.conf, a standard, local file, that
will point sysadmins and consultants in the right direction for the way
a given samba is configured.

To promote adoption of the new mechanism, you can ship with a default
smb.conf that does nothing but import some binary configuration source
that is maintainable via msrpc.

Bob Gautier


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