mit-krb5 and heimdal binaries

Rowland Penny rpenny at
Sun Mar 19 10:37:29 UTC 2023

On 19/03/2023 10:29, ronnie sahlberg wrote:
> On Sun, 19 Mar 2023 at 19:15, Rowland Penny via samba-technical
> <samba-technical at> wrote:
>> On 19/03/2023 09:05, Alexander Bokovoy wrote:
>>> On su, 19 maalis 2023, Rowland Penny via samba-technical wrote:
>>>> On 19/03/2023 08:07, Alexander Bokovoy wrote:
>>>>> On su, 19 maalis 2023, Rowland Penny via samba-technical wrote:
>>>>>> On 19/03/2023 07:29, Alexander Bokovoy via samba-technical wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>> On su, 19 maalis 2023, Michael Tokarev via samba-technical wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi!
>>>>>>>> I already asked a similar question before, but it keeps popping up in different
>>>>>>>> contexts and forms, and the more I use samba myself, the more often it comes to
>>>>>>>> me too, especially in context of using various security tokens for auth.  And the
>>>>>>>> more I think about all this, the more sane it looks to me.
>>>>>>>> The thing is: mit-krb5 has much better user-level support than heimdal. But samba
>>>>>>>> does not fully support mit-krb5 as an active directory domain controller.  The
>>>>>>>> AD-DC thing is server-side.
>>>>>>>> I can think of providing two builds of samba for a distribution (eg debian/ubuntu), -
>>>>>>>> one implementing whole ad-dc, as a complete thing, using their own set of libs,
>>>>>>>> linked with heimdal. And a usual set of more client-side packages, with their own
>>>>>>>> libraries, built against mit-krb5.  Or maybe some other combination also has its
>>>>>>>> right to be, - for example, smbclient built with mit-krb5, the rest is heimdal.
>>>>>>>> An essential part of this is that the two sets (built against mit-krb5 and heimdal)
>>>>>>>> do not share any internal libraries, each has its own libraries. This way, there's
>>>>>>>> no "mix" of differently built samba, each build uses only its own libs, so there's
>>>>>>>> no clash here.  They share the same smb.conf though.
>>>>>>>> So far, I've seen requests to build two versions of the server (again, with mit-krb5
>>>>>>>> and with heimdal), - and I faced the same issues too.  This is because a regular AD
>>>>>>>> member server is also good to have mit-krb5 support to integrate nicely into the auth
>>>>>>>> infrastructure. While for ad-dc, it is less often used as "end-user" server.
>>>>>>>> So I can think of a separate samba-ad-dc binary package providing whole samba suite
>>>>>>>> built against heimdal (maybe without smbclient and some other minor things), and
>>>>>>>> samba "file server" binary package providing regular server not suitable to use as
>>>>>>>> an ad-dc, but conflicting with samba-ad-dc, so it is not possible to install one
>>>>>>>> together with another.
>>>>>>>> This approach also has another good side effect, to discourage usage of samba-ad-dc
>>>>>>>> as a regular file server.
>>>>>>>> Or maybe the whole thing is moot now, and we just can provide regular samba built
>>>>>>>> against mit-krb5 to work as a good AD-DC?  That would be the best solution IMHO.
>>>>>>> I would be against a blended build against both MIT Kerberos and Heimdal
>>>>>>> Kerberos in a distribution. It is not going to bring you anything good,
>>>>>>> support wise.
>>>>>>> Andreas and I have submitted a talk to SambaXP about MIT
>>>>>>> Kerberos/Heimdal Kerberos-based Samba AD DC configurations, where they
>>>>>>> stand against each other and what are perspectives. In short, both have
>>>>>>> unique features that do not exist in the other variant and both are
>>>>>>> close to being production-ready. We want to change the status for MIT
>>>>>>> Kerberos-based build from experimental to production. Effectively,
>>>>>>> actual decision for a version shipped in a particular distribution would
>>>>>>> need to be made by that distribution, of course.
>>>>>> I do not think this is a good idea, Samba should use one or the other, not
>>>>>> both. If you do use both, to a certain extent you will nearly double the
>>>>>> support required.
>>>>> I did say exactly that: I am against blended build. Not sure what made
>>>>> you think otherwise.
>>>>>>> Distributions need to take into account security releases, as Rowland
>>>>>>> has pointed out as well. However, from my Fedora and RHEL experience,
>>>>>>> this is not a problem with MIT Kerberos -- certainly not more than with
>>>>>>> Heimdal. It is pretty much a coordination question and I believe we have
>>>>>>> very good coordination on that front with MIT Kerberos and distribution
>>>>>>> maintainers.
>>>>>> That is strange, from what Andrew wrote, he appears to think the opposite.
>>>>> I am one of developers and one of maintainers for both Samba and MIT
>>>>> Kerberos in Fedora and RHEL (as well as few other relevant projects). I
>>>>> personally see no issues with MIT Kerberos upstream collaboration.
>>>>> Things get discussed and fixed when needed, contributions get accepted.
>>>>> Our willingness to move Samba AD/MIT support from experimental forward
>>>>> to supported is based on that factor as well.
>>>>>>> If I was in Samba AD support for production deployments, I'd probably
>>>>>>> go with deploying DCs in a containerized image way to isolate completely
>>>>>>> from the rest of the OS. There are few images already that provide this
>>>>>>> setup: [1] was presented at SambaXP by Michael Adam and other folks now
>>>>>>> from IBM Storage, [2] is older and also active one.
>>>>>>> [1]
>>>>>>> [2]
>>>>>> I personally have no axe to grind over the matter, I do not care which kdc
>>>>>> is used, just as long as it is only one, if only from the support point of
>>>>>> view.
>>>>>> I also only say that using MIT is experimental because other wiser (at least
>>>>>> I hope they are wiser than me) people say it is, if this changes then so be
>>>>>> it.
>>>>>> I still do not think it is a good idea for a distro to provide two versions
>>>>>> of Samba, one using Heimdal and the other using MIT.
>>>>> Yep. However, tools we have in most distributions allow to provide more
>>>>> flexibility. It all needs maintainers, though. Without maintainers there
>>>>> is just an illusion that someone could depend on a package that is in
>>>>> reality not supported well -- whether it is built with a single scenario
>>>>> in mind or set up to handle multiple approaches.
>>>> Alexander, as I said, I do not have an axe to grind in this, if Samba
>>>> decides to move to MIT, then so be it. You however, do have  an axe to
>>>> grind, you work for red-hat, who are on record as saying that there will
>>>> never be an AD DC on RHEL. Are you now saying that, if Samba moves to MIT,
>>>> there will be ?
>>> I don't say that. What I said is that I am responsible for both Fedora
>>> and RHEL. Fedora does provide Samba AD DC already for several years,
>>> using MIT Kerberos backend. That's what I stand behind and will continue
>>> to support.
>> Yes, Fedora has provided an AD DC for sometime, but it could be honest
>> about it and say:
>> A) Samba has marked the use of MIT as experimental, so you shouldn't use
>> this in production (even if you think they could be)
> The normal way these things are resolved is to ask why it is
> experimental and what need to be done
> to make it production quality.
> No one wants to do this work and this is the core of the issue.

Even if I wanted to do this work, I couldn't, I cannot write 'C'.

There is a Samba wikipage that gives reasons why MIT is experimental. 
One of the reasons was removed, even though the bug is still open.

>> B) RHEL will never provide an AD DC
> Ask RHEL why? and then address the issues raised. Once the issues are
> resolved ask the people to re-evaluate.

I do not have to ask RHEL why, it is blatantly obvious, they want you to 
use their 'not quite an AD DC' freeipa instead and I doubt that anything 
a single person says is going to change that.


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