Newbie to Samba (digest 1798)

Stephen L Arnold arnold.steve at
Wed Sep 2 22:30:54 GMT 1998

When the world was young, Sandie carved some runes like this:

> Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 10:23:24 -0600
> From: shui at
> To: samba at
> Subject: Newbie to Samba
> 1.  Samba keeps it own set of password in private/smbpasswd after Samba
> was installed.  What's the use of those passwords?  Are they being used to
> perform validation if "Password required" is specified in smb.conf for
> using a particular service? 

Samba only uses the smbpasswd file if you configure it to use 
encrypted passwords.  The samba default is no encryption, while the 
windoze default is to use encrypted passwords.  So, you either have 
to set up samba to use encrypted passwords (probably need to 
compile samba from source) or set windoze to use cleartext 
passwords via a registry key (see the win95.txt and encryption.txt 
files in the samba docs).

If you use the cleartext passwords, then you needn't worry about 
the smbpasswd utility (it's only used with encrypted passwords).

As far as sync-ing passwords, I don't know.  The win95 password 
applet in Control Panel will change the passwords (at least some of 
them) in the local windoze password file that it stores on disk 
(*.pwl) in the windoze directory.  However, these changes may or 
may not propagate back to an NT or samba server (since I don't have 
access to NT or 98, I can't verify stuff there).  The easiest way 
for a user to change their samba password is to login (via telnet, 
ssh, etc) and change it themselves.  I think PAM can be set to 
force periodic changes (you said you have a Sun box, right?).

It gets to be non-trivial when changing windoze passwords on a 
regular basis.  You may have to manually delete the old .pwl file 
from the windoze client after the samba host password is changed.

Hope this helps, Steve Arnold

Stephen L Arnold                             sarnold at
Conserving bandwidth (and bellybutton lint)

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