Samba and Nis on Solaris

Tim Braun tim at
Tue Oct 17 15:27:15 GMT 2000

"Danilo Marangio" <danilom at> wrote:
> Hello ! This is Danilo from Rome.
> I hope you may help me.
> I've to install Samba 2.0.7 in both Nis server and client.
> I'm not able to tell Samba to find Nis database.
> May you tell me all the necessary configurations step by step
> in Nis server and clients?
> Or may you tell me related web site * for beginners * ?
> Thanks a lot and excuse me for my english, Danilo

Your english is fine, way better than my Italian, which
is pretty much limited to food names :)

We use samba and NIS here, so I have a few comments that may be
helpful to you.   I'll use "NIS" to include "NIS+".

In order to fit the Microsoft login model, Samba has a different
view of userid's and passwords than the underlying Solaris or other
unix operating system.  A lot depends on whether you enable password

If you don't enable password encryption ("encrypt passwords = No")
you have to make your Microsoft clients use cleartext passwords.
There are registry patches to do that, but it is inconvenient.

If you do enable password encryption, Samba has to keep those
encryted passwords somewhere, because the encryption used by
Microsoft is different from the encryption used in the unix
native password database.

It is possible to use NIS to store that encrypted database, but
I don't know if you gain much by doing that (supporting multiple
Samba servers, I suppose).   

Other than using NIS to store encrypted passwords (the smbpasswd
database) the interplay between Samba and NIS is minimal.  
 - You can use NIS to set up auto-mount home directories for users which
   Samba explicitly supports, "nis homedir = true" and "homedir map = x"
 - You can use NIS to set up other auto-mount directories, which Samba 
   will use implicitly.

Of course, the point to NIS is that when an application like Samba
asks about a user's group membership (for example), it will give it
the information from the NIS database.  So you don't need to compile in
NIS support to benefit from NIS in your Samba installation.  At our
installation, we don't use any explicit NIS support in Samba.  We don't
configure samba for NIS autohome, we let the automounter provide
the homes from NIS.  I recommend the same.  Don't configure any explicit 
NIS support into Samba, just let Samba use it implicitly.

I hope this was somewhat helpful.

Tim Braun                          | Voice: 204-478-8028
Symbol Technologies                | FAX:   204-942-3001
1000 Waverley Ave                  | Email: tim at
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 0P3 |

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