Weird problem

MCCALL,DON (HP-USA,ex1) don_mccall at
Thu Mar 22 14:28:20 GMT 2001

Hi Mark,
The errors you are getting indicate that the fopen of the smbpassword file
failed (ie system returned a null pointer
instead of a filepointer to the call).  It's unfortunate that the debug
statement doesn't return errno as well in this 
case, so we wouldn't have to guess - but some TRANSIENT reasons for a
failure of this type (ie that would correct
itself) is that the process doing the open has exceeded it's maxfileopens.
Or the system filetable is full (should probably
see a syslog error if you have these cases, depending on what type of system
you are running on).
The three errors are basically a 'cascade' - all occurring from the root
problem of not being able to do an fopen() on the 
smbpasswd file.  You can look at the man page for fopen() to see all the
errors that could return; check you system for 
possible conditions that might generate these errors.
You might also want to change your log file in global section of smb.conf to
log file = /usr/local/samba/var/log.%m; that 
way you would get individual log files for each client machine; and could
tell if these errors are consistently being generated
from a particular machine connection, or type of machine...
'Course, if you're really brave, you could go in an modify the DEBUG
statement in startsmbfilepwent() so it returns the errno
and see what the REAL system error is...
Hope this helps,

-----Original Message-----
From: Holtzclaw, Mark [mailto:mholtzclaw at]
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2001 6:07 PM
To: samba at
Subject: Weird problem

I have seen this problem in other posts, but no solution was provided.... 
Looking for a solution... 

Samba version:  2.0.7-pre3 
Platform:  Solaris 2.7 

 We're getting a very intermittent samba error and I'm wondering if anyone 
else has come across this - and if so what they 
did to correct it. 
  We use samba for Clearcase access, and have it configured to use the 
smbpasswd file for authentication (we were using 
the PDC for authentication, but switched to the smbpasswd file to get rid of

annoying connection delays ...). Recently, 
we've started seeing the following errors show up in one of the log files: 

[2000/04/03 06:04:06, 0] passdb/smbpass.c:startsmbfilepwent(50) 
  startsmbfilepwent: unable to open file /usr/local/samba/private/smbpasswd 
[2000/04/03 06:04:06, 0] passdb/passdb.c:iterate_getsmbpwnam(149) 
  unable to open smb password database. 
[2000/04/03 06:04:06, 1] smbd/password.c:pass_check_smb(505) 
  Couldn't find user 'clearcase_albd' in smb_passwd file. 

  This happens a dozen times or so, and then ... goes away.  Does anyone 
have any clues as to what might be making the 
smbpasswd file `unavailable' for short periods? 


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