[Samba] Puzzle -- Logon/Login from Windows XP

Jonathan Johnson jon at sutinen.com
Thu Sep 30 05:55:02 GMT 2004

AndyLiebman at aol.com wrote:

>So my question is, how can those 100 users logon to the Samba server from ANY 
>workstation without having an account on the Windows XP workstation that 
>matches their username/password on the Samba server? 
Either set up the Samba server as a domain controller and join the 
workstations to that domain, or if the workstations are part of another 
domain, join the Samba server to that domain and use winbind for 
authentication. This is explained in detail in the documentation.

>Isn't there a way to get the Samba server to ask for a username and password 
>when the user clicks on the name of the Samba server in Explorer? 
Short answer: if the workstation already has a connection (mapped drive, 
cached connection, RPC connection, etc.) to this server, then no.

Long answer: a limitation of Windows is that when you connect via SMB to 
a remote server, all connections to that server must use the same 
credentials. If you are connected to \\sambaserver\datafiles as the user 
*nigel* and wish to connect to \\sambaserver\frederick (which is 
accessible only to the user *frederick*), the Windows workstation 
attempts to connect as *nigel*. In order to connect as *frederick* you 
must break all connections to that server. Simply put, you cannot make 
two connections to a server from one workstation with two different sets 
of credentials.

I haven't investigated the interaction between Windows workstation and 
Windows server versus between Windows workstation and Samba server, in 
terms of *when* you are asked for a password. When you click on the 
server name in Network Neighborhood / My Network Places, when are you 
presented with the login prompt? When you click on the server name? Or 
when you click on the share name under that server? Your Samba server 
may be presenting you with the share names, if you've configured it to 
map unknown users to a particular user or guest. This may be confusing 
your workstation into thinking that it's already authenticated to the 
Samba server, so you don't get the login prompt.

Point of clarification: when I say "workstation" I mean the one you are 
at, attempting to connect remotely to the "server." The "server" CAN be 
another Windows XP workstation with shared files. The "workstation" is 
the client, the "server" is the host that's sharing the files. Don't 
confuse the terminology with proprietary branding and product naming.


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