[Samba] very strange nsswitch.ldap problem

Michael George george at idealso.com
Thu Dec 15 21:41:33 GMT 2005

I have been fighting with a system for a couple hours now to get it to
work again and I finally did it.  But I don't know why what was wrong
keeps it from booting right.

Here's what I have:

I'm testing using Samba and LDAP as a PDC server.  So I have a system
that I configured with Samba, LDAP, pam_ldap, and nsswitch_ldap.  I had
it all configured and it was fine.

However, after an update of the system, including upgrading to gcc-3.4,
the system didn't boot right (if at all).  It would sit forever,
apparently trying to build /dev with udev.

I found that eventually it would continue the boot sequence, but /dev
was broken.  Immediately I could see that /boot was not able to be
mounted and the swap was not made active: the system couldn't access
/dev/sdaX, there was no valid device there.

Root was on sda3 and it was mounted, but I think grub set that up
directly w/o the use of /dev.

I traced the problem to the nsswitch.ldap that I put into place as

If I have:

hosts: files dns

the system boots just fine.  If I have:

hosts: files dns ldap

the system cannot deal with the udev devices correctly.  I have
confirmed this by repeatedly making this change and unmaking it and the
system was wonky when ldap was included and worked fine when ldap wasn't

Is there a logical reason why this would be happening?

I'll be happy to post any relevant info to my system if that would help
in explaining the situation, but I'm not sure if any other settings come
into play...

-Michael George
  Ideal Solutions, LLC

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