[Samba] cifs verses smbfs for Linux clients

simo idra at samba.org
Tue Feb 19 00:23:09 GMT 2008

On Mon, 2008-02-18 at 18:10 -0500, Michael Lueck wrote:
> I am somewhat confused...
> I understand that the preferred method to mount a Samba share with a
> Linux client is to use "mount -t cifs" rather than "mount -t smbfs".
> I get the impression that smbfs is samba.org developed code where as
> cifs is from elsewhere. Thus the point of confusion. Why is samba.org
> not developing the preferred code in this case?

smbfs is a kernel module like cifs, they are both outside of the samba
project proper.

smbfs is the old unmaintained (since long) code.
cifs is the maintained kernel driver, and has been written by Steve
French, a Samba Team member, and maintained by him within the Linux
kernel project.

The user helpers for mounting both are distributed with the samba code
base, the smbfs helper is almost unmaintained, as is the driver. The
mount.cifs helper is maintained.

> A sub question to that main one is a nagging thought of needing to add
> the Debian / Ubuntu smbfs package to Linux client systems issuing
> "mount -t cifs". If cifs really is from elsewhere, and smbfs is 
> "bad evil", why the interdependency?

There is no interdependency at all, when compiling samba you can choose
to build either or both helpers, it is a packaging choice. Most
distributions are slowly killing smbfs and stopping building the
smbmount helper in the samba packages.


Simo Sorce
Samba Team GPL Compliance Officer <simo at samba.org>
Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat Inc. <ssorce at redhat.com>

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