[Samba] Samba Authentication - User ID Pass-Thru?

David P. Donahue cyber0ne1 at gmail.com
Sat May 15 22:27:48 MDT 2010

I probably have an odd setup, so please bear with me.  To simplify as much
as possible, I have two servers and a client.  The first server is the
back-end file server and is accessible only by the second ("gateway")
server.  (The second server has dual ethernet, one of which is a crossover
to the file server.)  The file server has a Samba share that's pretty simple
and open, and the gateway server mounts it.  Then the gateway server has a
Samba share at that mount point to share the back-end server out to the
network.  Again, bear with me on that :)

Now the issue I'm having may not have a workaround, but I'm just looking for
ideas.  When users on the client (any computer on the network) write a file
to the "server" that they see, it is in turn writing back to the Samba share
on the file server.  Thus, no matter who writes the file, it's written to
the actual filesystem as the user by which the gateway mounts the share on
the file server.  Can anybody think of any way to pass along the user ID up
the chain so that it's written to the filesystem as the originating user?  I
can make sure the user accounts line up on the two servers, that's no big
deal.  I'm just wondering if it's possible.

It's not a showstopper for me if everything gets written as the same user, I
can deal with that.  (Although I am having issues with create masks and
group writability, but that's for another time.)  I'm just tossing the
question out to the group to see if it's anything that's been dealt with
before or anything interesting enough to warrant discussion/collaboration.

The answer might even be to use something other than Samba between the
gateway server and the file server.  I'm certainly open to suggestions on
that.  The only other related technology with which I have any experience is
NFS and I chose Samba over that simply for the stability and robustness in
unexpected situations.  It's been my experience in the past that NFS gets
pretty unstable when the network connection drops and can hang a machine's
shutdown procedures.  This is to be avoided in this particular situation
because, in the event of a power failure detected by the UPS, properly
stopping the services and unmounting the filesystem cleanly are critical.
 The _only_ job of the file server on the back end is to protect the data.

If anybody has any suggestions I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks!

David P. Donahue

"It's hard enough to live in a world where you grow old and die, why be
- Jack Kerouac

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