[Samba] About NAS versus Samba

fernando at lozano.eti.br fernando at lozano.eti.br
Wed Jul 10 22:03:52 MDT 2013

Hi Cris,

>> Hi there, Has anyone tried to configure a NAS server to authenticate
>> users using a Samba PDC, or even a Samba4 DC (AD-compatible) or an 
>> IPA
>> server?
> not in a while, but I have done a samba 3 DC

This was not my question. I'm ok running samba 3 DCs. :-)

Have you ever configured a NAS so it would authenticate users from your 
Samba DC and them serve SMB file shares (aka network drives) to Windows 

>> I'm evaluating replacing some Linux file server for a NAS product, 
>> but
>> all them make me nervous when the vendor talks about "Active 
>> Directory
>> support" and nothing else.
> if 3rd party support is your concern, why are you using fedora 
> instead of

Are you trying to sell me RHEL subscriptions or help me with my 
question? ;-) Anything wrong about asking about Fedora on a Fedora list, 
or any server issue is forbidden for Fedora users? ;-)

AFAIK it shouldn't matter, from a technical perspective, if the samba 
DC runs Fedora, Debian, Slackware, RHEL, SuSE, Ubuntu, Solaris, 
whatever. I am not talking about OS level FC drivers or iSCSI 
initiators. Either a NAS will be compatible with Samba3, Samba4, both or 
neither. This depends on the SMB and MSRPC features needed by the NAS, 
all them application level protocols, not kernel modules. If I'll need 
Red Hat support for managing this system is another, unrelated, 

If the NAS vendors state they suṕport RHEL, that's not que question 
either, as supporting RHEL could mean the RHEL linux kernel smbfs and 
cifsfs driver talks to the NAS, not the NAS talks to the Samba DC. Or 
else, RHEL support may mean just that the NAS talks NFS and so a RHEL 
machine can mount volumes from tne NAS. That's not what I want.

Most times I see linux servers they are simply members of a MSAD 
domain, not the DC themselves. But mine are. All vendors I talked to 
assume MSAD, and don't know about Samba. :-(

Anyway Fedora is my desktop system and development workstation. The DC 
in question runs RHEL. But if this works I can try someday using Fedora 
or CentOS with the same (or other) NAS.

>>> In theory, many NASes are Linux boxes running samba, so there
>> shouldn't be a problem, except if the web admin interface won't 
>> support
>> a samba DC setup and I won't have SSH access to configure the NAS 
>> samba
>> myself
> a cheaper nas will probably use samba, but not all NASs do. there are
> several commercial SMB/CIFS implementation out there.

At least iomega/lenovo/emc state their NAS runs Samba. And a lot of 
less know vendors also. I'll buy a single, cheap NAS, not a high end EMC 
rack full of boxes. :-)

But... will any NAS you know work with a Samba DC, or else, using an 
IPA server? Or will they only work with Microsoft Windows Server AD?

All vendors I contacted talk only about MS Active Directory. They don't 
even know about NT4-style domains, which would mean a Samba3 DC should 
work. Besides, AFAIK a Samba4 DC isn't supported by RHEL at all -- 
that's why I included IPA in my question -- I'd have to use Sernet 
packages for Samba4. Even then, Samba4 is very new, I don't know if a 
NAS implementation would accept it in place of a MSAD DC.

Most vendors talk to me about vmware, exchange and sql server support. 
They offer me windows-only backup servers and the like. Some even offer 
me SAP R/3 agents, while my ERP is another one. They can only follow 
their standard script for windows shops. So I ask for the collective 
knowledge from the Fedora and Samba lists... can anyone tell me "I tried 
this NAS and it worked"? Or should I better forget about this and keep 
using cheap intel boxes as file servers?

Am I the first linux sysadmin in the world who's considering to have a 
NAS replacing some file servers but keeping his samba DCs?

[]s, Fernando Lozano

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