[Samba] Does anyone think a mini-Samba server would be useful?

Chris Weiss cweiss at gmail.com
Wed Jul 24 13:00:27 MDT 2013

I'll bite...

smb/cifs is not a simple protocol suite, see my comments in-line

On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM, Paul D. DeRocco <pderocco at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> The requirements for such a system are much smaller than what Samba
> provides:
> * It only needs to serve files, not printers or other resources.

smb without an AD domain needs rpc and for network browsing nmb.

> * It doesn't need to deal with domains, let alone be a domain controller.

smb namespacing (for lack a better word) effectively treats a single
standalone PC as a domain.  I know this is

> * It doesn't need to provide separate user accounts.

I guess you could compile it so that it only anon connections are
used, but cifs still has to deal with users

> * The only security it needs is perhaps a password for reading, and maybe a
> different password for writing.

cifs doesn't do this.  the old smb version that win95 used can, but
modern OS's don't like talking to them.

> * Since these devices are generally closed boxes with no general-purpose
> command line interface, there's no need to encrypt passwords internally.

smb/cifs expect a challenge/response hash system.  if you store only
plain text on the server, you'd have to generate the hash every time
to want to have auth.

> * It can assume it's being connected to a fully functional network, so
> doesn't need to be a master browser.

it still has to participate or you won't be able to browse to it.

> I wonder if there's a way to build such a mini-Samba out of the existing
> Samba code base. It's certainly way above my abilities, but it may be
> something that someone on the Samba team could do without mounting a major
> development effort. How many other people would find such a system useful?

what you want as an end product is totally possible, and practical.
It may even be feasible to make a bare cifs server that can't be
browsed and you have to connect to by IP, but I don't think most
people expect this.  Basing it off the existing samba codebase is
probably going to be a lot more work than just writing it from
scratch.  Maybe a few methods or classes can be pulled from samba as a
start.  maybe.

however, all the use cases you've mentioned can be accomplished via
ftp or http, for which there are a few light weight server options
already and all OS's already include clients for.

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