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

Paul D. DeRocco pderocco at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jul 24 13:09:42 MDT 2013

> From: Chris Weiss [mailto:cweiss at gmail.com] 
> 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
> over-simplification/generalization...
> >
> > * 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.

Obviously, there's a lot I don't understand about the guts of Samba. But it
seems a shame that if we want simple file sharing, we need to add nearly a
hundred megabytes of code.

Your comment about using FTP or HTTP is true, but it's sometimes it's more
useful to be able to open files directly on a remote server, rather than
having to copy them in and out.


Ciao,               Paul D. DeRocco
Paul                mailto:pderocco at ix.netcom.com 

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