[Samba] Getting Oriented

Ross Boylan rossboylan at stanfordalumni.org
Sun Sep 6 00:43:38 UTC 2015

It was disconcerting to find the Official HowTo,
https://www.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/, to be for
Samba 3.5.  Much other documentation (both online and Using Samba, 3rd
Edition* by *Jay Ts; Gerald Carter; Robert Eckstein, O'Reilly Media, Inc)
is also old. Apparently a known problem,
http://marc.info/?l=samba&m=139519806107456&w=2, but still..  Web search
found https://www.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba4-HOWTO, but it's mostly

I would appreciate some guidance.

Some of the slide presentations for Samba 4 indicate it is intended to be
much simpler to setup than Samba 3, and the simplicity will eliminate
dependence on outdated web pages.  This suggests I should not trust those
pages, but there doesn't seem to be any overview available for the current
Samba  And apparently there is an old (Samba 3ish) and new (ADish) system
available, and I'm not sure which I should use.

In priority order, my goals are
1.  Act as a file server.  I'm currently running samba 3 to do so, and had
pretty poor performance attempting to  do a Windows backup from a Windows 7
client to it.  "Poor" means not only slow, but unable to complete.  The
client said there wasn't enough room, even though the reported free space
(on the client) exceeded the space it said it needed for backup.  But
perhaps that was only the space it had used so far.
2. Use Windows printers.  They require some special drivers and accounting
codes.  Maybe I could piggy-back off a Windows workstation?
3. Register the machine and services in the Active Directory.
4. Use shared files from the domain.  I'm already doing this; it's only
last because I don't think samba is involved.

Somewhat distinct from that, I also want user management for my Linux
machines.  I was going to use LDAP and Kerberos, but since they are already
in Samba, should I use it?  The identities involved would just be for my
private use.

My Linux systems will all be running in VMs (which might explain some of
the  poor performance in point 1; networking with the outside world seems
to be a weak point).

I think I can do a fresh installation; there's very little setup in my
existing samba 3 installation.

The  typical network client is Windows 7; I think the  domain was recently
migrated to Windows Server 2012.

Currently samba 3 is in workgroup mode.  The machines show up in network
neighborhood and I can ping them using just the machine name (e.g.,
markov01) from a Windows command prompt.  However, they don't seem to have
an existence as FQDNs (e.g., ping markov01.ucsf.edu fails).  I guess
there's some vestigal NetBIOS naming service still running.

I know very little about Active Directory, in particular I'm not sure if
any of the AD roles are appropriate for my machine.  I don't think I want
it to be a domain controller or a member server.  I have no administrative
rights with respect to the campus AD.

My immediate interest in Samba 4 is in overcoming the  performance problems
noted above for goal 1.  I also have to switch because my distribution,
Debian, switched and 3 is unsupported.  And I'm hoping to work a little
better with AD (goal 2-4).


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