[Samba] Problem achieving manual synchronisation of idmap.ldb and the associated User and Group ID mappings between two Samba 4 AD DCs

Rowland Penny rpenny at samba.org
Tue Mar 26 14:38:09 UTC 2019

On Tue, 26 Mar 2019 14:10:52 +0000
Stephen via samba <samba at lists.samba.org> wrote:

> On 26/03/2019 13:39, Rowland Penny via samba wrote
> >> Go on, I give in, what is wrong with the official Samba
> >> documentation?
> >>
> >> Off the top of my head:
> >> 1) Your (ie Samba project) docs are structured a little poorly and
> >> actually pretty hard to follow - eg a single article describes
> >> setting up Samba both with SAMBA_INTERNAL and BIND which is
> >> confusing. Two separate articles, one on each topic would be
> >> better!  
> > The problem is that the Samba wiki is written from the perspective
> > of using a self-compiled version of Samba, not from the perspective
> > of this is how you use Samba on distro X.  
> This is a big problem with your docs though. I am really not sure
> that is the right assumption to make from the viewpoint of actually
> driving Samba adoption in 2019. Yes, docs describing building from
> source are in theory universal, and there is the ever present problem
> of Linux fragmentation. However in reality I reckon probably 1% of
> your users build Samba for themselves from source. Most busy
> SysAdmins will be using either Debian/Ubuntu packages or
> CentOS/RedHat packages I would imagine, so you would only need two
> sets of docs to cover the vast majority of users.

That is even easier than you think, using distro packages, you cannot
provision a DC on red-hat.

> > Could you supply a link to the Samba dns page you refer to ?  
> The page in question isn't actually about DNS but it is the main
> Samba AD installation tutorial here:
> https://wiki.samba.org/index.php/Setting_up_Samba_as_an_Active_Directory_Domain_Controller

I will have a look again.

> This is the main page for Samba AD installation and wants to be split 
> into at least 2 further pages IMHO to avoid confusion
> 1) Samba AD installation with SAMBA_INTERNAL backend
> 2) Samba AD installation using BIND backend
> 3) Possibly split again to describe interactive and non interactive 
> installation with Bind and Samba_internal

The difference between provisioning a Samba DC to use the internal dns
server and bind9 is '--dns-backend=BIND9_DLZ'. If you do not add that
you will use the default internal dns server.

> >> 3) They lacks the clear straightforward step by step approach of
> >> TechMint with screenshots and similar?
> >>
> >> Not really a fan of screenshots, unless there is no other way of
> >> displaying information.  
> You do need some way of letting the user confirm *for themselves*
> that what they see on their own termnial is what they should expect
> to see. This lets them verify that they have set things up correctly.
> This is very important!
> Note that this doesn't have to be an actual picture screenshot, it
> could be some example terminal output. Something so they can verify
> that they are on the right track.

My problem with screenshots is that a lot of people 'cut & paste', any
most screenshots cannot be copied.

> >> 4) In practice this means that non-experts cannot / wont be able to
> >> use Samba, even for basic tasks as I am trying to do here. People
> >> less determined than me will give up,
> >> and I am basically dependent upon this (awesome, thanks everyone)
> >> mailing list and its support.  
> > Again, the wiki was written from the point of view of experts and
> > not necessarily understandable by 'non-experts'. This needs to be
> > fixed, but to do this, we need to know what is actually wrong.  
> Even assuming your guide is for experts, one of the biggest problems 
> biggest problem is there is no common thread or narative linking 
> together separate disparate wiki articles on multiple individual
> topics. You could do worse than create a section on the Samba website
> - "Getting Started with Samba AD" that covers the top 5 basic use
> cases for Samba. Suggested structure:
> Section 1) Setting up a primary DC
> Section 2) Setting up a failover secondary DC
> Section 3) Syncing primary and secondary DCs together
> Section 4) Joining another machine to the Domain and setting it up as
> a fileserver
> Section 5) Printer sharing
> Section 6) Configuring windows clients to join a samba domain
> Section 7) Advanced Samba Usage

The Samba wiki has all that, just not in that format. I think that the
wiki can be made better, but probably not in the format you suggest.

> >> 5) You need to get one person to write the docs. Another person
> >> should then separately *verify* the instructions that are given to
> >> avoid simple mistakes.
> >>
> >> This not entirely true, one person could do this, make notes as
> >> they do something and then do it again, just following their
> >> notes.  
> The problem with the same person checking, is that a second person
> will take different approaches to the first and will encounter
> problems that the first person doesn't encounter due to different set
> of mental implicit assumptions etc. It makes your documentation more
> robust if a second person is involved in the validation.

Whilst I cannot argue against what you are saying, it is finding the
two people to do what you suggest that is the problem ;-)


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