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Using Samba, Second Edition by David Collier-Brown, Robert Eckstein, Jay Ts

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Authentication with winbind

In Chapter 3, we showed you how to add Windows clients to a network in which user accounts were maintained on the Samba server. We added a user account to the Windows client using the same username and password as an account on the Unix system. This method works well in many computing environments. However, if a Samba server is added to a Windows network that already has a Windows NT/2000 primary domain controller, the PDC has a preexisting database of user accounts and group information that is used for authentication. It can be a big chore to transfer that database manually to the Unix server, and later maintain and synchronize the Unix and Windows databases.

In Chapter 4, we showed you how to add a Samba server as a domain member server to a network having a Windows NT/2000 primary domain controller. We set security = domain in the Samba configuration file to have the Samba server hand off authentication to the Windows PDC. Using that method, passwords are kept only on the PDC, but it is still necessary to set up user accounts on the Unix side to make sure each client has a valid Unix UID and group ID (GID). This is necessary for maintaining the file ownerships and permissions of the Unix security model. Whenever Samba performs an operation on the Unix filesystem on behalf of the Windows client, the user must have a valid UID and GID on the local Unix system.

A facility that has recently been added to Samba, winbind, allows the Windows PDC to handle ...

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