Samba - Sharing Files and Printers with MS Windows

[OpenBSD 4.7 i386 | samba-3.0.37p1 | Samba Book]

The Samba suite of programs allows you to share Unix resources with SMB Clients (in many cases MS Windows clients.) This significantly simplifies client access to OpenBSD printing and file resources. Users on SMB client machines access Samba resources as they would any other (file/print) resource available from SMB servers such as Microsoft Windows Workstations (e.g. XP, Vista, 7) and Microsoft Windows Servers (e.g. 2003, 2008 R2).

We use OpenBSD/Samba to allow our network users to use the same tools for accessing their files on the OpenBSD/Samba box as they previously did when the same resources were on the Win NT boxes. Users can open their files from within their applications or use Windows Explorer to browse through the OpenBSD/Samba shares.

Installing the Packaged Version

Install the package using pkg_add

sudo su
export PKG_PATH=
pkg_add samba
  1. We need to be root, since we're making changes to the system as part of the installation.
  2. Set the PKG_PATH to your nearest package repository, whether on an external ftp site or local path.
  3. Use 'pkg_add package-name' to install the samba package.

The package system will respond with a list of available packages it can identify with the same start string that you specified (and if it finds just one then it will install that for you.)

samba could be samba-3.0.37p1-cups-ldap samba-3.0.37p1 samba-3.0.37p1-ldap 
samba-3.0.37p1-cups samba-3.0.37p1-cups-ads samba-3.0.37p1-ads

We can pick the package that best meets our current needs.

pkg_add samba-3.0.37p1-cups

The package system will download and install the specified package, and all packages for that is needed for minimal functionality.

samba-3.0.37p1-cups:xdg-utils-1.0.2p7: ok (8 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:jpeg-7: ok (8 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:tiff-3.8.2p5: ok (7 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:png-1.2.41: ok (6 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:pcre-7.9: ok (8 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:libgamin-0.1.10: ok (7 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:glib2-2.22.4: ok (6 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:desktop-file-utils-0.15p1: ok (5 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:dbus-1.2.16p0: ok (4 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:gdbm-1.8.3p0: ok (5 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:libdaemon-0.13: ok (4 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:avahi-0.6.25p5: ok (3 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:cups-1.3.11p6: ok (2 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups:popt-1.7p0: ok (1 to go)
samba-3.0.37p1-cups: ok

As seen above, this samba package has 14 dependencies that were installed together with the samba. Note, that if you've already installed some of the above packages with some other application, it will not need to be re-installed (you will have fewer 'dependencies' in your install.

The Package system will display package installation related information that you will need to review. You can also find the screen-output information in the path:


For our samba installation, the following packages display post-install information, related to completing the configuration of the installed package.

  • avahi (/var/db/pkg/avahi-0.6.25p5/+DISPLAY)
  • cups (/var/db/pkg/cups-1.3.11p6/+DISPLAY)
  • dbus (/var/db/pkg/dbus-1.2.16p0/+DISPLAY)
  • samba (/var/db/pkg/samba-3.0.37p1-cups/+DISPLAY)

The displayed post-install information is also avaliable in the pkg db repository as +DISPLAY, whilst +DESC is a short descripton of the installed package.

Post Package Install display, also available from: /var/db/pkg/avahi-0.6.25p5/+DISPLAY

--- +avahi-0.6.25p5 -------------------
For proper function, multicast(4) needs to be enabled. To do so, add the
following line to /etc/rc.conf.local:

To start avahi automatically, add the following to /etc/rc.local:
(after dbus-daemon but before Zeroconf-aware applications startup)

if [ -x /usr/local/sbin/avahi-daemon ]; then
        echo -n ' avahi-daemon'; /usr/local/sbin/avahi-daemon -D
if [ -x /usr/local/sbin/avahi-dnsconfd ]; then
        echo -n ' avahi-dnsconfd'; /usr/local/sbin/avahi-dnsconfd -D

But what is the avahi package ? cat /var/db/pkg/avahi-0.6.25p5/+DESC

framework for Multicast DNS Service Discovery
Avahi is a free, standards-compliant implementation of the Zeroconf
protocols Multicast DNS and DNS-SD.
It is a system which facilitates service discovery on a local network.
This means that you can plug your laptop or computer into a network and
instantly be able to view other people who you can chat with, find
printers to print to or find files being shared.  This kind of
technology is already found in Apple MacOS X (branded Rendezvous,
Bonjour and sometimes Zeroconf) and is very convenient.

Maintainer: Antoine Jacoutot 


Looks like something we want to configure, as specified earlier above.

Post Package Install display, also available from: /var/db/pkg/cups-1.3.11p6/+DISPLAY

--- +cups-1.3.11p6 -------------------
To enable CUPS, execute '/usr/local/sbin/cups-enable' as root.
To disable CUPS, execute '/usr/local/sbin/cups-disable' as root.

To start cups at boot time, add the following to

if [ -x /usr/local/sbin/cupsd ]; then
        #chown _cups /dev/ulpt[0-1] # uncomment if using USB printer
        #chown _cups /dev/lp[a,t][0-2] # uncomment if using parallel printer
        echo y | /usr/local/sbin/cups-enable > /dev/null
        echo -n ' cupsd'; /usr/local/sbin/cupsd

Starting cupsd will overwrite /etc/printcap. A backup copy of this file
is saved as /etc/printcap.pre-cups by '/usr/local/sbin/cups-enable'
and will be restored when you run '/usr/local/sbin/cups-disable'.

If you want to print to non-Postscript printers or use CUPS bundled PPD
files (i.e. drivers), you'll need to install ghostscript.  You will also
most probably want to install the foomatic-filters package which
provides a universal filter script.

But what is the cups package ? cat /var/db/pkg/cups-1.3.11p6/+DESC

Common Unix Printing System
CUPS provides a portable printing layer for UNIX(r)-based
operating systems.  CUPS provides the System V and Berkeley
command-line interfaces.

CUPS uses the Internet Printing Protocol ("IPP") as the basis
for managing print jobs and queues.  The Line Printer Daemon
("LPD") Server Message Block ("SMB"), and AppSocket (a.k.a.
JetDirect) protocols are also supported with reduced
functionality.  CUPS adds network printer browsing and
PostScript Printer Description ("PPD") based printing options to
support real-world printing under UNIX.

For extra printer drivers check

Available flavors:

ldap            Enable printer sharing via LDAP

Maintainer: Antoine Jacoutot 


Printing is always a useful event. We want to configure, as specified earlier above.

Post Package Install display, also available from: /var/db/pkg/dbus-1.2.16p0/+DISPLAY

--- +dbus-1.2.16p0 -------------------
To start systemwide message dbus daemon whenever the machine boots,
add the following lines to /etc/rc.local:

if [ -x /usr/local/bin/dbus-daemon ]; then
        install -d -o _dbus -g _dbus /var/run/dbus
        echo -n ' dbus'; /usr/local/bin/dbus-daemon --system

But what is the dbus package? cat /var/db/pkg/dbus-1.2.16p0/+DESC

message bus system
D-Bus is a message bus system, a simple way for applications to talk to
one another. In addition to interprocess communication (IPC), D-Bus
helps coordinate process lifecycle; it makes it simple and reliable to
code a "single instance" application or daemon, and to launch
applications and daemons on demand when their services are needed.

Maintainer: The OpenBSD ports mailing-list 


What does that actually mean? Looks like something we want to configure, as specified earlier above.

Post Package Install display, also available from: /var/db/pkg/samba-3.0.37p1-cups/+DISPLAY

--- +samba-3.0.37p1-cups -------------------
To start the Samba server and naming service enter the following commands:

$ sudo /usr/local/libexec/smbd # Start the Samba server component
$ sudo /usr/local/libexec/nmbd # Start the Samba naming service

The configuration file, found at /etc/samba/smb.conf can be used right
away for simple configurations.  Local users must be added to the Samba user
database using the smbpasswd utility in order to use the Samba server.

$ sudo smbpasswd -a 

To have Samba start whenever the machine boots, add the following lines to the
/etc/rc.local script:

if [ -x /usr/local/libexec/smbd ]; then
        echo -n ' smbd'
if [ -x /usr/local/libexec/nmbd ]; then
        echo -n ' nmbd'

For more information and complete documentation, install the samba-docs package
and check the /usr/local/share/doc/samba directory.

As per above, using the default configuration file installed on /etc/samba/smb.conf, the quickest way to start Samba is:

sudo /usr/local/libexec/smbd -D
sudo /usr/local/libexec/nmbd -D
  1. smbd is the Samba Server daemon
  2. nmbd is the Samba Naming Service daemon

Starting samba as a server service

To ensure that Samba services are available between system restarts, follow the above +DISPLAY instructions and

Edit: /etc/rc.local.

After the 'starting local daemons' and before the following echo '.', Insert the following instructions to the /etc/rc.local file:

echo -n 'starting local daemons:'
# [ ... stuff left out ... ]
    if [ -x /usr/local/libexec/smbd ]; then
            echo -n ' smbd'
    if [ -x /usr/local/libexec/nmbd ]; then
            echo -n ' nmbd'
# [ ... stuff left out ... ]
echo '.'

Starting samba as an inetd service

If you chose the inetd path then two files /etc/services and /etc/inetd.conf need to be updated. Note that to only use the rc.local update or this configuration but do not use both as it may cause problems further down the line for you.

/etc/services : change this file to include the following lines

netbios-ssn    139/tcp  
netbios-ns     137/udp

/etc/inetd.conf : change this file to update the lines referring to the above ports

netbios-ssn    stream tcp nowait root /usr/local/libexec/smbd  
netbios-ns     dgram udp wait root /usr/local/libexec/nmbd

Of course one advantage of inetd is you don't have to restart the computer to get things up and running. Just send a -HUP signal to inetd and samba will be started.

Testing the installation

[Config file: /etc/samba/smb.conf | Utility: smbclient]

A quick diagnostic test to verify whether the nmbd/smbd daemons are working is to use the smbclient program, one of the tools supplied with the samba suite of programs. smbclient attempts a client connection to an smb server, so one simple test is to attempt a connection to our localhost smb server.

smbclient -U% -L localhost 

The -U% specifies attempt the connection with User % (% expands to be root, or current login) -L specifies the hostname to connect to (localhost.) The above command should show the Shares available on the localhost server (ipc$ et. al.) as well as other machines in the Work-group.

Sharename      Type        Comment  
----------     -----       -------  
IPC$           IPC         IPC Service (Samba Server)  

Server               Comment  
---------            -------  
OPENBSDBOX           Samba Server  

In the above example, the returned displays the Server OPENBSDBOX as being in the smb workgroup. OPENBSDBOX is the short-name for this sample localhost.

Basic configuration file settings that can be used to approximate the initial part of what your samba server should look like to to set the following settings in the configuration file /etc/samba/smb.conf

workgroup             = myworkgroup  
encrypt passwords  = yes  
smb passwd file     = /etc/samba/smbpasswd  
unix password sync = yes  
passwd program     = /usr/bin/passwd %u  
interfaces        ip_for_eth0 ip_for_eth1 

ipforeth0 and ipforeth1 - These are the ip-addresses for the Ethernet cards on your server that you wish Samba to service through. For example, if you had one ethernet card for your LAN (eth0: and one ethernet card for your external connection (ISP eth1: then you can specify something like:


This would allow machines on your local LAN access to the samba server, but not machines connected through any other devices.

Encrypt Passwords: All the clients i am using with my samba server will be Win98 or Win2000 and i want passwords encrypted when passed between the server and machines in preparation for when the sites go live on the internet. Likewise, i don't want to spend the time setting up the script to modify all the clients to send clear-text passwords.

Setting up SWAT - the Samba Web Administration Tool

[Config file: /etc/services | /etc/inetd.conf ]

SWAT provides a GUI based tool for modifying samba's configuration file /etc/samba/smb.conf. Unfortunately it can also cause disastrous things such as wipe the configuration file (actual experience.) Following are the steps required to configure swat, which is installed but not enabled by the samba installation.

Edit /etc/services to include the following line

swat     901/tcp       # Samba Web Administration Tool 

Edit /etc/inetd.conf to include the following lines

swat      stream    tcp      nowait.400   root     /usr/local/sbin/swat     swat 

Restart the inetd daemon so it can re-read the changes you have made to the /etc/inetd.conf file.

kill -HUP `cat /var/run/` 

You should now be able to point a browser (for example Windows/Internet Explorer) at your webserver:901 to configure samba using the SWAT GUI interface instead of having to manually edit through the smb.conf file.

Security Concern. I think swat sends passwords cleartext. You should be aware of this problem if concerned about potential security compromises by using swat.

Adding Users

[Config file: /etc/samba/smbusers | /etc/samba/smbpasswd | Utility: /usr/local/bin/smbpasswd ]

To make sure that you can access the smb shares from other clients, make sure you add the smb access users to the /etc/samba/smbusers and the /etc/samba/smbpasswd file. I find this necessary because I specify the use of encrypted passwords for authentication.

smbpasswd -a login-id 

For example:

smbpasswd -a samt

More Information:

Run by root, the smbpasswd program can "-a" add a new user to the smbpasswd file. This is also a neat trick for finding out where the smbpasswd is 'supposed' to be located.

Other useful options:

-x         delete the user information  
-d         disable the user account 
-e         enable a disabled account, no effect if account currently enabled  
-r         remote machine on which smb access is to be changed.

Co-habiting with NT Server - Primary Domain Controller

As my environments is OpenBSD/Samba joining an existing Windows NT Primary Domain Controller (PDC) I need to maintain authentication on one server to minimise work-load. For this discussion we will use DEMODOMAIN as the domain and PDCSERVER as the name of the Primary Domain Controller (Windows NT 4.0x server) server.

The following are the basic steps for enabling NT Domain authentication for Samba connections.

  • On the PDC, Manually add the Samba Server netbios name as an NT Server/Workstation
  • Join the Domain from the samba server using smbpasswd -j DEMODOMAIN -r PDCSERVER
  • Modify smb.conf to specify encrypted passwords and security=domain
  • Restart the Samba Server

Adding the Samba Server to the Primary Domain Controller

On the Win NT (4.0 ) PDC Server, start the Administrator -> Server Manager program. Add the OpenBSD/Samba server you have installed as a "Windows NT Workstation or Server"

On the Win2000 Advanced Server PDC, start the Administrator -> Active Directory Users and Computers. Select the Domain you will be adding the OpenBSD/Samba server to. Add a new computer and make sure you select the check-box "Allow pre-Windows 2000 computers to use this account"

For the name of the OpenBSD/Samba server, use the NetBIOS name you have either specified in /etc/samba/smb.conf, or use the short-name of the server (OPENBSDBOX for this example).

Joining the Samba server to the Primary Domain Controller

This only works if the OpenBSD/Samba server has been 'installed' into the domain as mentioned above, so make sure that you have followed the above step and verified the OpenBSD/Samba server is a valid 'NT Workstation or Server.'

From the OpenBSD/Samba machine join the Primary Domain by using the smbpasswd "join" facility

smbpasswd -j DEMO_DOMAIN -r PDC_SERVER

Updating /etc/samba/smb.conf

To complete joining the Domain, we need to make a few configuration changes. (a) we need to tell Samba to use the Primary Domain Controller for authentication, and (b) We need to use encrypted passwords. Windows NT sp3 and greater default to using encrypted password transmission.

File /etc/samba/smb.conf

domain controller = PDC_SERVER  
encrypt passwords = yes 

Restart the samba server and user connections will now be verified through the Windows NT Domain Controller. Note that users still need a valid account on the server if user directories are expected.

Authentication for NT, Win9X Workstations

[Ref: Samba-2.2.2/docs/Samba-HOWTO-Collection.pdf]

With later versions of Samba (2.2.2) we are able to use the OpenBSD/Samba combination to authenticate users for a LAN comprising Windows NT and Win9X clients. In this scenario, your OpenBSD/Samba server is the Primary Domain Controller (Windows Speak) and provides authentication for your Windows clients.

By configuring your clients to forcibly join the domain, you can ensure all workstation users must be validated from the OpenBSD/Samba server.

We may want to do this if we do not have a legitimate (Microsoft) Windows Server that can authenticate as the primary domain controller.

The Samba distribution actually comes with a HOWTO for this task (Chapter 8. How to Configure Samba 2.2 as a Primary Domain Controller)

In short, we set the configurations (in a working Samba system):

  • Configuration File settings
  • Machine Account Creation<

Configuration File settings

To configure your Samba server to provide user authentication you will need to include the following.

workgroup = myworkgroup
security = user
domain master = yes
local master = yes
domain logons = yes 
add user script = /etc/samba/my_add_user %u

Security is set to user (not domain as you would initially expect.) The server is set to be the domain master and service domain logons which is where we will configure user authentication.

Machine Account Creation.

The add user script will be used by Samba to add a machine account for joining NT Workstations to the domain. This script will create an /etc/passwd entry using the client workstation's netbios name. At this writing (Samba 2.2.2) Samba requires the /etc/passwd entry before it can create a Samba account for the workstation.

Since OpenBSD typically does not allow workstations to have the dollar character "$" in a user-id we need to modify the useradd source to allow the dollar character "$". Of course, you can manually create the accounts and not need to change the source code. Unix, including OpenBSD, readily allows the $ sign, but the user creation programs do not normally allow the use of dollar signs for a number of practical reasons.

Using stunnel to secure SWAT password communication

[ stunnel-3.8.tgz | [FAQ 10.6 Setting up a Secure HTTP Server with SSL]( | Samba Book]

Samba can be set up to communicate exclusively through SSL, which is great but seems to be problematically difficult (as in real difficult) to roll out on a WinX environment. By at least forcing SWAT communications to use SSL then we add one level of security ? Using information available from the Samba site and the OpenBSD FAQ, I have generated this step-by-step list for using SSL with SWAT under OpenBSD (installation with 2.7)

  1. install the stunnel package
pkg_add /[location-of-packages]/stunnel-3.8.tgz 

After stunnel is installed, you have to create a server certificate and put the result in /etc/ssl/private/stunnel.pem. For more information on how to create certificates, read ssl(8). For more information on stunnel, read stunnel(8).

  1. Prepare certificate for stunnel. According to samba doc's stunnel documentation says that a blank line is needed between private key and certificate and another blank line at the end of the file (make sure you have created the server certificates per references above.)
echo "" > ~/blankline.txt
# cat /etc/ssl/private/server.key ~/blankline.txt /etc/ssl/server.crt \ 
    ~/blankline.txt > /etc/ssl/stunnel.pem
  1. Move the stunnel.pem file to a standardised location
mv /etc/ssl/stunnel.pem /etc/ssl/private
  1. Set the file permissions so no root have no access to the file
chmod 700 /etc/ssl/private/stunnel.pem 
  1. Remove swat entry from inetd.conf (restart inetd)
kill -HUP `cat /var/run/`
  1. Start stunnel
/usr/local/sbin/stunnel -p /etc/ssl/private/stunnel.pem \
      -d 901 -l  /usr/local/sbin/swat -- swat
  1. We now include stunnel into the configuration for SWAT

Edit /etc/rc.conf.local to include the following line:


Edit: /etc/rc.local.

After the 'starting local daemons' and before the following echo '.', Insert the following instructions to the /etc/rc.local file:

echo -n 'starting local daemons:'

# [ ... stuff left out ... ] 
if [ -f /etc/samba/smb.conf ]; then 
   if [ X"${smbd}" = X"YES" -a X"${nmbd}" = X"YES" -a X"${stunnel_swat}" = X"YES" -a -x /usr/local/sbin/stunnel ]; 
       echo -n ' stunnel_swat';    
       /usr/local/sbin/stunnel -p /etc/ssl/private/stunnel.pem -d 901 -l  /usr/local/sbin/swat --swat 
# [ ... stuff left out ... ]
echo '.'

Now each restart of the machine will automatically check to see whether we have enabled stunnel for swat in the configuration file (rc.conf) and then start the stunnel. If we wish to disable stunnel for swat we can simply change stunnelswat=YES to stunnelswat=NO.

Connect to the SSL enabled site using https://your_sambaserver:901 and accept the certificate.

Getting at Windows Shares

package: Sharity-light12.tgz

Sometimes you want to access the Windows (eg. Win95, Win98, Win2000, WinNT) file share from within the Unix box. Sharity-Light is similar to the Linux only smbfs (smbmount, smbumount) which allows the user to mount a Windows file-share onto your unix file-system.

Check out the developer's website for more information on the "light" version and their commercial product.