Setting up Samba as a Domain Member: Difference between revisions

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idmap config * : backend = tdb
idmap config * : backend = tdb
idmap config * : range = 3000-7999
idmap config * : range = 3000-7999
idmap config * : backend = rid
idmap config SAMDOM : backend = rid
idmap config * : range = 10000-9999999
idmap config SAMDOM : range = 10000-9999999

For information on the parameters, see the <code>smb.conf(5)</code> man page.
For information on the parameters, see the <code>smb.conf(5)</code> man page.

Revision as of 19:12, 22 February 2022


A Samba domain member is a Linux machine joined to a domain that is running Samba and does not provide domain services, such as an NT4 primary domain controller (PDC) or Active Directory (AD) domain controller (DC).

On a Samba domain member, you can:

  • Use domain users and groups in local ACLs on files and directories.
  • Set up shares to act as a file server.
  • Set up printing services to act as a print server.
  • Configure PAM to enable domain users to log on locally or to authenticate to local installed services.

For details about setting up a Samba NT4 domain or Samba AD, see Domain Control.

Preparing the Installation

General Preparation

  • Verify that no Samba processes are running:
# ps ax | egrep "samba|smbd|nmbd|winbindd"
If the output lists any samba, smbd, nmbd, or winbindd processes, shut down the processes.
  • If you previously run a Samba installation on this host:
  • Backup the existing smb.conf file. To list the path to the file, enter:
# smbd -b | grep "CONFIGFILE"
   CONFIGFILE: /usr/local/samba/etc/samba/smb.conf
  • Remove all Samba database files, such as *.tdb and *.ldb files. To list the folders containing Samba databases:
  LOCKDIR: /usr/local/samba/var/lock/
  STATEDIR: /usr/local/samba/var/locks/
  CACHEDIR: /usr/local/samba/var/cache/
  PRIVATE_DIR: /usr/local/samba/private/
Starting with a clean environment helps you to prevent confusion, and no files from your previous Samba installation are mixed with your new domain member installation.

Preparing a Domain Member to Join an Active Directory Domain

Configuring DNS

Active Directory (AD) uses DNS in the background, to locate other DCs and services, such as Kerberos. Thus AD domain members and servers must be able to resolve the AD DNS zones.

The following describes how to manually configure Linux clients to use DNS servers. If you are running a DHCP server providing DNS settings to your client computers, configure your DHCP server to send the IP addresses of your DNS servers.

Configuring the /etc/resolv.conf

Set the DNS server IP and AD DNS domain in your /etc/resolv.conf. For example:


Some utilities, such as NetworkManager can overwrite manual changes in that file. See your distribution's documentation for information about how to configure name resolution permanently.

For NetworkManager, set the DNS server using either the graphical interface or nmcli and restart the NetworkManager service. The visible /etc/resolv.conf file:


won't list the DNS server explicitly but nevertheless works correctly.

Testing DNS resolution

To verify that your DNS settings are correct and your client or server is able to resolve IP addresses and host names use the nslookup or host commands. The nslookup command is available on Linux and Windows.

Forward Lookup

To resolve a host name its IP address:

# nslookup


alternatively you can use the host command:

# host has address

Reverse Lookup

To resolve a IP address to its host name:

# nslookup
Address:	name =


# host domain name pointer

Note that in a Samba AD, the reverse zone is not automatically configured. To set up a reverse zone, see DNS Administration.

Resolving SRV Records

Active Directory (AD) uses SRV records to locate services, such as Kerberos and LDAP. To verify that SRV records are resolved correctly, use the nslookup interactive shell:

$ nslookup
> set type=SRV
Address:	service = 0 100 389	service = 0 100 389
> exit


$ host -t SRV has SRV record 0 100 389 has SRV record 0 100 389

Error Messages

  • The DNS server is not able to resolve the host name:
** server can't find NXDOMAIN
  • The DNS server is not able to resolve the IP address:
** server can't find NXDOMAIN
  • The DNS server used is not available:
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached

Configuring Kerberos

Samba supports Heimdal and MIT Kerberos back ends. To configure Kerberos on the domain member, set the following in your /etc/krb5.conf file:

	default_realm = SAMDOM.EXAMPLE.COM
	dns_lookup_realm = false
	dns_lookup_kdc = true

The previous example configures Kerberos for the SAMDOM.EXAMPLE.COM realm.

The Samba teams recommends to no set any further parameters in the /etc/krb5.conf file.

If your /etc/krb5.conf contains an include line it will not work, you Must remove this line.

Configuring Time Synchronisation

Kerberos requires a synchronised time on all domain members. Thus it is recommended to set up an NTP client. For further details, see Configuring Time Synchronisation on a Unix Domain Member.

Local Host Name Resolution

When you join the host to the domain, Samba tries to register the host name in the AD DNS zone. For this, the net utility must be able to resolve the host name using DNS or using a correct entry in the /etc/hosts file.

To verify that your host name resolves correctly, use the getent hosts command. For example:

# getent hosts M1    M1

The host name and FQDN must not resolve to the IP address or any other IP address other than the one used on the LAN interface of the domain member.

If no output is displayed or the host is resolved to the wrong IP address and you are not using dhcp, set the correct entry in the /etc/hosts file. For example:      localhost    M1

If you are using dhcp, check that /etc/hosts only contains the '' line shown above. If you continue to have problems, contact the sysadmin who controls your DHCP server.

  • On debian related systems you will also see the line hostname in /etc/hosts, remove it before you install samba.
  • Please keep the line : localhost

if you need to add aliases to the machine hostname, add them to the end of the line that starts with the machines ipaddress, not the line.

Preparing a Domain Member to Join an NT4 Domain

For joining a host to an NT4 domain, no preparation is required.

Installing Samba

For details, see Installing Samba.

Configuring Samba

Setting up a Basic smb.conf File

Before joining the domain, configure the domain member's smb.conf file:

  • To locate the file, enter:
# smbd  -b | grep CONFIGFILE
  CONFIGFILE: /etc/samba/smb.conf

To create a basic smb.conf, you need something like this:

       security = ADS
       workgroup = SAMDOM
       realm = SAMDOM.EXAMPLE.COM

       log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
       log level = 1

       # Default ID mapping configuration using the rid
       # idmap backend. This will work out of the box for simple setups
       # as well as complex setups with trusted domains.
       idmap config * : backend = tdb
       idmap config * : range = 3000-7999
       idmap config SAMDOM : backend = rid
       idmap config SAMDOM : range = 10000-9999999

For information on the parameters, see the smb.conf(5) man page.

The following table lists the most importnat idmap backends with links to their documentation:

Back End Documentation Man Page
ad idmap config ad idmap_ad(8)
rid idmap config rid idmap_rid(8)
autorid idmap config autorid idmap_autorid(8)
hash idmap_hash(8)
ldap idmap_ldap(8)
nss idmap_nss(8)

Choosing an idmap backend

When Setting up smb.conf on a Unix domain member, special attention must be taken to for correct idmap configuration.

  • Do you require users and groups to have the same IDs everywhere, including Samba AD DCs ?
  • Do you only want your users and groups to have the same IDs on Unix domain members ?
  • Do you want or need individual users to have different login shells and/or Unix home directory paths ?

If you need your users to have different login shells and/or Unix home directory paths, or you want them to have the same ID everywhere, you will need to use the winbind 'ad' imdap backend and add RFC2307 attributes to AD.

If you use the 'rid' or 'autorid' winbind backend, these will calculate the user and group IDs from the Windows RID, if you use the same [global] section of the smb.conf on every Unix domain member, you will get the same IDs. If you use the 'rid' or 'autorid' backend you do not need to add anything to AD and in fact, any RFC2307 attributes will be ignored. When using these backends you must set the 'template shell' and 'template homedir' parameters in smb.conf, these are global settings and everyone gets the same login shell and Unix home directory path, unlike the RFC2307 attributes where you can set individual Unix home directory paths and shells.

If you require your users and groups to have the same ID everywhere and have different login shell's and Unix home directory path's, you can do this by using the winbind 'ad' backend. If you only require the same ID everywhere with the same login shell and Unix home directory, you will need to add the template lines to smb.conf. If you do use the 'ad' backend, you need to add the relevant RFC2307 attributes to AD.

Mapping the Domain Administrator Account to the Local root User

Samba enables you to map domain accounts to a local account. Use this feature to execute file operations on the domain member's file system as a different user than the account that requested the operation on the client.

To map the domain administrator to the local root account:

  • Add the following parameter to the [global] section of your smb.conf file:
username map = /usr/local/samba/etc/
  • Create the /usr/local/samba/etc/ file with the following content:
!root = SAMDOM\Administrator

For further details, see username map parameter in the smb.conf(5) man page.

Joining the Domain

  • To join the host to an Active Directory (AD), enter:
# net ads join -U administrator
Enter administrator's password: Passw0rd
Using short domain name -- SAMDOM
Joined 'M1' to dns domain ''

  • To join the host to an NT4 domain, enter:
# net rpc join -U administrator
Enter administrator's password: Passw0rd
Joined domain SAMDOM.

Joining the Domain with samba-tool (>4.15.0 only)

  • To join the host to an Active Directory (AD), enter:
# samba-tool domain join MEMBER -U administrator

If you have problems joining the domain, check your configuration. For further help, see Troubleshooting Samba Domain Members.

Configuring the Name Service Switch

To enable the name service switch (NSS) library to make domain users and groups available to the local system:

  • Append the winbind entry to the following databases in the /etc/nsswitch.conf file:
passwd: files winbind
group:  files winbind
  • Keep the files entry as first source for both databases. This enables NSS to look up domain users and groups from the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files before querying the Winbind service.
  • Do not add the winbind entry to the NSS shadow database. This can cause the wbinfo utility fail.

Starting the Services

Start the following services to have a fully functioning Unix domain member:

  • The smbd service
  • The nmbd service
  • The winbindd service

Samba does not provide System V init scripts, systemd, upstart, or service files for other init services.

  • If you installed Samba using packages, use the script or service configuration file provided by the package to start Samba.
  • If you built Samba, see your distribution's documentation for how to create a script or configuration to start services.

Testing the Winbindd Connectivity

Sending a Winbindd Ping

To verify if the Winbindd service is able to connect to Active Directory (AD) Domain Controllers (DC) or a primary domain controller (PDC), enter:

# wbinfo --ping-dc
checking the NETLOGON for domain[SAMDOM] dc connection to "DC.SAMDOM.EXAMPLE.COM" succeeded

If the previous command fails, verify:

  • That the winbindd service is running.
  • Your smb.conf file is set up correctly.

Using Domain Accounts and Groups in Operating System Commands

Looking up Domain Users and Groups

The libnss_winbind library enables you to look up domain users and groups. For example:

  • To look up the domain user SAMDOM\demo01:
# getent passwd SAMDOM\\demo01
  • To look up the domain group Domain Users:
# getent group "SAMDOM\\Domain Users"
SAMDOM\domain users:x:10000:

Assigning File Permissions to Domain Users and Groups

The name service switch (NSS) library enables you to use domain user accounts and groups in commands. For example to set the owner of a file to the demo01 domain user and the group to the Domain Users domain group, enter:

# chown "SAMDOM\\demo01:SAMDOM\\domain users" file.txt

Setting up Additional Services on the Domain Member

On a Samba domain member, you can additionally set up:


For details, see Troubleshooting Samba Domain Members.