Setting up Samba as an Active Directory Domain Controller

From SambaWiki

Samba4 developer howto, December 2004

This is a very basic document on how to setup a simple Samba4 server. This is aimed at developers who are already familiar with Samba3 and wish to participate in Samba4 development. This is not aimed at production use of Samba4.

Step 1: download Samba4

If you have downloaded the Samba4 code via a tarball released from the website, Step 1 has already been completed for you. For testing with the version released in the tarball, you may continue on to Step 2. Note that the references below to the top-level directory named "samba4" will instead be based on the name of the tarball downloaded (e.g. "samba-4.0.0alpha3" for the tarball samba-4.0.0alpha3.tar.gz).

There are 2 methods of doing this:

  • Via Rsync: "rsync -avz samba4"
  • Via Git: "git clone git:// samba4; cd samba4 && git checkout -b v4-0-test origin/v4-0-test; cd .."

Both methods will create a directory called "samba4" in the current directory. If you don't have rsync or git then install one of them.

Since only released versions of Samba contain a pre-generated configure script, you will have to generate it by hand:

$ cd samba4/source
$ ./

Note that the above rsync command will give you a checked out git repository. So if you also have git you can update it to the latest version at some future date using:

 $ cd samba4
 $ git pull origin v4-0-test

Step 2: compile Samba4

Recommended optional development libraries: - acl and xattr development libraries (libattr1-dev package in Debian/Ubuntu) - blkid development libraries (libblkid-dev package in Debian/Ubuntu) - gnutls (libgnutls-dev package in Debian/Ubuntu) - readline (libreadline5-dev package in Debian/Ubuntu)

Run this:

 $ cd samba4/source
 $ ./configure
 $ make

Step 3: install Samba4

Run this as a user who have permission to write to the install directory (defaults to /usr/local/samba). Use --prefix option to configure above to change this.

 # make install

Step 4: provision Samba4

The "provision" step sets up a basic user database. Must be run as a user with permission to write to the install directory.

 # cd source
 # ./bin/smbpython setup/provision --realm=YOUR.REALM --domain=YOURDOM --adminpass=SOMEPASSWORD --server-role='domain controller'

REMINDER: Use the path to smbpython, as the provision command will not work with the system python.

'YOURDOM' is the NT4 style domain name. 'YOUR.REALM' is your kerberos realm, which is typically your DNS domain name.

Step 5: Create a simple smb.conf

The provisioning will create a very simple smb.conf with no shares by default. You will need to update it to add at least one share. For example:

       path = /data/test
       read only = no

Step 6: starting Samba4

The simplest is to just run "smbd", but as a developer you may find the following more useful:

  # smbd -i -M single

that means "start smbd without messages in stdout, and running a single process. That mode of operation makes debugging smbd with gdb particularly easy.

Note that now it is no longer necessary to have an instance of nmbd from Samba 3 running. If you are running any smbd or nmbd processes they need to be stopped before starting smbd from Samba 4.

Make sure you put the bin and sbin directories from your new install in your $PATH. Make sure you run the right version!

Step 7: testing Samba4

try this command:

    $ smbclient //localhost/test -Uadministrator%SOMEPASSWORD

NOTE about filesystem support

To use the advanced features of Samba4 you need a filesystem that supports both the "user" and "system" xattr namespaces.

If you run Linux with a 2.6 kernel and ext3 this means you need to include the option "user_xattr" in your /etc/fstab. For example:

/dev/hda3 /home ext3 user_xattr 1 1

You also need to compile your kernel with the XATTR and SECURITY options for your filesystem. For ext3 that means you need:


If you are running a Linux 2.6 kernel with CONFIG_IKCONFIG_PROC defined you can check this with the following command:

  $ zgrep CONFIG_EXT3_FS /proc/config.gz

If you don't have a filesystem with xattr support, then you can simulate it by using the option:

  posix:eadb = /usr/local/samba/eadb.tdb

that will place all extra file attributes (NT ACLs, DOS EAs, streams etc), in that tdb. It is not efficient, and doesn't scale well, but at least it gives you a choice when you don't have a modern filesystem.

Testing your filesystem

To test your filesystem support, install the 'attr' package and run the following 4 commands as root:

 # touch test.txt
 # setfattr -n user.test -v test test.txt
 # setfattr -n security.test -v test2 test.txt
 # getfattr -d test.txt
 # getfattr -n security.test -d test.txt

You should see output like this:

 # file: test.txt
 # file: test.txt

If you get any "Operation not supported" errors then it means your kernel is not configured correctly, or your filesystem is not mounted with the right options.

If you get any "Operation not permitted" errors then it probably means you didn't try the test as root.

Configure Windows XP Pro client to join Samba 4 Active Directory

Active Directory is a powerful administration servers which able to centralize manage all Windows 2000, windows XP Pro, all Windows 2003, and Windows Vista Business Edition effectively. To test the real samba 4 capability, we use Windows XP Pro as testing environment (Windows XP Pro won't work with Active Directory).

To allow Samba 4 Active Directory or Microsoft Active Directory to manage a computer, we need to join the computer into the active directory. It involve:-

1. Configure DNS Setting
2. Configure date/time and time zone
3. Joining into domain

Step 1: Configure DNS Setting for Windows XP Pro

Before we configure the DNS setting, verified whether you able to ping the Ubuntu 7.04 Server's IP Address. If you not able to ping the server, verified your IP address, Ubuntu's Firewall and etc.

Once the network is ready between server and client,

 1. Right Click My Network Places -> Properties
 2. Double click local area network->Properties
 3. Double click tcp/ip
 4. Use static dns server, add the Samba 4 server's ip address inside the primary dns server column. Configure DNS Screen Shoot
 5. Press ok, ok, ok again until finish.
 6. Open a command prompt, type

'ping' (change mis1 to suit your custom setting)

If you get correct reply, then it mean you Windows XP setting is correct and Ubuntu Server's DNS services is working well.

Step 2: Configure date/time and time zone

Active Directory using kerberos as backend for authentication. In order to let the authentication working well the date/time difference between the server and client must less than 5 minute.

 1. Change the timezone in Windows XP Pro so that server and client using same time zone. In my computer, I use Asia/Kuala_Lumpur (I come from Malaysia).Changing Time Zone Screen Shoot
 2. Change the date/time so the client have same HH:MM with the server Changing Date/Time Screen Shoot

Step 3: Joining windows XP Pro into Domain

Now your Windows XP Pro is ready to join the active directory domain,

As administrator:-

 1. Right Click my Computer-> Properties
 2. Choose Computer Name, click change..
 3. Click option 'Domain', insert (if you failed, try testing1)(screen shoot)
 4. When it request username/password, type administrator as username, testing1 as password(Refer Testing Samba4 Active Directory in Ubuntu 7.04 howto).
 5. It will tell you the Windows XP has successfully join into Active Directory Domain, and you need to restart.
 6. After restart, before login you can press option to choose either you want to login to testing1 domain or mis1 (localhost).
 7. Choose domain testing1, insert username 'administrator', password = 'testing1'
 8. If you login successfully, then you able to enjoy samba 4 active directory services at next section.

Viewing Samba 4 Active Directory object from Windows XP Pro

Due to Samba 4 SWAT is not yet ready for production, we need install windows 2003 adminpak into windows XP in order to manage the domain(It is user friendly). Before begin, make sure the domain administrator have administrative right to control your computer.(To give any user administrative right, in Windows XP Pro, right click my computer, press manage-> choose groups-> doble click administrators and add members from domain into the member list. During you add member from active directory as member, it will prompt you to enter active directory username/password).

Step 1: Installing windows 2003 adminpak and support tools into windows XP Pro

 1. In Windows XP, download adminpak and supporttools from

 2. Install it until it tell you the program is install successfully.
 3. Press start->run, type 'dsa.msc', if a window 'active directory users and computers' prompt up, it mean you had install adminpak it successfully.
 4 Go to c:\Program Files\Support Tools to check whether the support is existing or not, if yes then your windows XP Pro is ready to manage the samba 4 active directory.

Step 2: Viewing samba 4 active directory content

 1. Login as domain '' administrator, press start->run.
 2. type dsa.msc.Screen Shoot
 3  Expand the tree to see existing object in domain. Active Directory Screen Shoot

Managing Samba 4 Active Directory From WIndows XP Pro

Due to Samba 4 Swat is not ready, managing samba 4 now is a little bit tricky. Most of the configuration we can done easily with active directory users and computers (dsa.msc), for adding a new users we need to use Windows 2003 support tools.

Step 1: Adding user into Samba 4 Active Directory

Same with samba 3, samba 4 need an existing unix user before samba 4 user. Basically this task involve 3 jobs.

 1. Add Unix User in Ubuntu Feisty.
 $sudo useradd demo
 $sudo passwd demo (type whatever password you like)
 2. Using SWAT to add samba user.
   2.1 Open up mozilla-firefox
   2.2 open url http://samba-4-server-ip:901
   2.3 User = administrator, password = testing1, domain = testing,->Login. 
   2.4 click installation-> new user.
   2.5 type username=demo, unix name = demo, password you like twice Screen shoot for add user using swat

Modify the user from Windows XP.

   2.1 Start -> run -> dsa.msc
   2.2 Open tree, click container 'users'-> double click 'demo'.
   2.3 Edit first name, lastname and username Screen shoot for edit general user info with dsa.msc
   2.4 Go to account tab, fill in 'demo' in both username logon name, choose domain (not the pre-win 2000) column.Screen shoot for edit user account
   2.5  set password never expired if you more convenient with it.
   2.6  Apply, then try to login with new user.

If you able to login, then mean the user is successfully created.

Step 2: Adding groups into Samba 4 Active Directory

To manage resource more effectively, we need to use groups. Same with users we need to have a unix group and samba groups. I haven't test whether the groups is working properly, but I guess more or less this method is correct(Please feed back if you found any error).

 1. Creating Unix Groups
   $sudo groupadd grpdemo
   $sudo gedit /etc/group
   we can add user into group with following syntax:- 
   grpdemo:x:1007:demo, user1, user2
 2. Adding group into samba 4 active directory
   2.1 As domain administrator, start->run->dsa.msc.
   2.2 Open tree, right click 'users' container->new->groups
   2.3 type group name 'grpdemo' in both column->ok (others leave default)
 3. Link the Unix groups to samba groups
   3.1 Start mozilla-firefox (or IE), open url : http://samba-svr-ip:901
   3.2 Username=administrator, password = testing1, domain = testing1
   3.3 Choose preview of new swat-> modules -> LDB Browser
   3.4 Open up sam.ldb tree, open up dc=testing1,dc=org, open cn=users
   3.5 Click CN= grpdemo-> press modify button
   3.6 At bottom most of right side, press '+' (Which is adding a new field)
   3.7 Put field name(left text box) = 'unixName', data(right text box) = 'grpdemo' -> ok

Adding organization unit (ou) into samba 4 domain

Organizational Unit (ou), is a most powerful feature I found in active directory. Basically this is some kind of container which allow us to drag & drop users,computers into it.

we can link several kind of group policy (You can consider it is a graphical setting) to an ou, and the setting will deploy to all users/computers under the ou. With a single domain we can have many ou and sub ou. So the result is it greatly reduce administrative afford because we able to manage everything via ou. The implementation of group policy will discuss at next chapter.

Before we create an ou, we must know how ou look likes? By default we can see a sample ou 'Domain Controllers', it looks difference with 'users' and 'computers' container right? We can deploy group policy to users or computers container.

 1. To create an ou, as testing1 domain administrator, start -> run -> dsa.msc
 2. right click
 3. choose new -? organizationalunit
 4. type 'oudemo'
 5. Then you will see an new ou appear, with the name 'oudemo'.
 6. You can drag user 'demo' into the new ou (Don't move other users! Unless you want to get stuck!)
 7. Right Click the 'oudemo', you can click sub ou with method 3.

Normaly we create ou base on total department we have, what branch we have and etc. Don't confuse between groups and ou, groups use to control the permission, ou use for deploy setting to all users/computers under it.

Implementing Group Policy (GPO) into samba 4 domain

 Recently Samba 4 Active Directory had support group policy, and we can create the group policy on the fly. The basic ideal of group policy is:-
 1. Group Policy have 2 kind of settings, computers and users.
 2. Computer setting apply to computer, user setting apply to user
 3. We link the group policy to particular ou, and the group policy will effect all computers/users under the ou.
 1. To add a group policy, right click 'oudemo' ou->properties
 2. Choose group policy
 3. Press new, name as 'gpoudemo'
 4. Press edit to edit the policy.
 5. Here will demonstrate how to block user from access the control panel. Open the tree 'User Configuration'->'control paner'.
 6. Double click prohibit access to the control panel
 7. Press enable and then press ok. Now the all users under 'oudemo' won't able to access the control panel.
 8. Make sure user demo is inside the 'oudemo'(You can drag and drop it). 
 9. Logout and login as user 'demo'
 10. You'll find user demo not able to access control panel
 * User configuration will effect once we logout and login.
 * Computer configuration will effect once restart computer

To learn more how to manage, implementing organizational unit, group policy, active directory. Google for Windows 2003 Active Directory implementation.

Thanks for great efford samba development team, Good luck everybody End  :)