Chapter 9. Users and Security

In this chapter, we cover the basic concepts of managing security in Samba so that you can set up your Samba server with a security policy suited to your network.

One of Samba's most complicated tasks lies in reconciling the security models of Unix and Windows systems. Samba must identify users by associating them with valid usernames and groups, authenticate them by checking their passwords, then control their access to resources by comparing their access rights to the permissions on files and directories. These are complex topics on their own, and it doesn't help that there are three different operating system types to deal with (Unix, Windows 95/98/Me, and Windows NT/2000/XP) and that Samba supports multiple methods of handling user authentication.

Users and Groups

Let's start out as simply as possible and add support for a single user. The easiest way to set up a client user is to create a Unix account (and home directory) for that individual on the server and notify Samba of the user's existence. You can do the latter by creating a disk share that maps to the user's home directory in the Samba configuration file and restricting access to that user with the valid users option. For example:

[dave]

        path = /home/dave

        comment = Dave's home directory

        writable = yes

        valid users = dave

The valid users option lists the users allowed to access the share. In this case, only the user dave is allowed to access the share. In some situations it is possible to specify that any user can access a disk share by using the guest ok parameter. Because we don't wish to allow guest access, that option is absent here. If you allow both authenticated users and guest users access to the same share, you can make some files accessible to guest users by assigning world-readable permissions to those files while restricting access to other files to particular users or groups.

When client users access a Samba share, they have to pass two levels of restriction. Unix permissions on files and directories apply as usual, and configuration parameters specified in the Samba configuration file apply as well. In other words, a client must first pass Samba's security mechanisms (e.g., authenticating with a valid username and password, passing the check for the valid users parameter and the read only parameter, etc.), as well as the normal Unix file and directory permissions of its Unix-side user, before it can gain read/write access to a share.

Remember that you can abbreviate the user's home directory by using the %H variable. In addition, you can use the Unix username variable %u and/or the client username variable %U in your options as well. For example :

[dave]

    comment = %U home directory

    writable = yes

    valid users = dave

    path = %H

With a single user accessing a home directory, access permissions are taken care of when the user account is created. The home directory is owned by the user, and permissions on it are set appropriately. However, if you're creating a shared directory for group access, you need to perform a few more steps. Let's take a stab at a group share for the accounting department in the smb.conf file:

[accounting]

    comment = Accounting Department Directory

    writable = yes

    valid users = @account

    path = /home/samba/accounting

    create mode = 0660

    directory mode = 0770

The first thing we did differently is to specify @account as the valid user instead of one or more individual usernames. This is shorthand for saying that the valid users are represented by the Unix group account. These users will need to be added to the group entry account in the system group file ( /etc/group or equivalent) to be recognized as part of the group. Once they are, Samba will recognize those users as valid users for the share.

In addition, you need to create a shared directory that the members of the group can access and point to it with the path configuration option. Here are the Unix commands that create the shared directory for the accounting department (assuming /home/samba already exists):

# mkdir /home/samba/accounting

# chgrp account /home/samba/accounting

# chmod 770 /home/samba/accounting

There are two other options in this smb.conf example, both of which we saw in the previous chapter. These options are create mode and directory mode. These options set the maximum file and directory permissions that a new file or directory can have. In this case, we have denied all world access to the contents of this share. (This is reinforced by the chmod command, shown earlier.)

Handling Multiple Individual Users

Let's return to user shares for a moment. If we have several users for whom to set up home directory shares, we probably want to use the special [homes] share that we introduced in Chapter 8. With the [homes] share, all we need to say is:

[homes]

    browsable = no

    writable = yes

The [homes] share is a special section of the Samba configuration file. If a user attempts to connect to an ordinary share that doesn't appear in the smb.conf file (such as specifying it with a UNC in Windows Explorer), Samba will search for a [homes] share. If one exists, the incoming share name is assumed to be a username and is queried as such in the password database ( /etc/passwd or equivalent) file of the Samba server. If it appears, Samba assumes the client is a Unix user trying to connect to his home directory.

As an illustration, let's assume that sofia is attempting to connect to a share called [sofia] on the Samba server. There is no share by that name in the configuration file, but a [homes] share exists and user sofia is present in the password database, so Samba takes the following steps:

  1. Samba creates a new disk share called [sofia] with the path specified in the [homes] section. If no path option is specified in [homes], Samba initializes it to her home directory.

  2. Samba initializes the new share's options from the defaults in [globals], as well as any overriding options in [homes] with the exception of browsable.

  3. Samba connects sofia's client to that share.

The [homes] share is a fast, painless way to create shares for your user community without having to duplicate the information from the password database file in the smb.conf file. It does have some peculiarities, however, that we need to point out:

As we mentioned, there is no need for a path statement in [homes] if the users have Unix home directories in the server's /etc/passwd file. You should ensure that a valid home directory does exist, however, as Samba will not automatically create a home directory for a user and will refuse a tree connect if the user's directory does not exist or is not accessible.

Controlling Access to Shares

Often you will need to restrict the users who can access a specific share for security reasons. This is very easy to do with Samba because it contains a wealth of options for creating practically any security configuration. Let's introduce a few configurations that you might want to use in your own Samba setup.

We've seen what happens when you specify valid users. However, you are also allowed to specify a list of invalid users—users who should never be allowed access to Samba or its shares. This is done with the invalid users option. We hinted at one frequent use of this option earlier: a global default with the [homes] section to ensure that various system users and superusers cannot be forged for access. For example:

[global]

    invalid users = root bin daemon adm sync shutdown \

                        halt mail news uucp operator

    auto services = dave peter bob



[homes]

    browsable = no

    writable = yes

The invalid users option, like valid users, can take group names, preceded by an at sign (@), as well as usernames. In the event that a user or group appears in both lists, the invalid users option takes precedence, and the user or group is denied access to the share.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can explicitly specify users who will be allowed superuser (root) access to a share with the admin users option. An example follows:

[sales]

        path = /home/sales

        comment = Sedona Real Estate Sales Data

        writable = yes

        valid users = sofie shelby adilia

        admin users = mike

This option takes both group names and usernames. In addition, you can specify NIS netgroups by preceding them with an @ as well; if the netgroup is not found, Samba will assume that you are referring to a standard Unix group.

Be careful if you assign administrative privileges to a share for an entire group. The Samba Team highly recommends you avoid using this option, as it essentially gives root access to the specified users or groups for that share.

If you wish to force read-only or read/write access on users who access a share, you can do so with the read list and write list options, respectively. These options can be used on a per-share basis to restrict a writable share or to grant write access to specific users in a read-only share, respectively. For example:

[sales]

        path = /home/sales

        comment = Sedona Real Estate Sales Data

        read only = yes

        write list = sofie shelby

The write list option cannot override Unix permissions. If you've created the share without giving the write-list user write permission on the Unix system, she will be denied write access regardless of the setting of write list.

Guest Access

As mentioned earlier, you can configure a share using guest ok = yes to allow access to guest users. This works only when using share-level security, which we will cover later in this chapter. When a user connects as a guest, authenticating with a username and password is unnecessary, but Samba still needs a way to map the connected client to a user on the local system. The guest account parameter can be used in the share to specify the Unix account that guest users should be assigned when connecting to the Samba server. The default value for this is set during compilation and is typically nobody, which works well with most Unix versions. However, on some systems the nobody account is not allowed to access some services (e.g., printing), and you might need to set the guest user to ftp or some other account instead.

If you wish to restrict access in a share only to guests—in other words, all clients connect as the guest account when accessing the share—you can use the guest only option in conjunction with the guest ok option, as shown in the following example:

[sales]

        path = /home/sales

        comment = Sedona Real Estate Sales Data

        writable = yes

        guest ok = yes

        guest account = ftp

        guest only = yes

Make sure you specify yes for both guest only and guest ok; otherwise, Samba will not use the guest account that you specify.

Access Control Options

Table 9-1 summarizes the options that you can use to control access to shares.

Table 9-1. Share-level access options

Option

Parameters

Function

Default

Scope

admin users

string (list of usernames)

Users who can perform operations as root

None

Share

valid users

string (list of usernames)

Users who can connect to a share

None

Share

invalid users

string (list of usernames)

Users who will be denied access to a share

None

Share

read list

string (list of usernames)

Users who have read-only access to a writable share

None

Share

write list

string (list of usernames)

Users who have read/write access to a read-only share

None

Share

max connections

numeric

Maximum number of connections for a share at a given time

0

Share

guest only (only guest)

Boolean

If yes, allows only guest access

no

Share

guest account

string (name of account)

Unix account that will be used for guest access

nobody

Share

Username Options

Table 9-2 shows two additional options that Samba can use to correct for incompatibilities in usernames between Windows and Unix.

Table 9-2. Username options

Option

Parameters

Function

Default

Scope

username map

string (filename)

Sets the name of the username mapping file

None

Global

username level

numeric

Indicates the number of capital letters to use when trying to match a username

0

Global

username map

Client usernames on an SMB network can be relatively long (up to 255 characters), while usernames on a Unix network often cannot be longer than eight characters. This means that an individual user can have one username on a client and another (shorter) one on the Samba server. You can get past this issue by mapping a free-form client username to a Unix username of eight or fewer characters. It is placed in a standard text file, using a format that we'll describe shortly. You can then specify the pathname to Samba with the global username map option. Be sure to restrict access to this file; make the root user the file's owner and deny write access to others (with octal permissions of 744 or 644). Otherwise, an untrusted user with access to the file can easily map his client username to the root user of the Samba server.

You can specify this option as follows:

[global]

    username map = /usr/local/samba/private/usermap.txt

Each entry in the username map file should be listed as follows: the Unix username, followed by an equal sign (=), followed by one or more whitespace-separated SMB client usernames. Note that unless instructed otherwise (i.e., a guest connection), Samba will expect both the client and the server user to have the same password. You can also map NT groups to one or more specific Unix groups using the @ sign. Here are some examples:

jarwin = JosephArwin

manderso = MarkAnderson

users = @account

You can also use the asterisk to specify a wildcard that matches any free-form client username as an entry in the username map file:

nobody = *

Comments can be placed in the file by starting the line with a hash mark (#) or a semicolon (;).

Note that you can also use this file to redirect one Unix user to another user. Be careful, though, as Samba and your client might not notify the user that the mapping has been made and Samba might be expecting a different password.

Authentication of Clients

At this point, we should discuss how Samba authenticates users. Each user who attempts to connect to a share not allowing guest access must provide a password to make a successful connection. What Samba does with that password—and consequently the strategy Samba will use to handle user authentication—is the arena of the security configuration option. Samba currently supports four security levels on its network: share, user, server, and domain.

Share-level security

Each share in the workgroup has one or more passwords associated with it. Anyone who knows a valid password for the share can access it.

User-level security

Each share in the workgroup is configured to allow access from certain users. With each initial tree connection, the Samba server verifies users and their passwords to allow them access to the share.

Server-level security

This is the same as user-level security, except that the Samba server uses another server to validate users and their passwords before granting access to the share.

Domain-level security

Samba becomes a member of a Windows NT domain and uses one of the domain's domain controllers—either the PDC or a BDC—to perform authentication. Once authenticated, the user is given a special token that allows her access to any share with appropriate access rights. With this token, the domain controller will not have to revalidate the user's password each time she attempts to access another share within the domain. The domain controller can be a Windows NT/2000 PDC or BDC, or Samba acting as a Windows NT PDC.

Each security policy can be implemented with the global security option, as shown in Table 9-3.

Table 9-3. Security option

Option

Parameters

Function

Default

Scope

security

domain, server, share, or user

Indicates the type of security that the Samba server will use

user

Global

Share-Level Security

With share-level security, each share has one or more passwords associated with it, with the client being authenticated when first connecting to the share. This differs from the other modes of security in that there are no restrictions as to whom can access a share, as long as that individual knows the correct password. Shares often have multiple passwords. For example, one password might grant read-only access, while another might grant read/write access. Security is maintained as long as unauthorized users do not discover the password for a share to which they shouldn't have access.

OS/2 and Windows 95/98/Me both support share-level security on their resources. You can set up share-level security with Windows 95/98/Me by first enabling share-level security using the Access Control tab of the Network Control Panel dialog. Then select the "Share-level access control" radio button (which deselects the "User-level access control" radio button), as shown in Figure 9-1, and click the OK button. Reboot as requested.

Figure 9-1. Selecting share-level security on a Windows 95/98/Me system

Next, right-click a resource—such as a hard drive or a CD-ROM—and select the Properties menu item. This will bring up the Resource Properties dialog box. Select the Sharing tab at the top of the dialog box, and enable the resource as Shared As. From here, you can configure how the shared resource will appear to individual users, as well as assign whether the resource will appear as read-only, read/write, or a mix, depending on the password that is supplied.

You might be thinking that this security model is not a good fit for Samba—and you would be right. In fact, if you set the security = share option in the Samba configuration file, Samba will still reuse the username/password combinations in the system password files to authenticate access. More precisely, Samba will take the following steps when a client requests a connection using share-level security:

  1. When a connection is requested, Samba will accept the password and (if sent) the username of the client.

  2. If the share is guest only , the user is immediately granted access to the share with the rights of the user specified by the guest account parameter; no password checking is performed.

  3. For other shares, Samba appends the username to a list of users who are allowed access to the share. It then attempts to validate the password given in association with that username. If successful, Samba grants the user access to the share with the rights assigned to that user. The user will not need to authenticate again unless a revalidate = yes option has been set inside the share.

  4. If the authentication is unsuccessful, Samba attempts to validate the password against the list of users previously compiled during attempted connections, as well as those specified under the share in the configuration file. If the password matches that of any username (as specified in the system password file, typically /etc/passwd ), the user is granted access to the share under that username.

  5. However, if the share has a guest ok or public option set, the user will default to access with the rights of the user specified by the guest account option.

You can indicate in the configuration file which users should be initially placed on the share-level security user list by using the username configuration option, as shown here:

[global]

    security = share



[accounting1]

    path = /home/samba/accounting1

    guest ok = no

    writable = yes

    username = davecb, pkelly, andyo

Here, when a user attempts to connect to a share, Samba verifies the sent password against each user in its own list, in addition to the passwords of users davecb, pkelly, and andyo. If any of the passwords match, the connection is verified, and the user is allowed. Otherwise, connection to the specific share will fail.

Share-Level Security Options

Table 9-4 shows the options typically associated with share-level security.

Table 9-4. Share-level access options

Option

Parameters

Function

Default

Scope

only user

Boolean

If yes, usernames specified by username are the only ones allowed

no

Share

username (user or users)

string (list of usernames)

Users against which a client's password is tested

None

Share

User-Level Security

The default mode of security with Samba is user-level security. With this method, each share is assigned specific users that can access it. When a user requests a connection to a share, Samba authenticates by validating the given username and password with the authorized users in the configuration file and the passwords in the password database of the Samba server. As mentioned earlier in the chapter, one way to isolate which users are allowed access to a specific share is by using the valid users option for each share:

[global]

    security = user



[accounting1]

    writable = yes

    valid users = bob, joe, sandy

Each user listed can connect to the share if the password provided matches the password stored in the system password database on the server. Once the initial authentication succeeds, the client will not need to supply a password again to access that share unless the revalidate = yes option has been set.

Passwords can be sent to the Samba server in either an encrypted or a nonencrypted format. If you have both types of systems on your network, you should ensure that the passwords represented by each user are stored both in a traditional account database and Samba's encrypted password database. This way, authorized users can gain access to their shares from any type of client.[1] However, we recommend that you move your system to encrypted passwords and abandon nonencrypted passwords if security is an issue. Section 9.4 of this chapter explains how to use encrypted as well as nonencrypted passwords.

Server-Level Security

Server-level security is similar to user-level security. However, with server-level security, Samba delegates password authentication to another SMB password server—typically another Samba server or a Windows NT/2000 server acting as a PDC on the network. Note that Samba still maintains its list of shares and their configuration in its smb.conf file. When a client attempts to make a connection to a particular share, Samba validates that the user is indeed authorized to connect to the share. Samba then attempts to validate the password by passing the username and password to the SMB password server. If the password is accepted, a session is established with the client. See Figure 9-2 for an illustration of this setup.

Figure 9-2. A typical system setup using server-level security

You can configure Samba to use a separate password server under server-level security with the use of the password server global configuration option, as follows:

[global]

    security = server

    password server = mixtec toltec

Note that you can specify more than one machine as the target of the password server; Samba moves down the list of servers in the event that its first choice is unreachable. The servers identified by the password server option are given as NetBIOS names, not their DNS names or equivalent IP addresses. Also, if any of the servers reject the given password, the connection automatically fails—Samba will not attempt another server.

One caveat: when using this option, you still need an account representing that user on the regular Samba server. This is because the Unix operating system needs a username to perform various I/O operations. The preferable method of handling this is to give the user an account on the Samba server but disable the account's password by replacing it in the system password file (e.g., /etc/passwd ) with an asterisk (*).

Domain-Level Security

With domain-level security, the Samba server acts as a member of a Windows domain. Recall from Chapter 1 that each domain has a primary domain controller, which can be a Windows NT/2000 or Samba server offering password authentication. The domain controller keeps track of users and passwords in its own database and authenticates each user when she first logs on and wishes to access another machine's shares.

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, Samba has a similar ability to offer user-level security, but that option is Unix-centric and assumes that the authentication occurs via Unix password files. If the Unix machine is part of an NIS or NIS+ domain, Samba authenticates users transparently against a shared password file in typical Unix fashion. Samba then provides access to the NIS or NIS+ domain from Windows. There is, of course, no relationship between the NIS concept of a domain and a Windows NT domain.

Configuring Samba for domain-level security is covered in Chapter 4 in Section 4.7.

Passwords

Passwords are a thorny issue with Samba. So much so, in fact, that they are often the first major problem that users encounter when they install Samba. At this point, we need to delve deeper into Samba to discover what is happening on the network.

Passwords sent from individual clients can be either encrypted or nonencrypted. Encrypted passwords are, of course, more secure. A nonencrypted, plain-text password can be easily read with a packet-sniffing program, such as the modified tcpdump program for Samba that we used in Chapter 1. Whether passwords are encrypted by default depends on the operating system that the client is using to connect to the Samba server. Table 9-5 lists which Windows operating systems encrypt their passwords and which send plain-text passwords by default.

Table 9-5. Windows operating systems with encrypted passwords

Operating system

Encrypted or plain text

Windows for Workgroups

Plain text

Windows 95

Plain text

Windows 95 with SMB Update

Encrypted

Windows 98

Encrypted

Windows Me

Encrypted

Windows NT 3.x

Plain text

Windows NT 4.0 before SP 3

Plain text

Windows NT 4.0 after SP 3

Encrypted

Windows 2000

Encrypted

Windows XP

Encrypted

Three different encryption methods are used. Windows 95/98/Me clients use a method inherited from Microsoft's LAN Manager network software. Windows NT/2000/XP systems use a newer system, called NT LAN Manager, or NTLM. A newer version of this (called NT LAN Manager Version 2, or NTLMv2) uses a different method for password hashing.

If encrypted passwords are supported, Samba stores the encrypted passwords in a file called smbpasswd. By default, this file is located in the private directory of the Samba distribution (typically /usr/local/samba/private). At the same time, the client stores an encrypted version of a user's password on its own system. The plain-text password is never stored on either system. Each system encrypts the password automatically using a standard algorithm when the password is set or changed.

When a client requests a connection to an SMB server that supports encrypted passwords (such as Samba or Windows NT/2000/XP), the two computers undergo the following negotiations:

  1. The client attempts to negotiate a protocol with the server.

  2. The server responds with a protocol and indicates that it supports encrypted passwords. At this time, it sends back a randomly generated 8-byte challenge string.

  3. The client uses the challenge string as a key to encrypt its already encrypted password using an algorithm predefined by the negotiated protocol. It then sends the result to the server.

  4. The server does the same thing with the encrypted password stored in its database. If the results match, the passwords are equivalent, and the user is authenticated.

Note that even though the original passwords are not involved in the authentication process, you need to be very careful that the encrypted passwords located inside the smbpasswd file are guarded from unauthorized users. If they are compromised, an unauthorized user can break into the system by replaying the steps of the previous algorithm. The encrypted passwords are just as sensitive as the plain-text passwords—this is known as plain-text-equivalent data in the cryptography world. Of course, your local security policy should require that the clients safeguard their plain-text-equivalent passwords as well.

You can configure Samba to accept encrypted passwords with the following global additions to smb.conf. Note that we explicitly name the location of the Samba password file:

[global]

    security = user

    encrypt passwords = yes

    smb passwd file = /usr/local/samba/private/smbpasswd

Samba, however, will not accept any users until the smbpasswd file has been created and the users have been added to it with the smbpasswd command, as we showed you in Chapter 2.

Disabling Encrypted Passwords on the Client

While Unix authentication has been in use for decades—including the use of telnet and rlogin access across the Internet—it embodies well-known security risks. Plaintext passwords are sent over the Internet and can be retrieved from TCP packets by malicious snoopers. However, if you feel that your network is secure and you wish to use standard Unix /etc/passwd authentication for all clients, you can do so, but you must disable encrypted passwords on those Windows clients that default to using them.

To do this, you must modify the Windows registry on each client system. The Samba distribution includes the .reg files you need for this, located in the source distribution's /docs/Registry directory. Depending on the platform, you use one of the following files:

Win95_PlainPassword.reg

Win98_PlainPassword.reg

WinME_PlainPassword.reg

NT_PlainPassword.reg

Win2000_PlainPassword.reg

(For Windows XP, use the .reg file for Windows 2000.) You can perform the installation by copying the appropriate .reg file to a DOS floppy, inserting the floppy in the client's floppy drive, and running the .reg file from the Run menu item in the client's Start menu. (Or you can just double-click the file's icon.)

After you reboot the machine, the client will not encrypt its hashed passwords before sending them to the server. This means that the plain-text passwords can been seen in the TCP packets that are broadcast across the network. Again, we encourage you not to do this unless you are absolutely sure that your network is secure.

If passwords are not encrypted, use these two lines in your Samba configuration file:

[global]

    security = user

    encrypt passwords = no

The smbpasswd File

Samba stores its encrypted passwords in a file called smbpasswd, which by default resides in the /usr/local/samba/private directory. The smbpasswd file should be guarded as closely as the Unix system's password file (either /etc/passwd or /etc/shadow). Only the root user should have read/write access to the private directory, and no other users should have access to it at all. In addition, the smbpasswd file should have all access denied to all users except for root. When things are set up for good security, long listings of the private directory and smbpasswd file look like the following:

# ls -ld /usr/local/samba/private

drwx- - - - - -   2 root   root   4096 Nov 26 01:11 /usr/local/samba/private

# ls -l /usr/local/samba/private/smbpasswd

-rw- - - - - - -   1 root   root    204 Nov 26 01:11 /usr/local/samba/private/smbpasswd

Before you can use encrypted passwords, you need to create an entry for each Unix user in the smbpasswd file. The structure of the file is somewhat similar to a Unix passwd file, but has different fields. Figure 9-3 illustrates the layout of the smbpasswd file; the entry shown is actually one line in the file.

Figure 9-3. Structure of the smbpasswd file entry (actually one line)

Normally, entries in the smbpasswd file are created automatically by the smbpasswd command. Still, you might like to know how to interpret data within the smbpasswd file, in case you'd like to see what accounts are stored in it or even modify it manually. Here is a breakdown of the individual fields:

Username

This is the username of the account. It is taken directly from the system password file.

UID

This is the user ID (UID) of the account. Like the username, it is taken directly from the system password file and must match the UID there.

LAN Manager Password Hash

This is a 32-bit hexadecimal sequence that represents the password Windows 95/98/Me clients will use. It is derived by splitting the password into two 7-character strings, with all lowercase letters forced into uppercase. If fewer than 14 characters are in the password, the strings are padded with nulls. Then each 7-character string is converted to a 56-bit DES key and used to encrypt the constant string KGS!@#$%. The two 64-bit results are concatenated and stored as the password hash.

If there is currently no password for the user, the first 11 characters of the hash will consist of the sequence NO PASSWORD followed by X characters for the remainder. If the password has been disabled, it will consist of 32 X characters.

NT LAN Manager (NTLM) Password Hash

This is a 32-bit hexadecimal sequence that represents the password Windows NT/2000/XP clients will use. It is derived by hashing the user's password (represented as a 16-bit little-endian Unicode sequence) with an MD4 hash. The password is not converted to uppercase letters first.

Account Flags

This field consists of 11 characters between two braces ( [ ] ). Any of the following characters can appear in any order; the remaining characters should be spaces:

U

This account is a standard user account.

D

This account is currently disabled, and Samba should not allow any logins.

N

This account has no password associated with it.

W

This is a workstation trust account that can be used to configure Samba as a PDC when allowing Windows NT machines to join its domain.

Last Change Time

This code consists of the characters LCT- followed by a hexadecimal representation of the number of seconds since the epoch (midnight on January 1, 1970) that the entry was last changed.

Password Synchronization

Having a regular password (either in /etc/passwd or /etc/shadow) and an encrypted version of the same password (in the smbpasswd file) can be troublesome when you need to change both of them. Luckily, Samba affords you a limited ability to keep your passwords synchronized. Samba has a pair of configuration options to update a user's regular Unix password automatically when the encrypted password is changed on the system. The feature can be activated by specifying the unix password sync global configuration option:

[global]

    unix password sync = yes

With this option enabled, Samba attempts to change the user's regular password (as root) when the encrypted version is changed with smbpasswd. However, two other options have to be set correctly for this to work.

The easier of the two is passwd program. This option simply specifies the Unix command used to change a user's standard system password. It is set to /bin/passwd %u by default. With some Unix systems, this is sufficient, and you do not need to change anything. Others, such as Red Hat Linux, use /usr/bin/passwd instead. In addition, you might want to change this to another program or script at some point in the future. For example, let's assume that you want to use a script called changepass to change a user's password. Recall that you can use the variable %u to represent the current Unix username. So the example becomes:

[global]

    unix password sync = yes

    passwd program = changepass %u

Note that this program is called as the root user when the unix password sync option is set to yes. This is because Samba does not necessarily have the old plain-text password of the user.

The harder option to configure is passwd chat. The passwd chat option works like a Unix chat script. It specifies a series of strings to send, as well as responses to expect from the program specified by the passwd program option. For example, this is what the default passwd chat looks like. The delimiters are the spaces between each grouping of characters:

passwd chat = *old*password* %o\n *new*password* %n\n *new*password* %n\n *changed*

The first grouping represents a response expected from the password-changing program. Note that it can contain wildcards (*), which help to generalize the chat programs to handle a variety of similar outputs. Here, *old*password* indicates that Samba is expecting any line from the password program containing the letters old followed by the letters password, without regard for what comes before, after, or between them. If Samba does not receive the expected response, the password change will fail.

The second grouping indicates what Samba should send back once the data in the first grouping has been matched. In this case, you see %o\n. This response is actually two items: the variable %o represents the old password, while the \n is a newline character. So, in effect, this will "type" the old password into the standard input of the password-changing program, and then "press" Enter.

Following that is another response grouping, followed by data that will be sent back to the password-changing program. (In fact, this response/send pattern continues indefinitely in any standard Unix chat script.) The script continues until the final pattern is matched.

You can help match the response strings sent from the password program with the characters listed in Table 9-6. In addition, you can use the characters listed in Table 9-7 to help formulate your response.

Table 9-6. Password chat response characters

Character

Definition

*

Zero or more occurrences of any character.

" "

Allows you to include matching strings that contain spaces. Asterisks are still considered wildcards even inside of quotes, and you can represent a null response with empty quotes.

Table 9-7. Password chat send characters

Character

Definition

%o

The user's old password

%n

The user's new password

\n

The linefeed character

\r

The carriage-return character

\t

The tab character

\s

A space

For example, you might want to change your password chat to the following entry. This handles scenarios in which you do not have to enter the old password. In addition, this also handles the new all tokens updated successfully string that Red Hat Linux sends:

passwd chat = *New password* %n\n *new password* %n\n *success*

Again, the default chat should be sufficient for many Unix systems. If it isn't, you can use the passwd chat debug global option to set up a new chat script for the password change program. The passwd chat debug option logs everything during a password chat. This option is a simple Boolean, as shown here:

[global]

    unix password sync = yes

    passwd chat debug = yes

    log level = 100

After you activate the password chat debug feature, all I/O received by Samba through the password chat can be sent to the log.smbd Samba log file with a debug level of 100, which is why we entered a new log level option as well. As this can often generate multitudes of error logs, it can be more efficient to use your own script—by setting the passwd program option—in place of /bin/passwd to record what happens during the exchange. Be careful because the log file contains the passwords in plain text. Keeping files containing plain-text passwords can (or should) be against local security policy in your organization, and it also might raise serious legal issues. Make sure to protect your log files with strict file permissions and to delete them as soon as you've grabbed the information you need. If possible, use the passwd chat debug option only while your own password is being changed.

The operating system on which Samba is running might have strict requirements for valid passwords to make them more impervious to dictionary attacks and the like. Users should be made aware of these restrictions when changing their passwords.

Earlier we said that password synchronization is limited. This is because there is no reverse synchronization of the encrypted smbpasswd file when a standard Unix password is updated by a user. There are various strategies to get around this, including NIS and freely available implementations of the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) standard, but none of them really solves all the problems.

More information regarding passwords can be found in the in the Samba source distribution file docs/htmldocs/ENCRYPTION.html.

Password Configuration Options

The options in Table 9-8 will help you work with passwords in Samba.

Table 9-8. Password configuration options

Option

Parameters

Function

Default

Scope

encrypt passwords

Boolean

If yes, enables encrypted passwords.

no

Global

unix password sync

Boolean

If yes, updates the standard Unix password database when a user changes his encrypted password.

no

Global

passwd chat

string (chat commands)

Sequence of commands sent to the password program.

See earlier section on this option

Global

passwd chat debug

Boolean

If yes, sends debug logs of the password-change process to the log files with a level of 100.

no

Global

passwd program

string (Unix command)

Program to be used to change passwords.

/bin/passwd %u

Global

password level

numeric

Number of capital-letter permutations to attempt when matching a client's password.

None

Global

update encrypted

Boolean

If yes, updates the encrypted password file when a client connects to a share with a plain-text password.

no

Global

null passwords

Boolean

If yes, allows access for users with null passwords.

no

Global

smb passwd file

string (filename)

Name of the encrypted password file.

/usr/local/samba/private/smbpasswd

Global

hosts equiv

string (filename)

Name of a file that contains hosts and users that can connect without using a password.

None

Global

use rhosts

string (filename)

Name of a .rhosts file that allows users to connect without using a password.

None

Global

encrypt passwords

The encrypt passwords global option switches Samba from using plain-text passwords to encrypted passwords for authentication. Encrypted passwords will be expected from clients if the option is set to yes:

encrypt passwords = yes

In Samba 2.2.x versions and with previous versions, encrypted passwords are disabled by default. This was changed in Samba 3.0 to make encrypted passwords enabled by default.

If you use encrypted passwords, you must have a valid smbpasswd file in place and populated with usernames that authenticate with encrypted passwords. (See Section 9.4.2 earlier in this chapter.) In addition, Samba must know the location of the smbpasswd file; if it is not in the default location (typically /usr/local/samba/private/smbpasswd ), you can explicitly name it using the smb passwd file option.

If you wish, you can use update encrypted to force Samba to update the smbpasswd file with encrypted passwords each time a client connects using a nonencrypted password.

If you have a mixture of clients on your network, with some of them using encrypted passwords and others using plain-text passwords, you can use the include option to make Samba treat each client appropriately. To do this, create individual configuration files based on the client name (%m). These host-specific configuration files can contain an encrypted passwords = yes option that activates only when those clients are connecting to the server.

passwd chat debug

If set to yes, the passwd chat debug global option logs everything sent or received by Samba during a password chat. All the I/O received by Samba through the password chat is sent to the Samba logs with a debug level of 100; you must specify log level = 100 for the information to be recorded. Section 9.4.3 earlier in this chapter describes this option in more detail. Be aware that if you do set this option, the plain-text passwords will be visible in the debugging logs, which could be a security hazard if they are not properly secured. It is against the security policy of some organizations for system administrators to have access to users' passwords.

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 not only authentication, but the user and group information as well. Winbind works by extending the Unix user and group databases beyond the standard /etc/passwd and /etc/group files such that users and groups on the Windows PDC also exist as valid users and groups on the Unix system. The extension applies to the entire Unix system and allows users who are members of a Windows domain to perform any action on the Unix system that a local user would, including logging in to the Unix system by telnet or even on the local system, using their domain usernames and passwords.

When winbind is in use, administration of user accounts can be done on the Windows PDC, without having to repeat the tasks on the Unix side. This includes password expiration and allowing users to change their passwords, which would otherwise not be practical. Aside from simplifying domain administration and being a great time saver, winbind lets Samba be used in computing environments where it otherwise might not be allowed.

WARNING

Because this is a chapter on security, we want to point out that some issues might relate to allowing a Windows system to authenticate users accessing a Unix system! Whatever you might think of the relative merits of Unix and Windows security models (and even more importantly, their implementations), one thing is certain: adding winbind support to your Samba server greatly complicates the authentication system overall—and quite possibly allows more opportunities for crackers.

We present winbind in this chapter not as a means of improving security, but rather as a further example of Samba's ability to integrate itself into a modern Windows environment.

Installing winbind

Installing and configuring winbind is fairly complicated and involves the following steps:

  1. Reconfigure, recompile, and reinstall Samba—to add support for winbind.

  2. Configure the Unix name server switch.

  3. Modify the Samba configuration file.

  4. Start and test the winbindd daemon.

  5. Configure the system to start and stop the winbindd daemon automatically.

  6. Optionally, configure PAM for use with winbind.

At the time this book was written, winbind was supported only on Linux, so all of the following directions are specific to it. Other Unix flavors might be supported at a later time. In addition, we assume you have a Windows NT/2000 primary domain controller running on your network.

First, you will need to configure and compile Samba using the --with-winbind configure option. Directions for doing this are included in Chapter 2 in Section 2.3. As usual, run make install to reinstall the Samba binaries.

Configuring nsswitch

When Samba is compiled after being configured with the --with-winbind option, the compilation process produces a library called libnss_winbind.so in the source/nsswitch directory. This library needs to be copied to the /lib directory:

# cp nsswitch/libnss_winbind.so /lib

Also, a symbolic link must be created for winbind to be fully functional:

# ln -s /lib/libnss_winbind.so /lib/libnss_winbind.so.2

TIP

The name of this symbolic link is correct for Samba 2.2.3 and Red Hat 7.1. The name might change—with a higher version number in the extension—in future releases. See the winbindd manual page for details.

Next, we need to modify /etc/nsswitch.conf to make the lines for passwd and group look like this:

passwd:     files winbind

group:      files winbind

Then activate these changes by issuing the following command:

# /sbin/ldconfig

What we've just done is reconfigure the Linux name service switch, which allows name service and other tasks to be configured to use the traditional method (files in the /etc directory) or an extension coded in a library, such as the libnss_winbind.so library we've just installed. We've specified in our configuration that Samba will search for user and group information first in the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files, and if they are not found there, in the winbind service.

Modifying smb.conf

To use winbind, we must have our Samba server added to the Windows NT domain as a domain member server (as we described in Chapter 4) and also add some parameters to the Samba configuration file to configure winbind. In addition to the options required to configure Samba as a domain member server, we need:

[global]

    winbind uid = 10000-20000

    winbind gid = 10000-20000

The winbind uid and winbind gid options tell winbind how to map between Windows relative identifiers (RIDs) and Unix UIDs and GIDs. Windows uses RIDs to identify users and groups within the domain, and to function, the Unix system must have a UID and GID associated with every user and group RID that is received from the Windows primary domain controller. The winbind uid and winbind gid parameters simply provide winbind with a range of UIDs and GIDs, respectively, that are allocated by the system administrator for Windows NT domain users and groups. You can use whatever range you want for each; just make sure the lowest number in the range does not conflict with any entries in your /etc/passwd or /etc/group files at any time, either now or in the future. It is important to be conservative about this. Once winbind adds an RID to UID/GID mapping to its database, it is very difficult to modify the mapping.

WARNING

The file /usr/local/samba/locks/winbindd_idmap.tdb contains winbind's RID mapping file by default. We suggest you regard this file as extremely sensitive and make sure to guard it carefully against any kind of harm or loss. If you lose it, you will have to re-create it manually, which can be a very labor-intensive task.

WARNING

Be careful when adding local users after domain users have started accessing the Samba server. The domain users will have entries created for them by winbind in /etc/passwd, with UIDs in the range you specify. If you are using a method of creating new accounts that automatically assigns UIDs, it might choose UIDs by adding 1 to the highest UID assigned thus far, which will be the most recent UID added by winbind. (This is the case on Red Hat Linux, with the useradd script, for example.) The UID for the new local user will be within the range allocated for winbind, which will have undesired effects. Make sure to add new local users using a method that assigns them UIDs in the proper range. For example, you can use the -u option of useradd to specify the UID to assign to the new user.

Restart the Samba daemons to put your changes to the configuration file into effect. If you have not already done so while adding your Samba server as a domain member server, you must issue the command:

# smbpasswd -j domain -r pdc -U Administrator

as we described in Chapter 4. At this point, you can start the winbindd daemon:

# winbindd

You might want to run a ps ax command to see that the winbindd daemon is running. Now, to make sure everything we've done up to this point works, we can use Samba's wbinfo command:

$ wbinfo -u

METRAN\Administrator

METRAN\bebe

METRAN\Guest

METRAN\jay

METRAN\linda

$ wbinfo -g

METRAN\Domain Admins

METRAN\Domain Guests

METRAN\Domain Users

The -u option queries the domain controller for a list of domain users, and the -g option asks for the list of groups. The output shows that the Samba host system can query the Windows PDC through winbind.

Another thing to check is the list of users and groups, using the getent command:

# getent passwd

root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash

bin:x:1:1:bin:/bin:

daemon:x:2:2:daemon:/sbin:

    ... deleted ...

jay:x:500:500:Jay Ts:/home/jay:/bin/bash

rik:x:501:501::/home/rik:/bin/bash

METRAN\Administrator:x:10000:10000::/home/METRAN/administrator:/bin/bash

METRAN\bebe:x:10001:10000:Bebe Larta:/home/METRAN/bebe:/bin/bash

METRAN\Guest:x:10002:10000::/home/METRAN/guest:/bin/bash

METRAN\jay:x:10003:10000:Jay Ts:/home/METRAN/jay:/bin/bash

METRAN\linda:x:10004:10000:Linda Lewis:/home/METRAN/linda:/bin/bash



# getent group

root:x:0:root

bin:x:1:root,bin,daemon

daemon:x:2:root,bin,daemon

    ... deleted ...

jay:x:500:

rik:x:501:

METRAN\Domain Admins:x:10001:METRAN\Administrator

METRAN\Domain Guests:x:10002:METRAN\Guest

METRAN\Domain Users:x:10000:METRAN\Administrator,METRAN\jay,METRAN\linda,METRAN\bebe

This shows that the Linux system is finding the domain users and groups through winbind, in addition to those in the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files. If this part doesn't work as shown earlier, with the domain users and groups listed after the local ones, check to make sure you made the symbolic link to libnss_winbind.so in /lib correctly.

Now you can try connecting to a Samba share from a Windows system using a domain account. You can either log on to the domain from a Windows NT/2000/XP workstation or use smbclient with the -U option to specify a username.

NOTE

If you get errors while attempting to log on to the domain, it is probably because you had previously configured the client system with a computer account on another domain controller. Commonly, you get a dialog box that says, "The domain NAME is not available." On a Windows 2000 system, the fix is to log in to the system as an administrative user and open the Control Panel, double-click the System icon, click the Network Identification tab, then click the Properties button. In the dialog that comes up, click the "Workgroup:" radio button and fill in the name of the workgroup (you can use the same name as the domain). Click the OK buttons in the dialogs, and reboot if requested.

This removes the computer account from the primary domain controller. Now log in again as the administrative user and repeat the previous directions, but change from the workgroup back to the domain. This creates a new computer account that "fits" the workstation to the new primary domain controller. If your network has backup domain controllers, it will take up to 15 minutes for the new computer account to propagate to the BDCs.

If you are using Windows NT/XP, the method is slightly different. For the exact procedure, see the section in Chapter 4 that is specific to your Windows version.

After logging in as a domain user, try creating a file or two in a Samba share. (You might need to change the permissions on the shared directory—say, to 777—to allow this access. This is very permissive, but after you finish reading this section, you will understand how to change ownership and permissions on the directory to restrict access to selected domain users.) After you've created files by one or more domain users, take a look at the directory's contents from a Linux shell. You will see something like this:

$ ls -l /u

-rwxrw-rw-    1 METRAN\b METRAN\D        0 Apr 13 00:00 bebes-file.doc

-rwxrw-rw-    1 METRAN\l METRAN\D        0 Apr 12 23:58 lindas-file.doc

drwxrwxr-x    6 jay      jay          4096 Jan 15 05:12 snd

$ ls -ln /u

total 4

-rwxrw-rw-    1 10001    10000           0 Apr 13 00:00 bebes-file.doc

-rwxrw-rw-    1 10004    10000           0 Apr 12 23:58 lindas-file.doc

drwxrwxr-x    6 500      500          4096 Jan 15 05:12 snd

We can even use the domain usernames and groups from the Linux shell:

# chown 'METRAN\linda:METRAN\Domain Users' /u

# ls -ldu /u

drwxrwxrwx    3 METRAN\l METRAN\D     4096 Apr 13 00:44 /u

# ls -ldn /u

drwxrwxrwx    3 10004    10000        4096 Apr 13 00:00 /u

Notice how the owner and group are listed as being those of the domain user and group. Unfortunately, the GNU ls command won't show the full names of the domain users and groups, but we can use the -ln listing to show the UIDs and GIDs and then translate with the wbinfo command:

$ wbinfo -s `wbinfo -U 10004`

METRAN\LINDA 1

$ wbinfo -s `wbinfo -G 10000`

METRAN\Domain Users 2

(It's a bit messy, but it works, and it shows that the winbind system is working!) At this point, you might want to modify your /etc/rc.d/init.d/smb script to start and stop the winbindd daemon automatically along with the smbd and nmbd daemons. Starting with the script we presented in Chapter 2, we first add this code to the start( ) function:

echo -n $"Starting WINBIND services: "

/usr/local/samba/bin/winbindd

ERROR2=$?

if [ $ERROR2 -ne 0 ]

then

    ERROR=1

fi

echo

The previous code should be located after the code that starts nmbd and before the return statement.

TIP

We start winbindd after nmbd because winbindd needs nmbd to be running to work properly.

In the stop( ) function, we add the following:

echo -n $"Shutting down WINBIND services: "

/bin/kill -TERM -a winbindd

ERROR2=$?

if [ $ERROR2 -ne 0 ]

then

    ERROR=1

fi

echo

Again, this code should be located after the code that stops nmbd and before the return statement.

Configuring PAM

Most popular Linux distributions use Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM), a suite of shared libraries that provide a centralized source of authentication for applications running on the Unix system. PAM can be configured differently for each application (or service) that uses it, without needing to recompile the application. As a hypothetical example, if an organization's security policy mandated the use of passwords exactly 10 characters in length, a PAM module could be written to check the length of passwords submitted by users and reject any attempts to use a longer or shorter password. PAM would then be reconfigured to include the new module for services such as ftp, console login, and GUI login that call upon PAM to authenticate users.

If you are not already familiar with PAM, we suggest you read the documentation provided with the Linux PAM package before continuing. On most Linux systems, it is located in the /usr/share/doc directory hierarchy. Another resource is the Linux-PAM System Administrator's Guide, which you can find on the Internet at http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/libs/pam.

The rest of this section is about using the PAM module provided in the Samba distribution to enable Windows domain users to authenticate on the Linux system hosting Samba. Depending on which services you choose to configure, this allows Windows domain users to log in on a local console (or through telnet), log in to a GUI desktop on the Linux system, authenticate with an FTP server running on the Linux system, or use other services normally limited to users who have an account on the Linux system. The PAM module authenticates Windows domain users by querying winbind, which passes the authentication off to a Windows NT domain controller.

As an example, we will show how to allow Windows domain users to log in to a text console on the Linux system and get a command shell and home directory. The method used in our example can be applied (with variations) to other services.

All users who can log in to the Linux system need a shell and a home directory. Unix and Linux keep this user information in the password file (/etc/passwd ), but information about Windows users isn't located there. Instead, in the Samba configuration file, we add the following to notify winbind what the shell and home directory for Windows domain users will be:

[global]

    template shell = /bin/bash

    template homedir = /home/%D/%U

The first line sets the template shell parameter, which tells winbind what shell to use for domain users that are logging in to the Unix host. The template homedir parameter specifies the location of users' home directories. The %D variable is replaced by the name of the domain in which the user's account resides, and %U is replaced by the user's username in that domain.

Before the domain users can successfully log in, their home directories must be created manually. To add a single account for linda in the METRAN domain, we would use these commands:

# mkdir /home/METRAN

# chmod 755 /home/METRAN



# mkdir /home/METRAN/linda

# chown 'METRAN\linda:METRAN\Domain Users' /home/METRAN/linda

# chmod 700 /home/METRAN/linda

WARNING

One side effect of creating the home directories is that if the Samba server is configured with a [homes] share, the domain users can see and access their home directories through Samba's file sharing.

Next, we need to compile and install the PAM module in the Samba distribution. From the source directory in the Samba distribution, issue the following commands:

# make nsswitch/pam_winbind.so

# cp nsswitch/pam_winbind.so /lib/security

and check that it was copied over correctly:

# ls /lib/security/pam_winbind.so

/lib/security/pam_winbind.so

On Red Hat Linux, the PAM configuration files reside in /etc/pam.d. Before making any modifications, we strongly advise making a backup of this directory:

# cp -pR /etc/pam.d /etc/pam.d.backup

The reason for this is that we will be modifying the Linux system's means of authenticating logins, and if our configuration goes awry, all users (including root) will be locked out of the system. In case the worst happens, we would reboot into single-user mode (by typing linux single at the LILO: prompt) or boot a rescue disk, and then we would issue these two commands:

# mv /etc/pam.d /etc/pam.d.bad

# mv /etc/pam.d.backup /etc/pam.d

Be very careful to make sure you can recover from any errors you make because when PAM encounters any configuration information it doesn't understand, its action is not to allow access. This means you must be sure to enter everything correctly! You might want to leave yourself logged in as root on a spare virtual terminal while you are modifying your PAM configuration to ensure yourself a means of easy recovery.

In the /etc/pam.d directory, you will encounter a file for each service that uses PAM. We are interested only in the file corresponding to the login service, which is called login. It contains the following lines:

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_securetty.so

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_nologin.so

account    required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

password   required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

session    required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

session    optional     /lib/security/pam_console.so

The lines starting with auth are related to the function of authentication—that is, printing a password prompt, accepting the password, verifying that it is correct, and matching the user to a valid user and group ID. The line starting with account is for account management, which allows access to be controlled by other factors, such as what times during the day a user is allowed access. We are not concerned with the lines starting with password or session because winbind does not add to either of those functions.

The third column lists the PAM module, possibly with arguments, that is called in for the task. The pam_stack.so module has been added by Red Hat to act somewhat like a macro or a subroutine. It calls the file in the pam.d directory named by the service argument. In this case, the file /etc/pam.d/system-auth contains a common set of lines that are used as a default for many services. Because we want to customize the login service for winbind, we first replace the pam_stack.so lines for auth and account with the auth and account lines from /etc/pam.d/system-auth. This yields:

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_securetty.so

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_env.so

auth       sufficient   /lib/security/pam_unix.so likeauth nullok

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_deny.so

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_nologin.so

account    required     /lib/security/pam_unix.so

password   required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

session    required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

session    optional     /lib/security/pam_console.so

To add winbind support, we need to add a line in both the auth and account sections to call the pam_winbind.so module:

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_securetty.so

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_env.so

auth       sufficient   /lib/security/pam_winbind.so

auth       sufficient   /lib/security/pam_unix.so use_first_pass likeauth nullok

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_deny.so

auth       required     /lib/security/pam_nologin.so

account    sufficient   /lib/security/pam_winbind.so

account    required     /lib/security/pam_unix.so

password   required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

session    required     /lib/security/pam_stack.so service=system-auth

session    optional     /lib/security/pam_console.so

The keywords required and sufficient in the second column are significant. The keyword required specifies that the result returned by the module (either to pass or fail the authentication) must be taken into account, whereas the keyword sufficient specifies that if the module successfully authenticates the user, no further lines need to be processed. By specifying sufficient for the pam_winbind.so module, we let winbind attempt to authenticate users, and if it succeeds, the PAM system returns to the application. If the pam_winbind.so module doesn't find the user or the password does not match, the PAM system continues with the next line, which performs authentication according to the usual Linux user authentication. This way, both domain users and local users can log in.

Notice that we also added the use_first_pass argument to the pam_unix.so module in the auth section. By default, both the pam_winbind.so and pam_unix.so modules print a password prompt and accept a password. In cases where users are logging in to the Linux system using their local accounts, this would require them to enter their password twice. The user_first_pass argument tells the pam_unix.so module to reuse the password that was given to the pam_winbind.so module, which results in users having to enter the password only once.

After modifying the login configuration file, switch to a spare virtual console and make sure you can still log in using a regular Linux account. If not, check your modifications carefully and try again until you get it right. Then log in using a domain user account from the Windows PDC database to check that the winbind authentication works. You will need to specify the username in DOMAIN\user format, like this:

login: METRAN\linda

Password:

More information on configuring winbind can be found in the Samba source distribution file docs/htmldocs/winbind.html, and in the winbindd manual page. If you would like to learn more about configuring PAM, we recommend the web page http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/libs/pam/ as a starting place. Some of the documentation for Linux PAM, including Red Hat's extensions, can also be found on Red Hat Linux in /usr/share/doc/pam-version.

winbind Configuration Options

Table 9-9 summarizes some commonly used options that you can use to configure winbind.

Table 9-9. winbind options

Option

Parameters

Function

Default

Scope

winbind separator

string (single character)

Character to use as a separator in domain usernames and group names

Backslash (\)

Global

winbind uid

string (numeric range)

Range of UIDs for RID-to-UID mapping

None

Global

winbind gid

string (numeric range)

Range of GIDs for RID-to-GID mapping

None

Global

winbind cache time

numeric

Number of seconds the winbindd daemon caches user and group data

15

Global

template homedir

string (directory name)

Directory to be used as the home directory of the logged-in domain user

/home/%D/%U

Global

template shell

string (command name)

The program to use as the logged-in domain user's shell

/bin/false

Global


Footnotes

[1] Having both encrypted and nonencrypted password clients on your network is one of the reasons why Samba allows you to include (or not include) various options in the Samba configuration file based on the client operating system or machine name variables.

[2] This is because the Unix passwd program, which is the usual target for this operation, allows root to change a user's password without the security restriction that requests the old password of that user.


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