TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacEnterprise: Understanding SMB in OS X

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 08
Column Tag: Networks

Understanding SMB in OS X

There are many more pieces than you may realize

By Philip Rinehart, Yale University

SAMBA

This month, the MacEnterprise community has been talking about Samba, and how OS X uses it, both on Server and Client. It's a bit of an interesting topic, as both use a version of Samba, 3.0.10, that is slightly out of date, as the current version of Samba shipping is 3.0.25a. It is interesting to note that the Finder does not primarily use the underlying samba framework, but instead uses mount_smbfs, a command from the FreeBSD project instead. First let's look at this particular command.

Mount_SambaFS

Mount_smbfs is a bit of an oddity. It appears to have been included in OS X to take advantage of OS X frameworks. It is linked heavily to the CoreFoundation framework in particular. It also allows for Kerberos authentication, which has only recently appeared in Samba 3.0 or higher. Its usage is pretty simple, and follows the same syntax, both in the Finder and from the command line. In fact, when connecting via the Finder to a share, the command appears in the process list when initiating the connection. Here is the command as it appears in the process list.

/sbin/mount_smbfs -o noautomounted -o browse //user:**************@sambashare /Volumes/sambashare

Let's look at this command a bit further; note the two options used with the -o switch. Neither of these options appear in the manual page for the command. Omit the two options, and the command appears as invoked from the command line. Why is that important to know? It is important, because often many users use smbclient to connect to the Samba share and assume that smbclient behaves in the same way. Now that you know that the Finder uses mount_smbfs, it may or may not be an effective way to test Samba connectivity. If testing the connection via the Finder, use mount_smbfs. Unfortunately, it does not provide as much debugging information as smbclient does.

Another source of frustration for some users is OS X, by default, uses encrypted passwords when connecting to a Samba share. In fact, an Apple knowledge base article, 301580, exists that describes the creation of a configuration file, nsmb.conf, which allows clear text authentication. It should be noted that a file can be created per user as well, .nsmbrc. Let's look at a short example:

[default]
workgroup=WORKGROUP
# this is the server name and ip
[WINDOWS]
address=192.168.1.130
[WINDOWS:USERNAME]
password=my_password

By putting this file in a user's home directory the Samba share will be mounted automatically using the stored password. Note that the password should be stored in encrypted format. To generate the encrypted password, use smbutil. Here's how:

smbutil crypt my_password

Include this in the nsmbrc file, and the Finder will no longer ask for authentication. That pretty much sums up the way that OS X client connects to Samba shares. The Server side is the source of most other common problems.

WINDOWS File Shares

Now that we understand how a client connects to file shares, are there any particular hints for dealing with Windows file shares? Sure, here are some that should be considered:

OS X client cannot connect to a Windows 2003 server if the server has the "digitally sign communication" option enabled. Disable this option to allow a successful connection. The Finder usually will show an Error -5000. It is commonly known as "SMB Signing". For more information on this option, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/887429.

Shares created on a Windows file share generally work most successfully when the user connects with "Full permissions" on the file share. Without full permissions, the Finder may not display any file or folder in the share point.

SAMBA

Let's move to a frequently discussed topic, the use of Samba as implemented on OS X. One of the commonly discussed issues is the use of an older version of Samba, version 3.0.10, in OS X. Samba is also compiled in a particular way, and may not include modules that are required. Recently, a method for recompiling certain modules appeared on the MacEnterprise list. If this is of interest, search the list archives, as the procedure is fairly complex.

Another oddity with Samba is that it does not respect the use of ctime. Why is this relevant? Consider the possibility of controlling backups of files, if the ctime is being used to control whether the file is backed up or not, the inability of Samba to set the ctime could become a problem.

Next, when using Samba in conjunction with Active Directory, check the smb.conf file for the following entries:

Use spnego=yes
Realm=Ad.realm.name
Security=ads

Though generally not an issue any more in Tiger server, when joining a machine to Active Directory and hosting Samba file services via OS X in earlier versions, these options were not consistently set.

Lastly, when using Samba, on server or client, the log level can be tuned. The following entry can be added to the /etc/smb.conf file:

   
log level = [1-10]

Turning up the log level can be very useful when debugging a troublesome connection. At a level of 10, the logging can be quite a handful to parse through, but it may better point to the source of the connection problem.

Windows PRINTING

The last issue that is somewhat common is connecting to a shared Windows printer from OS X. Usually the printer is shared as a "Guest" printer by the Windows machine. However, when printing, an "NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED" error message is returned. OS X does not work without credentials when printing to a Windows shared printer. The most successful method of connecting works by adding the printer using the URI formatted this way:

smb://user:password@DOMAIN/1.2.3.4/Printername

Sometimes adding this via the Printer Setup Utility will work, sometimes not. If it does not work, using the CUPS web interface at http://localhost:631 will allow the printer to be added. It has the additional benefit of being able to print a test page!

In a heterogeneous world, understanding Samba and Windows file and print sharing is a complex and sometimes difficult operation. Often, the configuration or the tools that we have talked about may provide a solution. Until next month, see you on the lists!


Philip Rinehart is co-chair of the steering committee leading the Mac OS X Enterprise Project (macenterprise.org) and is the Lead Mac Analyst at Yale University. He has been using Macintosh Computers since the days of the Macintosh SE, and Mac OS X since its Developer Preview Release. Before coming to Yale, he worked as a Unix system administrator for a dot-com company. He can be reached at: philip.rinehart@yale.edu. The MacEnterprise project is a community of IT professionals sharing information and solutions to support Macs in an enterprise. We collaborate on the deployment, management, and integration of Mac OS X client and server computers into multi-platform computing environments.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.3.1 - Professio...
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing solution.Completely redesigned from the ground up, Final Cut Pro adds extraordinary speed, quality, and flexibility to every part of the post-... Read more
Apple Compressor 4.3.1 - Adds power and...
Compressor adds power and flexibility to Final Cut Pro X export. Customize output settings, work faster with distributed encoding, and tap into a comprehensive set of delivery features. Features... Read more
Apple Motion 5.3.1 - Create and customiz...
Apple Motion is designed for video editors, Motion 5 lets you customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions, and effects. Or create your own dazzling animations in 2D or 3D space, with real-time... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.989 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
calibre 2.77.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Quicksilver 1.5.2 - Application launcher...
Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone. Quicksilver allows you to find what you need quickly and easily, then act... Read more
Paperless 2.3.9 - $49.95
Paperless is a digital documents manager. Remember when everyone talked about how we would soon be a paperless society? Now it seems like we use paper more than ever. Let's face it - we need and we... Read more
Apple GarageBand 10.1.5 - Complete recor...
The new GarageBand is a whole music creation studio right inside your Mac -- complete with keyboard, synths, orchestral and percussion instruments, presets for guitar and voice, an entirely... Read more
Adobe Audition CC 2017 10.0.2 - Professi...
Audition CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Audition customer). Adobe Audition CC 2017 empowers you to create and... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2017 14.1 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous After Effects customer). The new, more connected After Effects CC... Read more

Super Mario Run dashes onto Android in M...
Super Mario Run was one of the biggest mobile launches in 2016 before it was met with a lukewarm response by many. While the game itself plays a treat, it's pretty hard to swallow the steep price for the full game. With that said, Android users... | Read more »
WarFriends Beginner's Guide: How to...
Chillingo's new game, WarFriends, is finally available world wide, and so far it's a refreshing change from common mobile game trends. The game's a mix of tower defense, third person shooter, and collectible card game. There's a lot to unpack here... | Read more »
Super Gridland (Entertainment)
Super Gridland 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Match. Build. Survive. "exquisitely tuned" - Rock Paper Shotgun No in-app purches, and no ads! | Read more »
Red's Kingdom (Games)
Red's Kingdom 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mad King Mac has kidnapped your father and stolen your golden nut! Solve puzzles and battle goons as you explore and battle your... | Read more »
Turbo League Guide: How to tame the cont...
| Read more »
Fire Emblem: Heroes coming to Google Pla...
Nintendo gave us our first look at Fire Emblem: Heroes, the upcoming mobile Fire Emblem game the company hinted at last year. Revealed at the Fire Emblem Direct event held today, the game will condense the series' tactical RPG combat into bite-... | Read more »
ReSlice (Music)
ReSlice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or... | Read more »
Stickman Surfer rides in with the tide t...
Stickson is back and this time he's taken up yet another extreme sport - surfing. Stickman Surfer is out this Thursday on both iOS and Android, so if you've been following the other Stickman adventures, you might be interested in picking this one... | Read more »
Z-Exemplar (Games)
Z-Exemplar 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
5 dastardly difficult roguelikes like th...
Edmund McMillen's popular roguelike creation The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has finally crawled onto mobile devices. It's a grotesque dual-stick shooter that tosses you into an endless, procedurally generated basement as you, the pitiable Isaac,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Ranked ‘Most Intimate Brand’
The top ranked ‘”intimate” brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, the largest... Read more
B-Eng introduces SSD Health Check for Mac OS
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based independant Swiss company- B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check 1.0, the company’s new hard drive utility for Mac OS X. As the... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
4-core 3.7GHz Mac Pro on sale for $2290, save...
Guitar Center has the 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro (MD253LL/A) on sale for $2289.97 including free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Their price is a $710 savings over standard MSRP for... Read more
128GB Apple iPad Air 2, refurbished, availabl...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 128GB iPad Air 2s WiFis available for $419 including free shipping. That’s an $80 savings over standard MSRP for this model. A standard Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
Laptop Market – Flight To Quality? – The ‘Boo...
Preliminary quarterly PC shipments data released by Gartner Inc. last week reveal an interesting disparity between sales performance of major name PC vendors as opposed to that of less well-known... Read more
IBM and Bell Transform Canadian Enterprise Mo...
IBM and Bell Canada have announced they are joining forces to offer IBM MobileFirst for iOS market-ready enterprise applications for iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch. Bell, Canada’s largest communications... Read more
Otter Products is Closing… For a Day of Givin...
On Thursday, Feb. 9, Otter Products is closing doors to open hearts. In partnership with the OtterCares Foundation, the company is pausing operations for a day so all employees can volunteer with... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1799.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $200 savings. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Los Angeles, CA Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (Multi-L...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Stamford, CT We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our most well-known Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.