TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Integrating OS X With OpenLDAP/Samba, Part 1

Volume Number: 24
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Network Administration

Integrating OS X With OpenLDAP/Samba, Part 1

Configuring Your Mac To Work With Linux Samba and LDAP Servers

by Noah Gift

Introduction

OS X is an incredible machine, of course, if you are reading this magazine, I didn't need to tell you that. It has arguably, the finest User Interface ever known to man, yet it has a beautiful Unix engine purring under the hood. OS X Server also has a somewhat forward thinking User Interface for managing the raw power of true Unix, as it elegantly hides the real world complexity of dealing with things like Apache and Open LDAP.

While OS X Server is certainly a fine piece of engineering, it might interest many to know, that configuring OS X to talk to a Linux infrastructure is fairly straightforward. I still remember fondly, when parts of OS X had to be altered, in an undocumented way, just to get it to work perfectly with Linux and Unix systems, but many of those problems have disappeared over the years. Virtualization, Leopard, and the further enhancement of Linux, has created a very opportune moment for OS X/Linux relations.

In this article, we explore the basics of getting started with using Samba hosted on a Linux Virtual Machine. Future articles will get deeper into Open LDAP/Samba integration.

Talking Virtually

As I mentioned earlier, virtualization has eased the difficulty of working with Linux. One of the reasons is that, in some respects, the Linux Operating System has become like a document that you open and close. If someone writes a great template for an invoice or resume in Microsoft Word, or iWork Pages, then you simply open the file, and fill in the blanks.

With the current advances in virtualization a Linux operating system can be almost as easy to work with as Microsoft Word. For a recent book I wrote, we released a free, as in beer, Ubuntu 7.10 virtual machine that is pre-configured with OpenLDAP and Samba. You can download it here, start it with VMWare Fusion, and then just play it:

http://examples.oreilly.com/9780596515829/vm/

The username and password for everything on the virtual machine is py4sa, including the Samba service we will use in this article.

Getting To Know Samba

If you are on old Mac guy or gal, you may be more familiar with AFP, or Apple File Protocol, than with Samba. Briefly, Samba is Open Source/Free software that has been around since 1992, and it enables File and Print sharing over the SMB/CIFS protocol. SMB originated with Microsoft as a network sharing protocol for Windows.

Samba is pre-installed on OS X and you can easily create a samba share on your Mac by simply selecting File Sharing under Sharing in System Preferences, as seen in the screenshot:


Figure 1: Sharing

In our case, though, we are going to use virtualization to talk to a share we create inside of the virtual machine we downloaded, so instead of serving the share, our Mac will be the client.

Firing Up A Virtual Machine

If you downloaded the Virtual Machine you should perform the following steps to make sure you get up to speed to follow the rest of the article. If you have problems with the virtual machine networking, or don't want to download a 500MB file, don't worry, because in a later article we go into detail about how to configure this from scratch. Note, you will need to have a copy of VMWare fusion to follow along.

Step 1: Start the Virtual Machine

Step 2: Once running, log in with py4sa as the username and password

Step 3: Double check that samba started by typing at the shell:

sudo /etc/init.d/samba 

Step 4: Ensure Network Is Working by typing at shell

ifconfig

Here is a screenshot of what this looks like a successfully running virtual machine:


Figure 2: Verifying VM Is Working Properly

Creating A Linux Samba Share On A VM

If you performed the previous steps and everything working, the rest is just as easy. We can simply edit the samba configuration file and add a share for us to connect to. To do this just edit this file: /etc/samba/smb.conf with vim, or your favorite text editor, and add these lines to the bottom:

Listing 1: Adding lines to /etc/samba/smb.conf

[share]
path = /usr

Next, just restart the samba service so it rereads the config file by typing in:

sudo /etc/init.d/samba restart

Now simply browse to the share PY4SA, by creating a new Finder window, as shown in the figure below and authenticating. If you follow along with the steps below you will be able to obtain Read Only Access to the /usr directory on the virtual machine.


Figure 3: Logging in to a Samba share


Figure 4: Authenticating to the share


Figure 5: Read Only Access Trying To Create Directory In Share

Notice, as shown in Figure 5 above, that if you try to create a file onto the share you get an access privileges error. We only have Read Only access! This is because of the extremely basic configuration for [share] we set up. If you are brave, feel free to dig into the smb.conf and fix the problem. Otherwise, next month we go all out on creating a realistic permission structure for an Enterprise or a Home. For now, just getting a virtual server up and running, and then connecting to it is a good stride.

Conclusion

In this article, we began to think about how a virtualized Linux infrastructure might make sense for OS X clients. We created a one way, Read Only connection to an Ubuntu Linux virtual machine via a SMB share we created ourselves.

In the next article we dig in deep and configure LDAP and Samba to work together, create a realistic share permission structure, and authenticate our Mac's directory to a Linux LDAP server, as well as get familiar with managing LDAP through various native and foreign tools.

BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES

Noah Gift. "How To Build A Dirt Easy NAS with Samba". Red Hat Magazine, http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/06/26/.

Noah Gift. Getting Started With Open Directory. O'Reilly. http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2007/06/01/discover-the-power-of-open-directory.html

Noah Gift and Jeremy Jones. Python For Unix and Linux Systems Administration. O'Reilly. ISBN: 0596515820


Noah Gift has been a Mac user since his family bought a Macintosh Performa 6300 in 1992, and started connected to BBS networks immediately and then eventually the World Wide Web in 1993 when it become open to the public. He is the co-author of Python For Unix and Linux System Administration by O'Reilly, and the upcoming Google App Engine In Action by Manning.

Noah has a couple of decades of experience in the television and film industry starting off as an editor for ABC Network News as a teenager. He contributed to the first feature animated film for Disney Feature Animation and Sony Imageworks. He also had stints at Turner Studios and Caltech, where he worked for the Nobel Prize winning President as a Mac expert. He has a Master's degree in CIS, and is LPI and ACSA certified. He also organizes PyAtl, the local Python programmers user group in Atlanta.

Currently Noah is consultant, writer and speaker, specializing in OS X/Unix, Linux, Python, and Web development for his company, GiftCS, www.giftcs.com. Many of his projects and writing are available at www.noahgift.com. He can be contacted at noah.gift@giftcs.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »
Catch Battleplans on Google Play from Ju...
Real-time strategy title Battleplans is due for release on Google Play on June 30th, following its release for iOS systems last month. With its simple interface and pretty graphics, the crowd-pleaser brings a formerly overlooked genre out for the... | Read more »
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sh...
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Books Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Special Release Price $1.99 (Normally $3.99) | Read more »
Five popular free apps to help you slim...
Thanks to retail and advertising, we're used to thinking one season ahead. Here we are just a week into the summer and we're conditioned to start thinking about the fall. [Read more] | Read more »
How to ride longer and tame more animals...
It's hard to accurately describe Rodeo Stampede to people who haven't seen it yet. It's like if someone took Crossy Roadand Disco Zoo and put them in a blender, yet with a unique game mechanic that's still simple and fun for anyone. [Read more] | Read more »
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure...
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure Battling Game 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Teeny Titans, GO! Join Robin for a figure battling RPG of epic proportions! TEENY... | Read more »
NinjAwesome: Tips and tricks to be a mor...
Sorry about that headline, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that GameResort would not have named its game NinjAwesome without expecting some of that. It is, in fact, pretty awesome the way it combines an endless runner and old school arcade... | Read more »
Into Mirror (Games)
Into Mirror 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"- Edgar Allan Poe New game by Lemon Jam Studio, the team behind Pursuit... | Read more »
Perchang (Games)
Perchang 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Welcome to Perchang! A test of skill and puzzle solving across 60 stunning levels. | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200-...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799.... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber: 1,000,000 Installs in 5 Da...
ABBYY, an international OCR technologies provider, has announced that their image-to-text application TextGrabber, got installed 1,000,000 times in just five days while being featured by the App... Read more
New SkinIt Waterproof Case For iPhone 6
With its impact and waterproof design, the Skinit Waterproof case provides security and protection to guarantee your phone will get you through even the most demanding outdoor conditions. The impact-... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2181.11 $118 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1949... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $5...
B&H Photo has 2016 12″ 1.1GHz/256GB Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $50 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1249 $50 off MSRP... Read more
WWDC Announcements Revisited Still Underwhelm...
I was disappointed that no new MacBook hardware was announced at this year’s all-software World Wide Developer’s Conference. Not even a hint about what’s in the development pipeline. Of course, we... Read more
Twelve South Compass 2 iPad Stand Now Availab...
Twelve South has updated its most popular iPad stand, Compass 2, with the introduction of two new colors — Gold and Rose Gold. These new color options n perfectly complement the new Rose Gold iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* New Products Testers Needed - Apple...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you 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* Retail - Multiple Positions, Towson...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
Job Summary The Apple Professional Learning Specialist is a full-time position for one year with Apple in the Phoenix, AZ area. This position requires a high Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.