TweetFollow Us on Twitter

 Integrating OS X With OpenLDAP/Samba, Part 2

Volume Number: 25 (2009)
Issue Number: 01
Column Tag: Network Administration

Integrating OS X With OpenLDAP/Samba, Part 2

An article, in a series, on "Configuring Your Mac To Work With Linux Samba and LDAP Servers."

by Noah Gift

Introduction

In Part 1 we covered talking to a Samba Server running on an Ubuntu Virtual Machine, but we stopped at merely obtaining read only access to data. In this article we fully configure Samba on Linux in an ideal configuration for OS X, and then get into authenticating all of this to LDAP on Linux.

Because we delve into a fairly complex undertaking of getting Linux and Samba configured inside of OS X, it is important to point out how powerful this combination truly is. OS X, universally known for simplicity and ease of use, can yet again, hide the complexity of a Linux server within the shadows of its own operating system by using virtualization. Linux servers talking to, and running inside of OS X is a very compelling choice to consider, as it combines the strengths of both platforms, and minimizes their respective weaknesses.

Dirt Simple Home Samba Configuration

In the last article, we downloaded a pre-configured Ubuntu Virtual Machine here: http://examples.oreilly.com/9780596515829/vm/ and then got it talking to Samba, but we only had Read-Only access. Now it is time to optimize the configuration file to make file-sharing work completely with OS X for a typical home setup behind a firewall.

If you remember from the previous article, we created a very minimal read only configuration. Here are the steps to get a full read/write configuration working from scratch with zero authentication. This is perfect for a home network behind a firewall, in which no username or password is desired in order to connect to the share/.

If you are still working off of the downloaded virtual machine, then go ahead and edit /etc/samba/smb.conf and add the contents below. (Remember that the username and password is py4sa. Alternately, you can simply use this configuration on existing Ubuntu Virtual Machine or server you already have running.)

Step 1: Edit the smb.conf file

Listing 1: (zero security) samba config /etc/samba/smb.conf

[global]
workgroup = home
netbios name = py4sa
security = share
[share]
comment = Home File Server
path = /usr/export
force user = py4sa
force group = py4sa
guest ok = yes
read only = no

With this configuration file squared away, next we need to create the actual directory to share out, change the ownership, and restart samba.

Step 2: Create the shared directory mentioned in the configuration file

py4sa@py4sa:~$ sudo mkdir /usr/export

Step 3: Change ownership to match the "forced" user and group privileges we set in the configuration file

py4sa@py4sa:~$ sudo chown -R py4sa:py4sa /usr/export

Step 4: Restart the samba daemon

py4sa@py4sa:~$ sudo killall -HUP smb

With this out of the way, we can perform a command line debugging step first to see if our share is available. Under OS X, we can simply run this command (note that your IP address may be different):

[ngift@macintosh-8][H:743][J:0]# sudo smbclient -L //192.168.1.200

Next, we should see some form of output like this:

Domain=[HOME] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.0.26a]
   Sharename    Type   Comment
   ————-    ——   ———-
   share        Disk   Home File Server
   IPC$         IPC    IPC Service (Samba 3.0.26a)
Domain=[HOME] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.0.26a]
   Server               Comment
   ————-            ———-
   PY4SA                Samba 3.0.26a
   Workgroup            Master
   ————-            ———-
   HOME                 PY4SA
   MOTHERSHIP           MOTHERSHIP

Here, we can see that our share is indeed alive, and it is named "share", with a comment "Home File Server", just as we wrote. I am a huge advocate of doing the simplest possible thing that will work, and in our situation, this is quite literally, the simplest possible configuration a user could want on a home network.

This configuration creates a simple read/write share that requires no password from a Mac. In the next section, we will go through the connection process.

Mounting Samba Read/Write As Guest

Now, that we have Samba configured, and running, we can simply mount the volume by using "Apple + K". Here is a sequence of screenshots showing the processes.


Figure 1: Connect To The Samba Server


Figure 2: Authenticate as Guest (No password required)


Figure 3: Test Read/Write Privileges

In the sequence of screenshots shown in Figures 1 through 3, we demonstrate how handy this simple "home brew" Samba Server really is. It allows us to setup read/write privileges for a guest user in seconds. Having this tip in your back pocket can sure get you out of some potential problems in a pinch, such as sharing a common web development environment. The nice thing about using a virtual machine running inside of your Mac is that the complexity can simply be turned off when you're done, or alternately, it can run forever as a server inside of a desktop Mac, or perhaps Mac Mini.

Now that we have conquered the simple Samba setup for OS X clients, let's get into conquering the simple LDAP setup for OS X clients.

OS X to Linux LDAP Configuration in 60 Seconds

LDAP is another protocol that can be a complete pain to deal with, as it can get quite complex for the newbie in a hurry. In this section, though, we reuse a pre-configured "vanilla" Ubuntu LDAP server running on the virtual machine we downloaded, and shudder, authenticate our OS X client directly to it in about 60 seconds. One of the reasons why this is so easy is because we have a pre-configured virtual machine, which hides the complexity of setting up LDAP initially from scratch.

Our goal in this section is, once again to do the simplest possible thing that works. Here is a sequence of screenshots of authenticating to LDAP:


Figure 4: Using Directory Utility to create a connection to LDAP


Figure 5: Read the error message, (Note, Linux LDAP doesn't just work out of the box).


Figure 6: We use advanced settings to configure a RFC 2307 mapping (chosen from the drop-down menu).


Figure 7: Still using Directory Utility, we manually add our new LDAP server to the search path.


Figure 8: In the Accounts Preference Pane, we setup "fast user switching," simply to allow easy testing of LDAP user account logins

Authenticating to LDAP from OS X

Now that we are configured to talk to Linux LDAP, let's test it out from the command line by interactively exploring our LDAP session from the awesome "dscl" command line tool.

Listing 2: exploring LDAP from the command line

[ngift@macintosh-8][H:753][J:0]# dscl
Entering interactive mode... (type "help" for commands)
 > ls
BSD
LDAPv3
Local
Search
Contact
 > cd LDAPv3/
/LDAPv3 > ls
192.168.1.200
/LDAPv3 > cd 192.168.1.200/
/LDAPv3/192.168.1.200 > ls
Automount
AutomountMap
CertificateAuthorities
Groups
Mounts
People
Users
/LDAPv3/192.168.1.200 > cd Users/
/LDAPv3/192.168.1.200/Users > ls
nobody
py4sa
root

This interactive session for the dscl command shows us that we are indeed connected to the LDAP directory on the Linux server, and can see the user accounts on that machine, such as py4sa. Next, let's actually login using that account.

If you notice, we can log in as the py4sa user, but we get a weird error from bash, because there is no home directory specified inside of LDAP.

Listing 3: using py4sa to login

[ngift@macintosh-8][H:761][J:0]# su py4sa  
Password:
bash: /home/py4sa/.bashrc: Input/output error
bash-3.2$ whoami
py4sa

The final thing to test is to actually do a fast user switch login to the new "py4sa" account that gets pulled from the LDAP database on the Virtual Machine. If you go through with the process it will hang for about 30 seconds, and then bring up a warning that it couldn't find the user's home directory, yet still login, to a temporary home directory.

So what does this prove? Well, it proves that we have the simplest possible Samba, and LDAP connections running from a pre-configured virtual machine. Not to shabby for some virtual machine file on your file system.

Conclusion

In this second article in a four part series, we fully configured a Read/Write Samba share running off of a virtual machine. The security was intentionally set to allow not require a user name and password, as this is very appropriate for ad hoc or home networking.

Next, we did the simplest possible LDAP authentication we could by configuring OS X to talk to the same virtual machine. We stopped at really doing anything too useful though, as we weren't able to use a home directory yet. In the next article, we go beyond our simple Home Samba Server, and lightweight LDAP configuration, to setup a sample Enterprise configuration, that ties in home directories, 3rd party LDAP administration tools, and more. In the final and fourth article we then take our enterprise LDAP/Samba configuration, and make tie in authentication to Apache and Trac. This allows for one firecracker of a virtual machine, that again, is just some file sitting on your OS X box.

BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES

Noah Gift. "How To Build A Dirt Easy NAS with Samba". Red Hat Magazine, http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/06/26/how-to-build-a-dirt-easy-home-nas-server-using-samba/.

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 currently works for Weta Digital in New Zealand. 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

Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm...
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm your mind with nature sounds and illustrations 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Spending time in nature helps you to... | Read more »
Dr. Panda Racers (Education)
Dr. Panda Racers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: STEP ON THE GAS, RACE AND WIN!Fasten your seat belts and get ready to race! Speed your way to the finish line while doing... | Read more »
ROMANCING SAGA 2 (Games)
ROMANCING SAGA 2 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $17.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Romancing SaGa 2, originally released only in Japan in 1993, has been completely remastered and now receives its first... | Read more »
WRIO Keyboard (Utilities)
WRIO Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 40% OFF DURING LIMITED INTRODUCTORY OFFER | Read more »
Hatoful Boyfriend (Games)
Hatoful Boyfriend 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The hit PC game that everybirdie loves has now migrated to your mobile device! Now you are free to explore the wonders of St... | Read more »
Warp Shift (Games)
Warp Shift 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: [ CHECK YOUR HARDWARE: Warp Shift does NOT run on iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPod touch 4G or older devices! It requires at least iOS8... | Read more »
Lifeline: Whiteout (Games)
Lifeline: Whiteout 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: Alone in a frozen wasteland with no memory of how he got there, a lost adventurer’s only hope is his last line of... | Read more »
Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Games)
Castles of Mad King Ludwig 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
How to command and conquer in Raid HQ
Raid HQ is a satisfyingly deep base building game with over-the-top macho action and explosions. This little free to play bundle gives you a lot to do from managing a squad to building the most powerful base you possibly can. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Kanex Introduces GoPower USB-C Rechargeable B...
Kanex has announced its GoPower USB-C portable battery for the USB-C MacBook, featuring the new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power. Providing users with a new... Read more
Convertible and Detachable Devices Winning Ov...
According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), Western European shipments of ultraslim convertibles and detachables posted positive growth (44.7%) to account for... Read more
New MacBook Pros And Will MacBook Air Be Upgr...
With my mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air closing on its third anniversary come November, I’m in system upgrade mode. Actually the Haswell CPU equipped Air is still doing a fine job, but my good wife is... 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, and... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more

Jobs Board

Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.