Chapter 14. File and Print Servers

This chapter guides you through the installation and configuration of Samba, an open source implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) and common Internet file system (CIFS) protocol, and vsftpd, the primary FTP server shipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Additionally, it explains how to use the Print Settings tool to configure printers.

14.1. Samba

Samba is the standard open source Windows interoperability suite of programs for Linux. It implements the server message block (SMB) protocol. SMB allows Microsoft Windows®, Linux, UNIX, and other operating systems to access files and printers shared from servers that support this protocol. Samba's use of SMB allows it to appear as a Windows server to Windows clients.


In order to use Samba, first ensure the samba package is installed on your system by running, as root:
~]# yum install samba
For more information on installing packages with Yum, see Section 8.2.4, “Installing Packages”.

14.1.1. Introduction to Samba

Samba is an important component to seamlessly integrate Linux Servers and Desktops into Active Directory (AD) environments. It can function both as a domain controller (NT4-style) or as a regular domain member (AD or NT4-style).

What Samba can do:

  • Serve directory trees and printers to Linux, UNIX, and Windows clients
  • Assist in network browsing (with NetBIOS)
  • Authenticate Windows domain logins
  • Provide Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) name server resolution
  • Act as a Windows NT®-style Primary Domain Controller (PDC)
  • Act as a Backup Domain Controller (BDC) for a Samba-based PDC
  • Act as an Active Directory domain member server
  • Join a Windows NT/2000/2003/2008 PDC/Windows Server 2012

What Samba cannot do:

  • Act as a BDC for a Windows PDC (and vice versa)
  • Act as an Active Directory domain controller

14.1.2. Samba Daemons and Related Services

Samba is comprised of three daemons (smbd, nmbd, and winbindd). Three services (smb, nmb, and winbind) control how the daemons are started, stopped, and other service-related features. These services act as different init scripts. Each daemon is listed in detail below, as well as which specific service has control over it.


The smbd server daemon provides file sharing and printing services to Windows clients. In addition, it is responsible for user authentication, resource locking, and data sharing through the SMB protocol. The default ports on which the server listens for SMB traffic are TCP ports 139 and 445.
The smbd daemon is controlled by the smb service.


The nmbd server daemon understands and replies to NetBIOS name service requests such as those produced by SMB/CIFS in Windows-based systems. These systems include Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and LanManager clients. It also participates in the browsing protocols that make up the Windows Network Neighborhood view. The default port that the server listens to for NMB traffic is UDP port 137.
The nmbd daemon is controlled by the nmb service.


The winbind service resolves user and group information received from a server running Windows NT, 2000, 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2012. This makes Windows user and group information understandable by UNIX platforms. This is achieved by using Microsoft RPC calls, Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM), and the Name Service Switch (NSS). This allows Windows NT domain and Active Directory users to appear and operate as UNIX users on a UNIX machine. Though bundled with the Samba distribution, the winbind service is controlled separately from the smb service.
The winbind daemon is controlled by the winbind service and does not require the smb service to be started in order to operate. winbind is also used when Samba is an Active Directory member, and may also be used on a Samba domain controller (to implement nested groups and interdomain trust). Because winbind is a client-side service used to connect to Windows NT-based servers, further discussion of winbind is beyond the scope of this chapter.


See Section 14.1.9, “Samba Distribution Programs” for a list of utilities included in the Samba distribution.

14.1.3. Connecting to a Samba Share

You can use either Nautilus or command line to connect to available Samba shares.

Procedure 14.1. Connecting to a Samba Share Using Nautilus

  1. To view a list of Samba workgroups and domains on your network, select PlacesNetwork from the GNOME panel, and then select the desired network. Alternatively, type smb: in the FileOpen Location bar of Nautilus.
    As shown in Figure 14.1, “SMB Workgroups in Nautilus”, an icon appears for each available SMB workgroup or domain on the network.
    SMB Workgroups in Nautilus

    Figure 14.1. SMB Workgroups in Nautilus

  2. Double-click one of the workgroup or domain icon to view a list of computers within the workgroup or domain.
    SMB Machines in Nautilus

    Figure 14.2. SMB Machines in Nautilus

  3. As displayed in Figure 14.2, “SMB Machines in Nautilus”, an icon exists for each machine within the workgroup. Double-click on an icon to view the Samba shares on the machine. If a user name and password combination is required, you are prompted for them.
    Alternately, you can also specify the Samba server and sharename in the Location: bar for Nautilus using the following syntax (replace servername and sharename with the appropriate values):

Procedure 14.2. Connecting to a Samba Share Using the Command Line

  1. To connect to a Samba share from a shell prompt, type the following command:
    ~]$ smbclient //hostname/sharename -U username
    Replace hostname with the host name or IP address of the Samba server you want to connect to, sharename with the name of the shared directory you want to browse, and username with the Samba user name for the system. Enter the correct password or press Enter if no password is required for the user.
    If you see the smb:\> prompt, you have successfully logged in. Once you are logged in, type help for a list of commands. If you want to browse the contents of your home directory, replace sharename with your user name. If the -U switch is not used, the user name of the current user is passed to the Samba server.
  2. To exit smbclient, type exit at the smb:\> prompt.

14.1.4. Mounting the Share

Sometimes it is useful to mount a Samba share to a directory so that the files in the directory can be treated as if they are part of the local file system.
To mount a Samba share to a directory, create a directory to mount it to (if it does not already exist), and execute the following command as root:
mount -t cifs //servername/sharename /mnt/point/ -o username=username,password=password
This command mounts sharename from servername in the local directory /mnt/point/.
For more information about mounting a samba share, see the mount.cifs(8) manual page.


The mount.cifs utility is a separate RPM (independent from Samba). In order to use mount.cifs, first ensure the cifs-utils package is installed on your system by running, as root:
~]# yum install cifs-utils
For more information on installing packages with Yum, see Section 8.2.4, “Installing Packages”.
Note that the cifs-utils package also contains the cifs.upcall binary called by the kernel in order to perform kerberized CIFS mounts. For more information on cifs.upcall, see the cifs.upcall(8) manual page.


Some CIFS servers require plain text passwords for authentication. Support for plain text password authentication can be enabled using the following command as root:
~]# echo 0x37 > /proc/fs/cifs/SecurityFlags
WARNING: This operation can expose passwords by removing password encryption.

14.1.5. Configuring a Samba Server

The default configuration file (/etc/samba/smb.conf) allows users to view their home directories as a Samba share. It also shares all printers configured for the system as Samba shared printers. You can attach a printer to the system and print to it from the Windows machines on your network. Graphical Configuration

To configure Samba using a graphical interface, use one of the available Samba graphical user interfaces. A list of available GUIs can be found at Command-Line Configuration

Samba uses /etc/samba/smb.conf as its configuration file. If you change this configuration file, the changes do not take effect until you restart the Samba daemon with the following command, as root:
~]# systemctl restart smb.service
To specify the Windows workgroup and a brief description of the Samba server, edit the following lines in your /etc/samba/smb.conf file:
Replace WORKGROUPNAME with the name of the Windows workgroup to which this machine should belong. The BRIEF COMMENT ABOUT SERVER is optional and is used as the Windows comment about the Samba system.
To create a Samba share directory on your Linux system, add the following section to your /etc/samba/smb.conf file (after modifying it to reflect your needs and your system):

Example 14.1. An Example Configuration of a Samba Server

comment = Insert a comment here
path = /home/share/
valid users = tfox carole
writable = yes
create mask = 0765
The above example allows the users tfox and carole to read and write to the directory /home/share/, on the Samba server, from a Samba client. Encrypted Passwords

Encrypted passwords are enabled by default because it is more secure to use them. To create a user with an encrypted password, use the smbpasswd utility:
smbpasswd -a username

14.1.6. Starting and Stopping Samba

To start a Samba server, type the following command in a shell prompt, as root:
~]# systemctl start smb.service


To set up a domain member server, you must first join the domain or Active Directory using the net join command before starting the smb service. Also, it is recommended to run winbind before smbd.
To stop the server, type the following command in a shell prompt, as root:
~]# systemctl stop smb.service
The restart option is a quick way of stopping and then starting Samba. This is the most reliable way to make configuration changes take effect after editing the configuration file for Samba. Note that the restart option starts the daemon even if it was not running originally.
To restart the server, type the following command in a shell prompt, as root:
~]# systemctl restart smb.service
The condrestart (conditional restart) option only starts smb on the condition that it is currently running. This option is useful for scripts, because it does not start the daemon if it is not running.


When the /etc/samba/smb.conf file is changed, Samba automatically reloads it after a few minutes. Issuing a manual restart or reload is just as effective.
To conditionally restart the server, type the following command, as root:
~]# systemctl try-restart smb.service
A manual reload of the /etc/samba/smb.conf file can be useful in case of a failed automatic reload by the smb service. To ensure that the Samba server configuration file is reloaded without restarting the service, type the following command, as root:
~]# systemctl reload smb.service
By default, the smb service does not start automatically at boot time. To configure Samba to start at boot time, type the following at a shell prompt as root:
~]# systemctl enable smb.service
See Chapter 9, Managing Services with systemd for more information regarding this tool.

14.1.7. Samba Security Modes

There are only two types of security modes for Samba, share-level and user-level, which are collectively known as security levels. Share-level security is deprecated and has been removed from Samba. Configurations containing this mode need to be migrated to use user-level security. User-level security can be implemented in one of three different ways. The different ways of implementing a security level are called security modes. User-Level Security

User-level security is the default and recommended setting for Samba. Even if the security = user directive is not listed in the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, it is used by Samba. If the server accepts the client's user name and password, the client can then mount multiple shares without specifying a password for each instance. Samba can also accept session-based user name and password requests. The client maintains multiple authentication contexts by using a unique UID for each logon.
In the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, the security = user directive that sets user-level security is:
security = user

Samba Guest Shares

As mentioned above, share-level security mode is deprecated. To configure a Samba guest share without using the security = share parameter, follow the procedure below:

Procedure 14.3. Configuring Samba Guest Shares

  1. Create a username map file, in this example /etc/samba/smbusers, and add the following line to it:
    nobody = guest
  2. Add the following directives to the main section in the /etc/samba/smb.conf file. Also, do not use the valid users directive:
    security = user
    map to guest = Bad User
    username map = /etc/samba/smbusers
    The username map directive provides a path to the username map file specified in the previous step.
  3. Add the following directive to the share section in the /ect/samba/smb.conf file. Do not use the valid users directive.
    guest ok = yes
The following sections describe other implementations of user-level security.

Domain Security Mode (User-Level Security)

In domain security mode, the Samba server has a machine account (domain security trust account) and causes all authentication requests to be passed through to the domain controllers. The Samba server is made into a domain member server by using the following directives in the /etc/samba/smb.conf file:
security = domain
workgroup = MARKETING

Active Directory Security Mode (User-Level Security)

If you have an Active Directory environment, it is possible to join the domain as a native Active Directory member. Even if a security policy restricts the use of NT-compatible authentication protocols, the Samba server can join an ADS using Kerberos. Samba in Active Directory member mode can accept Kerberos tickets.
In the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, the following directives make Samba an Active Directory member server:
security = ADS
password server =
... Share-Level Security

With share-level security, the server accepts only a password without an explicit user name from the client. The server expects a password for each share, independent of the user name. There have been recent reports that Microsoft Windows clients have compatibility issues with share-level security servers. This mode is deprecated and has been removed from Samba. Configurations containing security = share should be updated to use user-level security. Follow the steps in Procedure 14.3, “Configuring Samba Guest Shares” to avoid using the security = share directive.

14.1.8. Samba Network Browsing

Network browsing enables Windows and Samba servers to appear in the Windows Network Neighborhood. Inside the Network Neighborhood, icons are represented as servers and if opened, the server's shares and printers that are available are displayed.
Network browsing capabilities require NetBIOS over TCP/IP. NetBIOS-based networking uses broadcast (UDP) messaging to accomplish browse list management. Without NetBIOS and WINS as the primary method for TCP/IP host name resolution, other methods such as static files (/etc/hosts) or DNS, must be used.
A domain master browser collates the browse lists from local master browsers on all subnets so that browsing can occur between workgroups and subnets. Also, the domain master browser should preferably be the local master browser for its own subnet. Domain Browsing

By default, a Windows server PDC for a domain is also the domain master browser for that domain. A Samba server must not be set up as a domain master server in this type of situation.
For subnets that do not include the Windows server PDC, a Samba server can be implemented as a local master browser. Configuring the /etc/samba/smb.conf file for a local master browser (or no browsing at all) in a domain controller environment is the same as workgroup configuration (see Section 14.1.5, “Configuring a Samba Server”). WINS (Windows Internet Name Server)

Either a Samba server or a Windows NT server can function as a WINS server. When a WINS server is used with NetBIOS enabled, UDP unicasts can be routed which allows name resolution across networks. Without a WINS server, the UDP broadcast is limited to the local subnet and therefore cannot be routed to other subnets, workgroups, or domains. If WINS replication is necessary, do not use Samba as your primary WINS server, as Samba does not currently support WINS replication.
In a mixed NT/2000/2003/2008 server and Samba environment, it is recommended that you use the Microsoft WINS capabilities. In a Samba-only environment, it is recommended that you use only one Samba server for WINS.
The following is an example of the /etc/samba/smb.conf file in which the Samba server is serving as a WINS server:

Example 14.2. An Example Configuration of WINS Server

wins support = yes


All servers (including Samba) should connect to a WINS server to resolve NetBIOS names. Without WINS, browsing only occurs on the local subnet. Furthermore, even if a domain-wide list is somehow obtained, hosts cannot be resolved for the client without WINS.

14.1.9. Samba Distribution Programs


net <protocol> <function> <misc_options> <target_options>
The net utility is similar to the net utility used for Windows and MS-DOS. The first argument is used to specify the protocol to use when executing a command. The protocol option can be ads, rap, or rpc for specifying the type of server connection. Active Directory uses ads, Win9x/NT3 uses rap, and Windows NT4/2000/2003/2008 uses rpc. If the protocol is omitted, net automatically tries to determine it.
The following example displays a list of the available shares for a host named wakko:
~]$ net -l share -S wakko
Enumerating shared resources (exports) on remote server:
Share name   Type     Description
----------   ----     -----------
data         Disk     Wakko data share
tmp          Disk     Wakko tmp share
IPC$         IPC      IPC Service (Samba Server)
ADMIN$       IPC      IPC Service (Samba Server)
The following example displays a list of Samba users for a host named wakko:
~]$ net -l user -S wakko
root password:
User name             Comment
andriusb              Documentation
joe                   Marketing
lisa                  Sales


nmblookup <options> <netbios_name>
The nmblookup program resolves NetBIOS names into IP addresses. The program broadcasts its query on the local subnet until the target machine replies.
The following example displays the IP address of the NetBIOS name trek:
~]$ nmblookup trek
querying trek on trek<00>


pdbedit <options>
The pdbedit program manages accounts located in the SAM database. All back ends are supported including smbpasswd, LDAP, and the tdb database library.
The following are examples of adding, deleting, and listing users:
~]$ pdbedit -a kristin
new password:
retype new password:
Unix username:        kristin
NT username:
Account Flags:        [U          ]
User SID:             S-1-5-21-1210235352-3804200048-1474496110-2012
Primary Group SID:    S-1-5-21-1210235352-3804200048-1474496110-2077
Full Name: Home Directory:       \\wakko\kristin
HomeDir Drive:
Logon Script:
Profile Path:         \\wakko\kristin\profile
Domain:               WAKKO
Account desc:
Workstations: Munged
Logon time:           0
Logoff time:          Mon, 18 Jan 2038 22:14:07 GMT
Kickoff time:         Mon, 18 Jan 2038 22:14:07 GMT
Password last set:    Thu, 29 Jan 2004 08:29:28
GMT Password can change:  Thu, 29 Jan 2004 08:29:28 GMT
Password must change: Mon, 18 Jan 2038 22:14:07 GMT
~]$ pdbedit -v -L kristin
Unix username:        kristin
NT username:
Account Flags:        [U          ]
User SID:             S-1-5-21-1210235352-3804200048-1474496110-2012
Primary Group SID:    S-1-5-21-1210235352-3804200048-1474496110-2077
Full Name:
Home Directory:       \\wakko\kristin
HomeDir Drive:
Logon Script:
Profile Path:         \\wakko\kristin\profile
Domain:               WAKKO
Account desc:
Workstations: Munged
Logon time:           0
Logoff time:          Mon, 18 Jan 2038 22:14:07 GMT
Kickoff time:         Mon, 18 Jan 2038 22:14:07 GMT
Password last set:    Thu, 29 Jan 2004 08:29:28 GMT
Password can change:  Thu, 29 Jan 2004 08:29:28 GMT
Password must change: Mon, 18 Jan 2038 22:14:07 GMT
~]$ pdbedit -L
~]$ pdbedit -x joe
~]$ pdbedit -L
andriusb:505: lisa:504: kristin:506:


rpcclient <server> <options>
The rpcclient program issues administrative commands using Microsoft RPCs, which provide access to the Windows administration graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for systems management. This is most often used by advanced users that understand the full complexity of Microsoft RPCs.


smbcacls <//server/share> <filename> <options>
The smbcacls program modifies Windows ACLs on files and directories shared by a Samba server or a Windows server.


smbclient <//server/share> <password> <options>
The smbclient program is a versatile UNIX client which provides functionality similar to the ftp utility.


smbcontrol -i <options>
smbcontrol <options> <destination> <messagetype> <parameters>
The smbcontrol program sends control messages to running smbd, nmbd, or winbindd daemons. Executing smbcontrol -i runs commands interactively until a blank line or a 'q' is entered.


smbpasswd <options> <username> <password>
The smbpasswd program manages encrypted passwords. This program can be run by a superuser to change any user's password and also by an ordinary user to change their own Samba password.


smbspool <job> <user> <title> <copies> <options> <filename>
The smbspool program is a CUPS-compatible printing interface to Samba. Although designed for use with CUPS printers, smbspool can work with non-CUPS printers as well.


smbstatus <options>
The smbstatus program displays the status of current connections to a Samba server.


smbtar <options>
The smbtar program performs backup and restores of Windows-based share files and directories to a local tape archive. Though similar to the tar utility, the two are not compatible.


testparm <options> <filename> <hostname IP_address>
The testparm program checks the syntax of the /etc/samba/smb.conf file. If your smb.conf file is in the default location (/etc/samba/smb.conf) you do not need to specify the location. Specifying the host name and IP address to the testparm program verifies that the hosts.allow and host.deny files are configured correctly. The testparm program also displays a summary of your smb.conf file and the server's role (stand-alone, domain, etc.) after testing. This is convenient when debugging as it excludes comments and concisely presents information for experienced administrators to read. For example:
~]$ testparm
Load smb config files from /etc/samba/smb.conf
Processing section "[homes]"
Processing section "[printers]"
Processing section "[tmp]"
Processing section "[html]"
Loaded services file OK.
Press enter to see a dump of your service definitions
# Global parameters
	workgroup = MYGROUP
	server string = Samba Server
	security = SHARE
	log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
	max log size = 50
	socket options = TCP_NODELAY SO_RCVBUF=8192 SO_SNDBUF=8192
	dns proxy = no
	comment = Home Directories
	read only = no
	browseable = no
	comment = All Printers
	path = /var/spool/samba
	printable = yes
	browseable = no
	comment = Wakko tmp
	path = /tmp
	guest only = yes
	comment = Wakko www
	path = /var/www/html
	force user = andriusb
	force group = users
	read only = no
	guest only = yes


wbinfo <options>
The wbinfo program displays information from the winbindd daemon. The winbindd daemon must be running for wbinfo to work.

14.1.10. Additional Resources

The following sections give you the means to explore Samba in greater detail.

Installed Documentation

  • /usr/share/doc/samba-<version-number>/ — All additional files included with the Samba distribution. This includes all helper scripts, sample configuration files, and documentation.
  • See the following man pages for detailed information specific Samba features:
    • smb.conf(5)
    • samba(7)
    • smbd(8)
    • nmbd(8)
    • winbindd(8)

Useful Websites

  • — Homepage for the Samba distribution and all official documentation created by the Samba development team. Many resources are available in HTML and PDF formats, while others are only available for purchase. Although many of these links are not Red Hat Enterprise Linux specific, some concepts may apply.
  • — Samba 4.x official documentation.
  • — Active email lists for the Samba community. Enabling digest mode is recommended due to high levels of list activity.
  • Samba newsgroups — Samba threaded newsgroups, such as, that use the NNTP protocol are also available. This an alternative to receiving mailing list emails.