[GLLUG] Samba + Linux, FreeBSD, and (sigh) Windows

C. Ulrich dincht at securenym.net
Mon Nov 3 01:59:51 EST 2003

To mount an SMB share onto the local filesystem in Linux and FreeBSD,
all one has to do is create an appropriate /etc/fstab entry such as
this: (the Linux version)

//servername/sharename /mountpoint smbfs \
credentials=/root/.smbsecrets,uid=smbuser,gid=smbgroup 0 0

and a "secrets" file containing the smb username and password. The
FreeBSD method is similar. 

The question is this: can something like this be done in Windows XP? My
initial experiments say no. At least, not in the way that I want to set
things up. I want to be able to give users, regardless of their username
and password, full unrestricted access to the SMB share as long as they
can provide the correct username (in this case, "smbuser") and password
to the server hosting the share. The main hinderance is that Windows
does not appear to be able to "store" passwords for SMB shares in the
way that one would need to make this work.

For example, using the Map Network Drive utility in Explorer, one can
configure a share to be automatically reconnected on each login if, and
only if, their Windows password is the same as the one used in the smb
share. The username can be entered manually and Windows will remember it
between logins. The password for the share can be entered manually as
well, and the "drive" will be connected for that session, but the
password is "lost" between logins. When the user tries to log in again,
an error will appear in the system tray (is that what they still call
it?) saying that the network drive could not be reconnected because
authentication failed: Windows will try to use the Windows logon
password rather than the one entered manually in the Map Network Drive

This is vexing. Seems like a common enough scenerio, but I can't seem to
type the right thing in the search engines to find a solution that
works. I briefly flirted with the idea of creating accounts on the
server (running Samba) that mirrored the Windows accounts and then tying
them together with a common smb group, but gave up early because group
privileges are more restrictive than owner privileges. Only a file's
owner can delete that particular file, for example.

I also tried the "username map" smb.conf command in Samba, but that
presents the same original problem: I still need to somehow provide the
password for the original smb user in order to authenticate.

I'd appreciate any help that doesn't begin with, "You dunderhead."
(Unless it is indeed helpful. :)

Charles Ulrich

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