(?) The Answer Gang (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Linux in a Windows NT Domain (under a PDC)

From Maenard Martinez on Tue, 25 Jul 2000

Answered By: Jim Dennis

Is it possible to connect the Linux Red Hat 6.0 (costum installed) to the network wherein the PDC is a Windows NT 4.0 Server? Do I need additional tools to connect it? Is it similar to UNIX X-windows?

Thanks, Maenard

(!) Basically all interoperation between Linux (and other forms of UNIX) and the Microsoft Windows family of network protocols (SMB used by OS/2 LANManager and LANServer, WfW, Win '9x, NT, and W2K) is done through the free Samba package.
Normally Samba allows a Linux or other UNIX system to act as an SMB file and print server. There are various ways of getting Linux to act as an SMB client (including the smbclient program, which is basically like using "FTP" to an SMB server, and the smbfs kernel option that allows one to mount SMB shares basically as though they were NFS exports).
Now, when it comes to having Linux act as a client in an MS Windows "domain" (under a PDC, or primary domain controller) it takes a bit of extra work. Recently the Andrew Tridgell and his Samba team have been working on a package called "winbind." Tridge demonstrated it to me last time he was in San Francisco.
Basically you configure and run the winbind daemon, point it at your PDC (and BDCs?) and it can do host and user lookups, (and user authentication?) for you. I guess there is also a libnss (name services selector) module that is also included, so you could edit your Linux system's /etc/nsswitch.conf to add this, just as you might to force glibc linked programs to query NIS, NIS+, LDAP or other directory services.
Now I should point out two things about what Tridge showed me. First, it was under development at the time. It probably still is. You'd want to look at the Samba web pages and read about the current state of the code --- but it may not be ready for use on production systems. (I hear that some sites are already using it in production, but basically that's because it's their only choice). The other thing I should mention is that I got the basic "salesman's" demo. That's not any fault of Tridge's (he wasn't trying to "sell" it to me and he certainly can get into the technical nitty gritty to any level that I could understand). It's just that we didn't have much time to spend together. As usual we were both pressed for time.
I'm writing this on a train, which is why I can't look for more details at the Samba site for you. So, point your browser at: http://www.samba.org for more details.

Copyright © 2000, James T. Dennis
Published in the Linux Gazette Issue 57 September 2000
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Tuxtops, Inc., http://www.tuxtops.com/

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