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

Skype 8.52.0.138 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
Bookends 13.2.6 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
BusyContacts 1.4.0 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
Chromium 77.0.3865.75 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 77.0.3865.75: A list of changes is available... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 7.5.5 - Catalog your di...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast Finder-like intuitive look and feel Super-fast search algorithm Can compress catalog data for... Read more
Alfred 4.0.4 - Quick launcher for apps a...
Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for OS X. Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords, and file actions at... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 10.45 - File, pho...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
iFinance 4.5.11 - Comprehensively manage...
iFinance allows you to keep track of your income and spending -- from your lunchbreak coffee to your new car -- in the most convenient and fastest way. Clearly arranged transaction lists of all your... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 7.11.3 - Create diagrams...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
BBEdit 12.6.7 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special...
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery is a terrifying new nightmare from developer Illumix. Last week, FNAF fans were sent into a frenzy by a short teaser for what we now know to be Special Delivery. Those in the comments were quick to... | Read more »
Rush Rally 3's new live events are...
Last week, Rush Rally 3 got updated with live events, and it’s one of the best things to happen to racing games on mobile. Prior to this update, the game already had multiplayer, but live events are more convenient in the sense that it’s somewhat... | Read more »
Why your free-to-play racer sucks
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re... | Read more »
Steam Link Spotlight - The Banner Saga 3
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry talked about Terry Cavanaugh’s incredible Dicey Dungeons. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience... | Read more »
PSA: GRIS has some issues
You may or may not have seen that Devolver Digital just released GRIS on the App Store, but we wanted to do a quick public service announcement to say that you might not want to hop on buying it just yet. The puzzle platformer has come to small... | Read more »
Explore the world around you in new matc...
Got a hankering for a fresh-feeling Match-3 puzzle game that offers a unique twist? You might find exactly what you’re looking for with What a Wonderful World, a new spin on the classic mobile genre which merges entertaining puzzles with global... | Read more »
Combo Quest (Games)
Combo Quest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Combo Quest is an epic, time tap role-playing adventure. In this unique masterpiece, you are a knight on a heroic quest to retrieve... | Read more »
Hero Emblems (Games)
Hero Emblems 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** 25% OFF for a limited time to celebrate the release ** ** Note for iPhone 6 user: If it doesn't run fullscreen on your device... | Read more »
Puzzle Blitz (Games)
Puzzle Blitz 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Puzzle Blitz is a frantic puzzle solving race against the clock! Solve as many puzzles as you can, before time runs out! You have... | Read more »
Sky Patrol (Games)
Sky Patrol 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 'Strategic Twist On The Classic Shooter Genre' - Indie Game Mag... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save $150-$250 on 10.2″ WiFi + Cellular iPads...
Verizon is offering $150-$250 discounts on Apple’s new 10.2″ WiFi + Cellular iPad with service. Buy the iPad itself and save $150. Save $250 on the purchase of an iPad along with an iPhone. The fine... Read more
Apple continues to offer 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros available starting at $1019. An standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, outer cases are new... Read more
Apple restocks 2018 MacBook Airs, Certified R...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ MacBook Airs starting at only $849. Each MacBook features a new outer case, comes with a standard Apple one-year warranty, and is shipped free. The... Read more
Sunday Sale! 2019 27″ 5K 6-Core iMacs for $20...
B&H Photo has the new 2019 27″ 5K 6-Core iMacs on stock today and on sale for up to $250 off Apple’s MSRP. Overnight shipping is free to many locations in the US. These are the same iMacs sold by... Read more
Weekend Sale! 2019 13″ MacBook Airs for $200...
Amazon has new 2019 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP, with prices starting at $899, each including free shipping. Be sure to select Amazon as the seller during checkout, rather than... Read more
2019 15″ MacBook Pros now on sale for $350-$4...
B&H Photo has Apple’s 2019 15″ 6-Core and 8-Core MacBook Pros on sale today for $350-$400 off MSRP, starting at $2049, with free overnight shipping available to many addresses in the US: – 2019... Read more
Buy one Apple Watch Series 5 at Verizon, get...
Buy one Apple Watch Series 5 at Verizon, and get a second Watch for 50% off. Plus save $10 on your first month of service. The fine print: “Buy Apple Watch, get another up to 50% off on us. Plus $10... Read more
Sprint offers 64GB iPhone 11 for free to new...
Sprint will include the 64GB iPhone 11 for free for new customers with an eligible trade-in in of the iPhone 7 or newer through September 19, 2019. The fine print: “iPhone 11 64GB $0/mo. iPhone 11... Read more
Verizon offers new iPhone 11 models for up to...
Verizon is offering Apple’s new iPhone 11 models for $500 off MSRP to new customers with an eligible trade-in (see list below). Discount is applied via monthly bill credits over 24 months. Verizon is... Read more
AT&T offers free $300 reward card + free...
AT&T Wireless will include a second free 64GB iPhone 11 with the purchase of one eligible iPhone at full price. They will also include a free $300 rewards card. The fine print: “Buy an elig.... Read more

Jobs Board

Student Employment (Blue *Apple* Cafe) Spri...
Student Employment (Blue Apple Cafe) Spring 2019 Penn State University Campus/Location: Penn State Brandywine Campus City: Media, PA Date Announced: 12/20/2018 Date Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**732359BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000171-Winchester Road-Store **Job Description:** Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**732324BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000013-Fargo-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**732455BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000449-Auburn Hills-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**732490BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000449-Auburn Hills-Store **Job Description:** At Best Buy, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.