It is well known that UNIX and Microsoft Windows NT have different models for representing user and group information and use different technologies for implementing them. This fact has made it difficult to integrate the two systems in a satisfactory manner.
One common solution in use today has been to create identically named user accounts on both the UNIX and Windows systems and use the Samba suite of programs to provide file and print services between the two. This solution is far from perfect, however, as adding and deleting users on both sets of machines becomes a chore and two sets of passwords are required ” both of which can lead to synchronization problems between the UNIX and Windows systems and confusion for users.
We divide the unified logon problem for UNIX machines into three smaller problems:
Ideally, a prospective solution to the unified logon problem would satisfy all the above components without duplication of information on the UNIX machines and without creating additional tasks for the system administrator when maintaining users and groups on either system. The Winbind system provides a simple and elegant solution to all three components of the unified logon problem.