4.1 Features and Benefits

What is the key benefit of Microsoft Domain Security ?

In a word, Single Sign On , or SSO for short. To many, this is the Holy Grail of MS Windows NT and beyond networking. SSO allows users in a well-designed network to log onto any workstation that is a member of the domain that their user account is in (or in a domain that has an appropriate trust relationship with the domain they are visiting) and they will be able to log onto the network and access resources (shares, files and printers) as if they are sitting at their home (personal) workstation. This is a feature of the Domain Security protocols.

The benefits of Domain Security are available to those sites that deploy a Samba PDC. A Domain provides a unique network security identifier (SID). Domain user and group security identifiers are comprised of the network SID plus a relative identifier (RID) that is unique to the account. User and Group SIDs (the network SID plus the RID) can be used to create Access Control Lists (ACLs) attached to network resources to provide organizational access control. UNIX systems recognize only local security identifiers.



Network clients of an MS Windows Domain Security Environment must be Domain Members to be able to gain access to the advanced features provided. Domain Membership involves more than just setting the workgroup name to the Domain name . It requires the creation of a Domain trust account for the workstation (called a machine account). Refer to Chapter 6, Domain Membership for more information.

The following functionalities are new to the Samba-3 release:

  • Windows NT4 domain trusts.

  • Adding users via the User Manager for Domains. This can be done on any MS Windows client using the Nexus.exe toolkit for Windows 9x/Me, or using the SRVTOOLS.EXE package for MS Windows NT4/200x/XP platforms. These packages are available from Microsoft's Web site.

  • Introduces replaceable and multiple user account (authentication) backends . In the case where the backend is placed in an LDAP database, Samba-3 confers the benefits of a backend that can be distributed, replicated and is highly scalable.

  • Implements full Unicode support. This simplifies cross locale internationalization support. It also opens up the use of protocols that Samba-2.2.x had but could not use due to the need to fully support Unicode.

The following functionalities are not provided by Samba-3:

  • SAM replication with Windows NT4 Domain Controllers (i.e., a Samba PDC and a Windows NT BDC or vice versa). This means Samba cannot operate as a BDC when the PDC is Microsoft-based or replicate account data to Windows BDCs.

  • Acting as a Windows 2000 Domain Controller (i.e., Kerberos and Active Directory). In point of fact, Samba-3 does have some Active Directory Domain Control ability that is at this time purely experimental that is certain to change as it becomes a fully supported feature some time during the Samba-3 (or later) life cycle. However, Active Directory is more then just SMB ” it's also LDAP, Kerberos, DHCP, and other protocols (with proprietary extensions, of course).

  • The Windows 200x/XP MMC (Computer Management) Console can not be used to manage a Samba-3 server. For this you can use only the MS Windows NT4 Domain Server manager and the MS Windows NT4 Domain User Manager. Both are part of the SVRTOOLS.EXE package mentioned later.

Windows 9x/Me/XP Home clients are not true members of a domain for reasons outlined in this chapter. The protocol for support of Windows 9x/Me style network (domain) logons is completely different from NT4/Windows 200x type domain logons and has been officially supported for some time. These clients use the old LanMan Network Logon facilities that are supported in Samba since approximately the Samba-1.9.15 series.

Samba-3 implements group mapping between Windows NT groups and UNIX groups (this is really quite complicated to explain in a short space). This is discussed more fully in Chapter 11, Group Mapping ” MS Windows and UNIX .

Samba-3, like an MS Windows NT4 PDC or a Windows 200x Active Directory, needs to store user and Machine Trust Account information in a suitable backend datastore. Refer to Section 6.2. With Samba-3 there can be multiple backends for this. A complete discussion of account database backends can be found in Chapter 10, Account Information Databases .

Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide
The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 0131882228
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 297

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