The former jackass IT-guy that I'm taking over for had a Samba share setup on a Fedora server that uses our OpenLDAP server to authenticate users who want to log in from Windows.

We recently added a new employee and I jumped through the LDAP hoops to add them to the system. However, I can't seem to use their login to access the Samba share. I'm looking through the LDAP settings and Groups and comparing the new user account to existing ones, and I can't figure out what settings in LDAP are required for this user to be able to access the Samba share.

Of course the former idiotic IT-guy didn't document a single thing and has all sorts of weird setups on the network. So I'm at a bit of a loss on knowing what to look for here.

Where should I start?

On the server that is hosting the Samba share, he has samba running obviously but also has smbldap-tools loaded as well.

  • 2
    Post the smb.conf?
    – James
    Jun 8, 2010 at 21:36
  • Isn't that like a huge part of being an IT guy, figuring out what the last guy did. You really rag on him, guess your perfect tho. Stupid previous IT guy using centralized LDAP to authenticate users to a SMB share... Aug 23, 2019 at 5:28
  • Did you, grep a log file? Post a config file? Aug 23, 2019 at 5:32

5 Answers 5


Are you sure its using LDAP for authentication and not just authorization? If you change your password in LDAP does the share allow logins with the old password or the new one? Thats an important question to answer-if you change your password and it doesn't seem to pick it up on the Samba server, the Samba server may be using locally setup Samba users and checking their group membership in LDAP.


pdbedit on the Samba controller is a good place to start. Does the user show up in pdbedit -L? You can also use net rpc users to do something similar, but that works over the network rather than querying the password database directly.

If the user doesn't show up in the output, that means that the necessary attributes aren't there. We don't use smbldap-tools, so we can just use smbpasswd -a $username or pdbedit -a $username, but that may not be the case for you.

If the user does show up in the output, then I would start looking higher up the stack. Can you login as the user with net -U $username rpc share?

The log files are often useful, too - ours live in /var/log/samba/ under the machine name and IP address. You can use smbcontrol smbd debug to turn up the appropriate debugging sections, such as passdb.


There's a LDAP GUI tool for windows called ldapadmin. It presents the data in the LDAP directory necessary for samba in a simple human-readable format. You can also look at all the nitty-gritty stuff in the entry.

Also, have you looked at the LDAP config stuff in smb.conf? It will tell you what LDAP attributes are used if they're customized.


Try to check the shares part in Samba configuration in /etc/samba/smb.conf (usually near the end).

Maybe that in the valid users directive for the selected share there isn't the group but only the usernames of the enabled users for that share.

In this case, you have to add the username of the new user or, if applicable, is best to use the enable group with the syntax @{{ group_name }}. So in the future you have only to add the user to the group at ldap level without further modify Samba configuration.

For some reference on Samba access layer: http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch09.html


You should be careful if you are not familar with Openldap / Samba Domain Controllers. You could end up with noone able to login to the domain if your break things.

Generally most people would you smbldap-tools ... ie /opt/IDEALX/...smbldap-useradd -m -a username ; smbldap-passwd username ; smbpasswd usernane.

There are many tools how to add users to samba/openldap. The "net" tools are included in the samba suite; they are general purpose tools and designed to have similar use to that of the Windows tools available in dos.

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