I am configuring a Samba share on my Debian server and I'd like to create some simple username:password accounts that could access the shares without having to add UNIX users to my machine.

Can I do that ?

Thanks a lot in advance !


3 Answers 3


Here is a good explanation: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=825686

"The reason you need a unix account is so samba can restrict access to files according to permissions set on the filesystem. If the unix user doesn't have local permission to read a file, the samba user with the same name won't be able to read it either, regardless of the share's settings. I think you can disable the unix account, as long as the samba user is listed in /etc/passwd with a UID."

  • 4
    I was afraid of that answer. However, I find it quite surprising that you can't at least map some non-UNIX usernames to one. Every Samba account has to have its UNIX equivalent, which is a non-sense to me since it's non praticable at all. Sep 24, 2013 at 21:54

Check your [global] section. There is a security = user parameter. If you have this section set to = user you'll be asked for a password anyway. You have to change it to security = share, but note that this option was deprecated!


you can map multiple virtual users to the "nobody" unprivileged unix account:

more details here: http://htyp.org/smbusers

so it would look like:

nobody = user1 user2 user2

conversely, you could add these unix accounts and set /sbin/nologin as the shell.

  • That's actually what I tried, but then when I add the user nobody the valid users parameter, I'm still asked for a password upon connection, and I get the following error message : Unable to find suitable address. Sep 24, 2013 at 22:04
  • paste your samba mount command.... ie. mount -t cifs -o user=user1 // /mnt/smbmount
    – nandoP
    Sep 24, 2013 at 23:26
  • This is exactly what I am doing. And I'm asked for a password. Sep 25, 2013 at 10:16

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