Dec 052012

SAMBA the open source SMB implementation got replace in Lion with SMBX. SMBX supports SMB2 which is was first used in Windows Vista and reduces the chattiness of the protocol. Additionally Samba 3 was release under the GPLv3 licence which prevent Apple from packaging it in a commercial package.

While there are several advantages the overall stability decreased. Two examples are given below:

  1. Several multifunction printers are not able to connect to the new SMBX service to deliver scanned images as they only support SMB1. A possible workaround is to use a FTP server like PureFTPd.
  2. A race condition can occur after booting the system that prevents any user  to log in. The message “NTLM domain not configured” is logged. A possible solution is discussed here.

BUT the most frustrating part about SMBX is that there is no official documentation. Furthermore it’s not using plaintext configuration files anymore.

To track down errors it’s essential to have a good error log. To enable logging the launchd configuration file has to be modified. After identifying the problem based on the logs you have to solve it. There are two different places where the configuration is stored. The overall service configuration is stored in the plist file /Library/Preferences/ The share point configuration in turn has been moved into the Directory Service!!!!! This can be accessed using the dscl utility. After that you have to navigator into the “folder” /Local/Default/Sharepoints.

dscl localhost
> cd Local/Default/SharePoints/
> ls #this will list all you share points
> read SharepointName #lists all the configured settings

It’s awful to see a great software like Samba to be thrown out based on licensing issues.

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