Samba share with freeipa auth

Use FreeIPA Authentication for Samba CIFS Shares for Non-domain Windows Clients

I couldn’t find a singular place on the Internet for a descriptive guide of how to configure samba to use freeipa authentication for cifs shares for non-domain Windows clients.
There are guides out there for freeipa cross-domain trust, so you can share with a domain-joined Windows client, including

This document will show you how to set up Samba 4.4.4 to use FreeIPA 4.4.0 usernames and passwords to allow Windows clients to connect to cifs shares.

Example environment

  • Freeipa domain is
  • A freeipa master on CentOS7
  • A freeipa replica on CentOS7
  • Samba server will go on host2.vm.examplecom.
  • Windows client is

Samba share with freeipa auth

Install freeipa server (and replica)

You need a working freeipa environment, which is outside the scope of this document. A quick sample installation process is:

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=freeipa-ldap --add-service=freeipa-ldaps --add-service=ntp --add-service=dns --add-service=dhcp --add-service=kerberos
firewall-cmd --reload

yum install -y ipa-server ipa-client
ipa-server-install -r VM.EXAMPLE.COM -n --mkhomedir --hostname="$( hostname --fqdn )" --admin-password='adminpassword' --ds-password='dspassword'

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=freeipa-ldap --add-service=freeipa-ldaps --add-service=ntp --add-service=dns --add-service=dhcp --add-service=kerberos
firewall-cmd --reload

yum install -y ipa-server ipa-client
ipa-client-install --mkhomedir --force-ntpd --enable-dns-updates
ipa-replica-install --setup-ca --mkhomedir

Install samba server

Install the samba packages.

yum -y install samba samba-client sssd-libwbclient

Create the cifs principal for samba on one of the ipa controllers.

# run on an ipa controller. This principal name is "service/hostname"
ipa service-add cifs/

Fetch the keytab to the samba server. In this example, it’s the same as the replica.

# on samba server
kinit -kt /etc/krb5.keytab
ipa-getkeytab -s -p cifs/ -k /etc/samba/samba.keytab
setsebool -P samba_enable_home_dirs on &


Install adtrust components

On the freeipa controller

yum -y install ipa-server-trust-ad
ipa-adtrust-install --add-sids

I recommend running this interactively, as shown above. Let it overwrite your samba config. It will configure it to use the registry, and we will rewrite it to suit the demands here.
The ipa-adtrust-install command generates the records you need to add to dns. They will look like:

Add the following service records to your DNS server for DNS zone 86400 IN SRV 0 100 389 86400 IN SRV 0 100 88 86400 IN SRV 0 100 88 86400 IN SRV 0 100 389 86400 IN SRV 0 100 88 86400 IN SRV 0 100 88

I successfully added them just fine by pasting them into my zone file and running rndc reconfig or systemctl restart named.
The adtrust mechanism adds new attributes to each user and group, specifically ipaNTSecurityIdentifier (the SID) and ipaNTHash. Technically the ipaNTHash can only be generated when the user changes passwords.

On the samba server

Install the ipa-server-trust-ad package on the samba server. You need this package there to get the ipasam config option in smb.conf.

yum -y install ipa-server-trust-ad

Open the firewall for the ports mentioned in the output of the command. You can use this script.

touch "${tf}"; chmod 0644 "${tf}"; chown root:root "${tf}"; restorecon "${tf}"
cat <<EOFXML > "${tf}"
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <short>IPA and Samba</short>
  <description>This service provides the ports required by the ipa-adtrust-install command.</description>
  <port protocol="tcp" port="135"/>
  <port protocol="tcp" port="138"/>
  <port protocol="tcp" port="139"/>
  <port protocol="tcp" port="445"/>
  <port protocol="tcp" port="1024-1300"/>
  <port protocol="udp" port="138"/>
  <port protocol="udp" port="139"/>
  <port protocol="udp" port="389"/>
  <port protocol="udp" port="445"/>
systemctl restart firewalld
firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=freeipa-samba
firewall-cmd --reload
echo done

Allow samba to read passwords

This is the magic part that is so hard to find on the Internet.
You will need to give special permissions to the samba service to read user passwords.

ipa permission-add "CIFS server can read user passwords" \
   --attrs={ipaNTHash,ipaNTSecurityIdentifier} \
   --type=user --right={read,search,compare} --bindtype=permission
ipa privilege-add "CIFS server privilege"
ipa privilege-add-permission "CIFS server privilege" \
   --permission="CIFS server can read user passwords"
ipa role-add "CIFS server"
ipa role-add-privilege "CIFS server" --privilege="CIFS server privilege"
ipa role-add-member "CIFS server" --services=cifs/



If you use ldapsearch with kerberos authentication (after a kinit admin, of course), you can see attributes about users.

ldapsearch -Y gssapi "(uid=username)"

Even if the user has generated a new password since the adtrust installation, even the admin cannot see the ipaNTHash attribute.
To confirm the samba service can read the ipaNTHash, use its keytab and search for that attribute.

# on the samba server, so
kdestroy -A
kinit -kt /etc/samba/samba.keytab cifs/
ldapsearch -Y gssapi "(ipaNTHash=*)" ipaNTHash

Configure samba to use freeipa auth

When freeipa adjusts the samba config, it will just make it use the registry backend. You can view the equivalent conf file with testparm.
Here is a complete /etc/samba/smb.conf.

touch "${tf}"; chmod 0644 "${tf}"; chown root:root "${tf}"; restorecon "${tf}"
cat <<EOFCONF > "${tf}"
	debug pid = yes
	workgroup = VM
	domain master = Yes
	ldap group suffix = cn=groups,cn=accounts
	ldap machine suffix = cn=computers,cn=accounts
	ldap ssl = off
	ldap suffix = dc=vm,dc=example,dc=com
	ldap user suffix = cn=users,cn=accounts
	log file = /var/log/samba/log
	max log size = 100000
	domain logons = Yes
	registry shares = Yes
	disable spoolss = Yes
	dedicated keytab file = FILE:/etc/samba/samba.keytab
	kerberos method = dedicated keytab
	#passdb backend = ipasam:ldapi://%2fvar%2frun%2fslapd-VM-EXAMPLE-COM.socket
	#passdb backend = ldapsam:ldapi://%2fvar%2frun%2fslapd-VM-EXAMPLE-COM.socket
	passdb backend = ipasam:ldap:// ldap://
	security = USER
	create krb5 conf = No
	rpc_daemon:lsasd = fork
	rpc_daemon:epmd = fork
	rpc_server:tcpip = yes
	rpc_server:netlogon = external
	rpc_server:samr = external
	rpc_server:lsasd = external
	rpc_server:lsass = external
	rpc_server:lsarpc = external
	rpc_server:epmapper = external
	ldapsam:trusted = yes
	idmap config * : backend = tdb

	ldap admin dn = cn=Directory Manager

	comment = Home Directories
	valid users = %S, %D%w%S
	browseable = No
	read only = No
	inherit acls = Yes
systemctl restart smb.service


Get localsid

Get the local SID

net getlocalsid

Changing ipa domains

It’s possible that if you change ipa domains, the sssd cache is not cleared and you will have cached information for the old domain which can prevent user authentication from happening. You can just clear the cache directory manually and restart sssd.

rm -rf /var/lib/sss/db/*
systemctl restart sssd.service




  1. install samba and kerberize it
  2. add cifs/servername entry
  3. cifs service needs custom privilege to read password
  4. Each user must generate a new password
  5. Seminal article about freeipa and samba integration
  6. Changing ipa domains

17 thoughts on “Samba share with freeipa auth

  1. Thanks for documenting this; we have just started experimenting with FreeIPA and Samba integration without an AD was a must-have for us.

  2. Thanks for this. Previous attempts at this were hard to find and involved modifying IPA backend via LDAP which made me nervous.

    I recently changed my IPA servers ip address so I have to find out how to renew my certificates, then I will try this.

  3. Worked like charm, and to echo everyone else’s responses, thank you for documenting and sharing this!
    I wish the folks over at would include this use case with their online HowTos.

  4. Great article, but if i already have an established free environment and samaba server and i cannot change that, how can i get samba to auth against freeip?

    • You can start under the “Install samba server” heading. You need to kerberize samba, and then configure the ipa server to trust AD and allow samba to read the passwords, and then configure samba. You will have to experiment with which changes will be necessary for your environment.

  5. Great article ; you save my year man.
    i had an issue with using PWM against a FreeIpa server ; but i couldn’t reset normal users password from the portal; your article just unlocked what i was looking for weeks now. especially the part that creates ipNTHash permission;
    Anyway , thanks a lot

  6. My understanding is that the server acting as a file server must also be an IPA replica server, is that correct?

    • No, the file server does not need to be an IPA replica. However, it does need the packages indicated here, which are used to install a replica. You need the (shared objects) file for the passdb backend in smb.conf.

  7. Great tutorial, but I got problem.
    My IPA server dan SAMBA in same machine, IPA without DNS as the DNS is in cloudflare.

    My problem is can’t start samba.
    This is the log :
    [2019/01/28 13:47:18.684151, 0, pid=110413] ipa_sam.c:4606(pdb_init_ipasam)
    Jan 28 13:47:18 smbd[110413]: pdb_init_ldapsam: WARNING: Could not get domain info, nor add one to the domain. We cannot work reliably without it.
    Jan 28 13:47:18 smbd[110413]: [2019/01/28 13:47:18.684233, 0, pid=110413] ../source3/passdb/pdb_interface.c:180(make_pdb_method_name)
    Jan 28 13:47:18 smbd[110413]: pdb backend ipasam:ldap:// did not correctly init (error was NT_STATUS_CANT_ACCESS_DOMAIN_INFO)
    Jan 28 13:47:18 systemd[1]: smb.service: main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
    Jan 28 13:47:18 systemd[1]: Failed to start Samba SMB Daemon.
    Jan 28 13:47:18 systemd[1]: Unit smb.service entered failed state.
    Jan 28 13:47:18 systemd[1]: smb.service failed.

    • I manage to find the problem.
      There were one line in smb.conf that I still used example from yours.

      Now I can run the SMB but I can’t login the network share from Windows.
      But I can login from cli in computer server.
      I try using :

      kinit user@MY.REALM

      smbclient -k -L

      smbclient -k //

    • Sorry, my mistake.
      I tried login without using @REALM that’s why I can’t never login to samba server.
      But what annoying was no error at log file so I can’t find where was wrong.

      Thank you for the article

  8. Thanks very much for the guide @bgstack15. Just wondering about the last step. I’ve got the output of testparm.

    Do I need to put that in an smb.conf file on the samba server or the freeipa server? (in my case the samba server is not a freeipa replica).

      • Thanks. I still can’t connect from a windows machine. Any tips for getting to the bottom of the problem would be much appreciated.

        I can connect from Linux clients.

        The only change that I’ve made on my windows machine is to change the workgroup from ‘WORKGROUP’ to ‘VM’ (well my equivalent of ‘VM’ anyway). Is there something else I need to do on the Windows side?

        I’ve cranked up the samba logging to 10, but am not sufficiently well versed to understand the problem.

        For others following these steps, I copied the testparm output from the freeipa server into the smb.conf on the samba server, but the samba service wouldn’t start until I edited the ‘passdb backend’ line:
        from something like:
        passdb backend = ipasam:ldapi://%2fvar%2frun%2fslapd-VM-EXAMPLE-COM.socket
        passdb backend = ipasam:ldap://

  9. Just passing a helpful hint on from @bgstack15 which might be obvious to many but was not to me. When trying to connect to the share from the windows machine, enter your username as ‘WORKGROUP\username’, substituting for the workgroup that’s specified in your smb.conf (which should match the appropriate part of your domain), and the username that you’ve set up in your freeipa server.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.