Playing with Likewise Open CIFS

Posted by Kyle on March 15, 2011

Likewise LogoTime for a geeky post - because there is more to me than cool kid stuff like backpacking and cycling. I also happen to be a
computer nerd.

For a long while, I've been toying with Likewise Open and Likewise Open CIFS for authentication on my linux machines to my windows domain at home and for file sharing on same.

On the surface, Likewise looks like the easiest alternative for AD authentication, but it is a bit quirky, and I'd like to help you (and future me) avoid the same headaches.

UPDATE: I found a much better way to configure an open source, Active Directory authenticated file server. Check out my newer post.

In this guide, I will install Likewise CIFS on a Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit VMware virtual machine. As great as Ubuntu is (it will continue to be my favorite operating systems until Canonical gives Gnome the boot), the Likewise packages in the Ubuntu repositories don't really work all that well.

Instead, download the installer directly from Likewise. Make sure you click on the Sfx link for the .sh installer script. It comes with all the prerequisites, and it's about 5.5MB. Once you have that in place on the machine, you're ready to go!

My Desktop***Disclaimer: I know you like screenshots. I like them, too. However, there won't be many in this tutorial until the end since most of this is done through the command line. To make it up to you, here's a screenshot of what my desktop looks like right now:

Install Likewise CIFS

To install Likewise CIFS using the .sh installer, first chmod the installer to make it executable:

$ sudo chmod a+x

Then Run the installer:

$ sudo ./

Answer 'Yes' to accept the licenses. Don't worry, they're all "Open Source" (GPL, BSD, etc).

Also, answer 'Yes' again to continue the install.

The script will unpack a few things, set up a few things, and finally tell you the install is complete. Now, for the next step...

Join your domain

Quirk #1: Before you ever fire off another Likewise executable, edit your /etc/hosts file (sudo nano /etc/hosts). You must do this for everything to work properly. Add this entry to the file just below the line beginning with "":

[IP Address of your Domain Controller] [FQDN of you Domain Controller] 
[FQDN of your Domain]

Quirk #2: You must also edit the /etc/nsswitch.conf file. The line that reads:

hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4

Should be changed to read:

# hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4

Beneath that line, add this line:

hosts: files dns

Likewise AD SettingsWhen you install Likewise from the Ubuntu repositories, you get a fancy GUI you can get to by going to System > Administration > Active Directory Membership. (OK, ok...I'll give in. Here's another screenshot.)

If all you want to do is authenticate to the domain, this is a fine solution. However, the file server (Likewise CIFS) doesn't really play nicely if you do it this way. Instead, since we installed from the .sh installer script, we'll need to use the command line:

$ /opt/likewise/bin/domainjoin-cli join
[FQDN of your Domain] [Domain Admin Account Name]

The program will ask you for your password. Go ahead and type it in.

If all goes as planned, you'll get the following message:

Warning: System restart requiredYour system has been configured to
authenticate to Active Directory for thefirst time. It is recommended
that you restart your system to ensure that allapplications recognize
the new settings.

At this point, go ahead and reboot your machine.

Being thorough (and a bit paranoid), I like to also confirm on the Domain Controller the computer was added.

Computer Added Confirmation

Configure the file server daemon

Quirk #3: For reasons not understood nor known to me, the Likewise CIFS daemon (/etc/init.d/srvsvcd) does not start automatically when the OS boots. The beautiful thing about Linux is, though, that you can make it start by default because you can change the things you don't like!

If you want the file server to start automatically, just run these commands:

$ cd /etc/init.d
$ sudo update-rc.d -f srvsvcd defaults

You'll get this output:

update-rc.d: warning: /etc/init.d/srvsvcd missing LSB information
update-rc.d: see
 Adding system startup for /etc/init.d/srvsvcd ...
   /etc/rc0.d/K20srvsvcd -> ../init.d/srvsvcd
   /etc/rc1.d/K20srvsvcd -> ../init.d/srvsvcd
   /etc/rc6.d/K20srvsvcd -> ../init.d/srvsvcd
   /etc/rc2.d/S20srvsvcd -> ../init.d/srvsvcd
   /etc/rc3.d/S20srvsvcd -> ../init.d/srvsvcd
   /etc/rc4.d/S20srvsvcd -> ../init.d/srvsvcd
   /etc/rc5.d/S20srvsvcd -> ../init.d/srvsvcd

Don't worry about the warnings. All we need is for the process to start on its own, which it will do now.

Quirk #4: Likewise Open does not automatically register itself to the DNS

Create a file in /etc/init.d and call it whatever you like. I put a script there for all my Linux machines called "startup" where I add scripts that need to run just once, and I put this there.

Edit that file to look like this:


Then, make the file executable:

$ chmod a+x startup

Finally, make it run every time the OS boots just like we did with srvsvcd:

$ sudo update-rc.d -f startup defaults

Reboot your machine.

Create your share

Quirk #5: When you make a share, you must do it as a domain admin. I haven't been able to find a way around this and, quite frankly, it's not that important to me since I am a domain admin on the domain I'm testing with. If you know a way, feel free to leave a comment.

Final step: create the share. (Also, bring on the screenshots!)

Login to a Windows machine on the domain as a domain admin, Hit [Windows Key]-R for a Run prompt, and type "mmc."

MMC File Menu

Go to File > Add/Remove Snap-in...

Add or Remove Snap-ins Dialog

In the dialog, select "Shared Folders" and click "Add >"

Shared Folders Dialog

Select the "Another Computer" radio button and type the name of the file server in the text box. Click "OK"

Click "OK" again, and navigate to "Shares" under "Shared Folders" in the left-hand pane.

Add Share Menu

Right-click in the right-hand pane and select "New Share..."

In the Create Share Wizard, click "Next" to go past the welcome page.

Create A Shared Folder Wizard p1

In the next page, type the address of the folder you would like to share. In this case, instead of writing it with slashes as you would in Linux, use backslashes and ad a "C:" at the beginning of the address.

Click "Next"

Create A Share Wizard p2

Type the name of the share and, optionally, a description.

Click "Next"

Create A Share Wizard p3

Set the permissions on the share as you please.

Click "Finish"

Voila! A Windows Share with Domain permissions off a Linux machine! This is as easy as it's going to get with software that's currently available. Now on to finding the Holy Grail.

Questions? Corrections? Thanks? Don't be afraid to post it below!


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