Linux authentication with Active Directory using Kerberos 5

/home, Sweet /home

The home directories are configured in the line 20 of the smb.conf file shown in Listing 3: template homedir = /home/%D/%U. Samba will replace %D with the short domain name and %U with the domain user. The administrator can either create the directories individually for each user, or automate the process by calling the pam_mkhomedir module, which is part of the PAM distribution and is configured in the session section:

# /etc/pam.d/common-session
session required silent skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0022
session sufficient
session required

This configuration tells the module to dynamically create missing home directories. The silent argument suppresses messages caused by copying from the skeleton directory. The last argument tells PAM to set the umask as the default for file and directory permissions to 0022. The setting allows programs running in the session to create directories with rwxr-xr-x and files with rw-r--r-- permissions.

As an alternative to local directories on kerberized clients, you could use home directories on a central file server. The PAM module helps you do this. Any generic commands you want to run after the login procedure are added to the start scripts in /etc/profile.

Fully Integrated

Serveral steps are required to support Active Directory automated log in and home directories on a Linux client, but with Kerberos, NSS, PAM, and Samba, this integration project will help you stay friends with your neighbors in Redmond.

The Author

Walter Neu works as a system administrator for eurodata GmbH & Co. KG, Germany. He is a lecturer at the ASW – Berufsakademie Saarland University of cooperaive education, where he introduces computer science and economics students to Linux, Windows networking, and web server technologies.

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