Thursday, December 15, 2011

Samba: Unable to locate guest account [smbguest]!

I use samba with a "wide-open" configuration to share files across my LAN. Today, I was setting up samba on a Debian "wheezy" machine, using a smb.conf file that worked fine on my fileserver machine.

Didn't run "testparm" on it - that would probably have nipped the problem in the bud. The problem happened right off the bat - when I first restarted the samba service after replacing smb.conf.
# invoke-rc.d samba restart
The smbd process didn't start and the log (/var/log/smba/log.smbd) said:
Unable to locate guest account [smbguest]!
I noticed that, on my fileserver machine, there is a smbguest account, with some kind of password that, presumably, the samba daemon knows about. Of course, there was no such account on the "wheezy" machine. So, the first thought was: how to set up a 'smbguest' account? And the second thought was: is it really necessary?

I checked around and soon ran across this blog over at Debian/Ubuntu Tips & Tricks: Samba: How to share files for your LAN without user/password

Happily, the solution to this problem was very simple. Just changed the line that said:
guest account = smbguest
guest account = nobody
No "smbguest" account is necessary. I don't remember why I have it there on the fileserver machine, but I assume that this used to be required.

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