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Configuring SMB in SmartOS

This guide configures a non-global zone to use kernel based SMB server. The nice part of this is it takes very little work to get SMB up and running, and config files needed. This How-To uses delegate datasets to make things easier to manage within the zone. From the ZFS Admin Guide concerning delegate datasets:

The zone administrator can set file system properties, as well as create children. In addition, the zone administrator can take snapshots, create clones, and otherwise control the entire file system hierarchy.

Downside to delegated datasets is if the zone is deleted the datasets are also deleted.

Basic Config

  1. Create joyent brand zone json using a base image (base-64, base-64-lts, base-64-trunk are all ok).

      "brand": "joyent",
      "alias": "yourAlias",
      "hostname": "yourHostName",
      "image_uuid": "842e6fa6-6e9b-11e5-8402-1b490459e334",
      "autoboot": true,
      "max_physical_memory": 1024,
      "max_swap": 1024,
      "quota": 10,
      "delegate_dataset": true,
      "zfs_data_compression": "on",
      "zfs_root_compression": "on",
      "dns_domain": "yourDomainName",
      "resolvers": [
      "nics": [
          "nic_tag": "admin",
          "ip": "yourIPAddress",
          "netmask": "yourNetMask",
          "gateway": "yourGateWay",
          "primary": true
  2. Create Joyent zone from the json file

    vmadm create -f yourName.json
  3. Log into zone

    zlogin zoneUUID
  4. Add entry to /etc/pam.conf for pam_smb_passwd

    # Used when service name is not explicitly mentioned for password management
    other   password required
    other   password requisite
    other   password requisite
    other   password required
    other   password required     nowarn

    Important: pam.conf requires tabs between columns. The inserted line should include tabs as follows:

    other<tab>password required<tab><tab>nowarn

    Even though this enables SMB authentication, this does not initialize the SMB password database. The SMB password database by default will be empty at this point, and all accounts will fail SMB authentication until their password is set, for example by using the command line passwd utility, as mentioned below.

  5. Enable the SMB services. smb/client is optional.

    svcadm enable smb/server
    svcadm enable smb/client
    svcadm enable rpc/bind
    svcadm enable idmap
  6. Verify services have started

    $ svcs -a |grep smb
    online         18:36:54 svc:/network/smb/client:default
    online         18:36:54 svc:/network/smb/server:default
    online         18:36:55 svc:/network/shares/group:smb
    $ svcs -H rpc/bind
    online         18:36:53 svc:/network/rpc/bind:default
    $ svcs -H idmap
    online         18:36:54 svc:/system/idmap:default
  7. Create a mount point dataset

     zfs create zones/$(zonename)/data/share1
  8. Set a quota for the dataset, optionally with a specified mountpoint.

    zfs set quota=100M -o mountpoint=/share1 zones/$(zonename)/data/share1
  9. Change file ownership. This example uses admin:staff, but can be anything. Regular UNIX file permissions apply and will reflect the user that authenticates over SMB.

    sudo chown admin:staff /share1
  10. Change admin’s password so SMB password will be updated. You'll need to do this for each user that will be accessing shares over SMB.

    passwd admin xxxx
  11. Share the filesystem

    sharemgr add-share -r testSMB -s /share1 smb

    Important: -r is the displayed resource name, -s is the share location, smb is the file system export type. See sharemgr(8) for additional options.

  12. Test with a CIFS client

Advertising SMB Services via Bonjour

You can optionally advertise services using DNS Service Discovery and Multicast DNS (aka Bonjour on macOS). This helps if you have macOS clients, especially if you want to use your SMB share as a Time Machine target. This comes in two parts:

  1. mdnsd - aka, mDNSResponder. This responds to network requests from other hosts.
  2. dns-sd - This is used to register services that mdnsd will then serve when queried.

First enable mdnsd

svcadm enable dns/multicast

Which services you register will depend on how you want the system to behave.

Advertising SMB Only

The minimum necessary, is to advertise the _smb._tpc service on port 445. This will make your server show up in the Mac Finder, with a default icon.

dns-sd -R "${HOSTNAME}" _smb._tcp local 445

Enabling Time Machine

Before you begin on this adventure, know that there is no guarantee that this will work for you. This is not supported by Apple, and while we hope it works, it's not supported in any way. It's a DIY kit, not a product. It worked for me, but this probably also carries with it a need for a minimum level of experience to save your data when all seems hopeless. If you want to depend on this as your only back up, you need to make sure it works for all uses cases that you will need. We can't cover every possible edge case here, and there may be dragons ahead.

To allow Time Machine back ups to this share, advertise _adisk._tcp, to specify capabilities via TXT records. There are two parameters, sys for global flags and dk, a quasi-array. Each text record is a single contiguous string of non-witespace.

For sys use waMa=0,adVF=0x100. I can't find any resources describing the meaning of waMa=0 If you know, please tell us! adVF is the advertisement flags. 0x100 specifies to prompt for username and password, and excludes home directory sharing.

You can also supply additional dkN records, where N is an records support adVF for flags, adVN for the share name, and adVU which is a UUID.

For adVF, you'll want to use 0x82, which specifies that it's shared via SMB and can be used as a Time Machine target.

For adVN, the string needs to match the share name specified with the -r flag when defining the share with sharemgr. If you have multiple shares, this is the value that matches each txt record with the corresponding share.

For adVU, you can generate a random UUID, generate one based on the zfs guid of the dataset, or use sharemgr -x smb and use the UUID provided there (be sure to exclude the S- prefix). Whatever you do, the UUID should be assigned once and be persistent. The only requirements are that it's a validly formatted UUID and that it's persistent.

dns-sd -R "${HOSTNAME}" _adisk._tcp local 445 sys=waMa=0,adVF=0x100 dk0=adVF=0x82,adVN=testSMB,adVU=827f0c37-ef7e-4d61-82a6-ca812aefd86c

If you're advertising multiple shares, just list them all in order in the same invocation of dns-sd.

sys=... dk0=... dk1=... dk2=...

If you don't want to use Time Machine, then _adisk advertisements aren't necessary.

Selecting a Custom Icon

Finally, if you're like me you'll want to set a custom icon using a _device-info._tcp advertisement. macOS doesn't actually advertise _device-info, but it does respond to queries for it. dns-sd doesn't behave this way, so we'll advertise it directly, which also works.

Around the Internet, using the TimeCapsule icon seems to be quite popular, but that is by far not the only choice. The supported icons vary by the version of macOS. You can view them by looking in /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources on a Mac, and you can query how to specify them.

plutil -convert json -r -o - - < /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Info.plist | json UTExportedTypeDeclarations | json -a -c 'this.UTTypeTagSpecification' UTTypeIconFile UTTypeTagSpecification

Each icon file will include a name, and optionally an ECOLOR value. The ECOLOR is for a variant of the same model. E.g., a Space Grey vs Rose Gold MacBook Pro.

For example, the following record will use a Mac Pro 2019 (MacPro7,1) rack mounted (ecolor=226,226,224) icon. If you exclude the ecolor value, the icon will be the tower configuration.

/usr/bin/dns-sd -R "${HOSTNAME}" _device-info._tcp local 9 model=MacPro7,1 ecolor=226,226,224

Note: the port number is required for dns-sd, but it's not included with TXT records. Here, we set the port to 9, the discard port, so that the value is explicitly useless.