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Samba HowTo Guide
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Older versions of Samba retrieved user information from the UNIX user database and eventually some other fields from the file /etc/samba/smbpasswd or /etc/smbpasswd. When password encryption is disabled, no SMB-specific data is stored at all. Instead, all operations are conducted via the way that the Samba host OS will access its /etc/passwd database. On most Linux systems, for example, all user and group resolution is done via PAM.

Samba HowTo Guide
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