Why are spaces in user/group names causing problems?

Issue:  One or more users are unable to run jobs, and are seeing authentication errors, usually for a group "doman_users", or possibly for a user name with an underscore. 

Cause:  When Linux authenticates to Windows, there are often spaces in user and/or group names.  Linux typically handles this by changing the space to an underscore in the local system, but when Linux attempts to authenticate using that underscore character, the user/group is rejected by Windows.

Solution:  To resolve this issue, Linux must be configured, within the authenticion, to actually translate spaces to underscores, and back.  There are a two different ways to accomplish this, depending on the type of authentication being used. 

If using Winbind:

When using "winbind", the way to accomplish this is a setting in the Samba configuration (typically /etc/samba/smb.conf).  That setting should be in the "global" section, and will look like this:

winbind normalize names = yes

if using sssd:

When using "sssd", a similar option is available to address this.  Any character can be chosen to replace the space, but most prefer the underscore.  To implement this, in the "sssd.conf" file, under the [sssd] section, this line would be added:

normalize_space  "_"

Note that this is never a Moab issue.  Moab requires Linux, and spaces are not valid in Linux user or group names, so the problem does need to be addressed during the user/group authentication.  If both of the above configuration files are present, it might be a good idea to make the change both places. 

Tags: spaces sssd winbind windows
Last update:
2018-06-19 18:52
Rob Greenbank
Average rating:0 (0 Votes)

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