Tiger Caged by SMB, Active Directory Problems?

Updated: The growing pains for Apple's Mac OS X Tiger continue as reports surface of trouble with SMB networking for Windows servers. Also, compatibility updates are still due for productivity apps.

A number of sites running Apples new "Tiger" operating system are experiencing problems with SMB file sharing and authentication with Microsofts Active Directory, Ziff Davis Internet News has learned.

Although Apple Computer Inc.s Tiger increases support for Server Message Block file sharing and Active Directory, several sources say that the Finder fails to log on to Windows and Linux Samba file servers.

Some installations are also finding that Windows workstations cant to log on to the Mac after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.4.

There also appear to be a variety of problems with Active Directory.

Some companies say their users cant log on using Mobile Active Directory accounts, while others report problems mounting home directories automatically.

The problems do not appear to affect all users, but are being reported at Apples discussion forums and other places around the Internet.

It is not known if the SMB and Active Directory problems are related to Tigers incompatibility with some third-party network software.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about software developers discovering that their products are not compatible with Tiger.

An Apple representative said Apple was unaware of the problems.

"Mac OS X includes built-in support for SMB clients and servers and the new Tiger versions adds even greater support for SMB. We have not received any customer reports of issues with SMB in Tiger, however, we will investigate the few stories posted on Web sites. If any customer has an issue they should contact AppleCare."

However, several users have told Ziff Davis Internet News that they have been contacting Apple, and more than once.

"I have twice called the Mac technical support line, but was unable to get a solution from them," said Travis MacDonald, a technical consultant with Lara Internet Service Provider.

Another source said he had sent problem reports to Apple Developer Connection on both the SMB and Active Directory problems.

MacDonald described the SMB problem.

"I am getting the … error code -36 when using the Connect to Server option. The command mount_smbfs also does not work."

However, McDonald said that another Terminal command is functional: "The command smbclient is working normally."

With Active Directory, Tiger users with mobile accounts can log on once, but cannot log on again after disconnecting.

One source said, "To allow login, one must remove the AD authentication path from the Directory Access authentication tab leaving only the local authentication path."

There are also reports of problems with Open Directory.

"To be honest, without the machine being bound to AD and OD, [Tiger] is kind of useless for me in my environment," said Brad Anderson, Macintosh Systems Administrator for The Marketing Store.

Next Page: Third-party software problems.