Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Visual Studio Debugger Users and SAMBA

Goal: To provide Visual Studio.NET users, "Debugger Users" privilege on local machine when logged into a SAMBA domain from their Windows client.

I have the following server+desktop setup at my lab:
  1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) AS 3
  2. Microsoft Windows XP/2000 clients (15 nos)
  3. Visual Studio.NET (VS.NET) installed on all clients
To enable users logging onto the Windows client to work on VS.NET with debugging privileges they need to be a part of the "Debugger Users" group on the local machine. This problem does not arise if you have a Windows Active Directory domain as you could simply add the required users to the Domain "Debugger Users" group. But if you have a SAMBA domain on a linux server (such as the RHEL AS) then you have to do a little more work. I have detailed them below. This information has been culled from various sources (,, and personal implementation.

Assumptions: You have RHEL, SAMBA, Microsoft Windows (XP/2K), VS.NET installed and working. The SAMBA domain is running on RHEL and the Windows users log in using domain login (not local login). You know how to use MMC (Microsoft Management Console).

For help installing RHEL see
SAMBA installation can be found at also has a lot of information regarding RHEL clones and their installation.
Installation of Microsoft Windows and VS.NET should be pretty simple - mostly clicking the Next button or unattended install. Check for more information.

  1. Make sure you have root added to smbusers mapping it to administrator (or whatever the name of your Windows administrator is). This is done by adding a line such as:

  2. root=administrator

    to a file named 'smbusers' and saving it in /etc/samba/. Add a new line for each map that you want to create between a SAMBA user and a Windows user, e.g. gramjiSAMBA=gramjiWindows etc.
  3. Make sure that your Windows clients are part of the SAMBA domain and your groupmap list is correct. You should then be able to view the groups created on RHEL+SAMBA on your Windows machines. (The details of how to view and verify groupmap list are available at
  4. Open your "Local Users and Groups" Snap-in in MMC. Expand it and click on Groups. On the right, double click "Debugger Users". This should open the "Debugger Users" dialog. Click Add. Click the Locations button. Change it to the domain which the client belongs to if not already chosen. If the domain does not show up then you need to click the Advanced button and perform a search. You need to select the Domain users and add them to the list.
Log off your user and log back on the Windows client using Domain login. The added users should now be able to debug in VS.NET. If this does not work then there are other errors in your setup. Post a comment and I shall try to help.

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