Winbind unable to retrieve user list from Windows Active Directory

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Published on - last updated on April 8th 2021 - Listed in Linux Windows Samba

On a server where the user authentication happens on a Windows Active Directory, I saw the following errors when a user tried to log in with SSH:

sshd[8884]: pam_winbind(sshd:account): valid_user: wbcGetpwnam gave WBC_ERR_DOMAIN_NOT_FOUND

A test of the current winbind settings with the command wbinfo showed that there is indeed a problem:

wbinfo -t
checking the trust secret for domain EXAMPLE via RPC calls failed
error code was NT_STATUS_DOMAIN_CONTROLLER_NOT_FOUND (0xc0000233)
Failed to call wbcCheckTrustCredentials: WBC_ERR_AUTH_ERROR
Could not check secret

I tried to join the machine to the domain again, but it failed:

net ads join -U EXAMPLE\aduser
Failed to join domain: failed to lookup DC info for domain 'EXAMPLE.COM' over rpc: NT_STATUS_CONNECTION_RESET

However the correct information was shown when net ads info was launched:

net ads info
LDAP server:
LDAP server name:
Bind Path: dc=EXAMPLE,dc=COM
LDAP port: 389
Server time...
KDC server:
Server time offset: 0

After a lot of googling and after having launched winbindd manually with a high debug level, I finally came across a blog post, which described similar problems and that they were solved by deleting the computer in the primary domain controller (PDC).

First I stopped the winbind daemon and verified that all processes were gone:

/etc/init.d/winbind stop
ps aux | grep winbind

Then I left the domain:

net ads leave -U aduser
Deleted account for 'LINUXSERVER' in realm 'EXAMPLE.COM'

 I verified on the domain controller, that the computer really disappeared. Then I created a backup of /var/lib/samba and deleted all *tdb files:

cp -Rp /var/lib/samba /root/samba-tdb-bkp-$(date +%Y%m%d)
rm /var/lib/samba/*.tdb

Now I joined the domain again:

net ads join -U aduser
Using short domain name -- EXAMPLE
Joined 'LINUXSERVER' to dns domain ''

This took a while (around 1-2 mins) and once done new tbd files have appeared in /var/lib/samba/.
The computer "LINUXSERVER" could now be found on the PDC again, in the default "Computers" folder.

Time to start winbind again:

/etc/init.d/winbind start

... and verify if communication with the AD now works again:

wbinfo -t
checking the trust secret for domain EXAMPLE via RPC calls succeeded

wbinfo -u

From now on the SSH login was working again.

Other reasons why AD users dont show up

Read more on a follow-up article (getent passwd does not show Active Directory users, but wbinfo -u works fine) which contains a check list what to verify when AD users don't show up on Linux.

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Comments (newest first)

ck from Switzerland wrote on Nov 21st, 2016:

Thanks none, corrected in the post.

none from asdf wrote on Nov 21st, 2016:

There is a typo:
rm /var/lib/samba/*.tbd
-> rm /var/lib/samba/*.tdb