Chapter 41. Managing TDB Files

John H. Samba Team Terpstra

Samba Team

May 28, 2008

Table of Contents

Features and Benefits
Managing TDB Files

Features and Benefits

Samba uses a lightweight database called Trivial Database (tdb) in which it stores persistent and transient data. Some tdb files can be disposed of before restarting Samba, but others are used to store information that is vital to Samba configuration and behavior. The following information is provided to help administrators who are seeking to better manage their Samba installations.

Those who package Samba for commercial distribution with operating systems and appliances would do well to take note that tdb files can get corrupted, and for this reason ought to be backed up regularly. An appropriate time is at system shutdown (backup) and startup (restore from backup).

Table 41.1. Samba's Trivial Database Files

File namePreserveDescription

NT account policy settings such as pw expiration, etc...


Byte range locks.


Browse lists - gets rebuilt automatically.


Share connections. Used to enforce max connections, etc.


Generic caching database.


Stores group mapping information. Not used when using LDAP backend.


Stores language encoding information.


Stores share mode and oplock information.


Keeps a log of bad pw attempts.


Used to keep track of Samba internal messaging.


Cache of user net_info_3 struct from net_samlogon() requests from domain member machines.


Stores installed printer driver information.


Stores installed printer forms information.


Stores installed printers information.

printing directoryY

Directory containing tdb per print queue of cached lpq output.


Windows registry skeleton (connect via regedit.exe).


Session information to support utmp = yes capabilities.


Stores share-level ACL configuration settings. Default ACL is Everyone - Full Control.


Unexpected packet queue needed to support windows clients that respond on a different port that the originating reques.


Winbind's cache of user lists.


Winbind's local IDMAP database.


WINS database iused only when wins support = yes has been set. This gets rebuilt or updated at every restart.


The working permanent storage for all WINS data. This database is used only when wins support = yes has been set in the smb.conf file. Note: This retains all manually configured WINS entries. Manual setting can be done use the net utility.


This tdb file stores internal settings such as the machine and the domain SID, secret passwords that are used with LDAP, the machine secret token, etc. This is an essential file that is stored in a secure area. Vendors locate this in various folders. Check smbd -b to find its location on your system.


This stores secure channel access token information used with SMB signing.


This stores the Samba SAM account information when using a tdbsam password backend.

Managing TDB Files

The tdbbackup utility is a tool that may be used to backup samba tdb files. This tool may also be used to verify the integrity of the tdb files prior to Samba startup or during normal operation. If it finds file damage it will search for a prior backup the backup file from which the damaged tdb file will be restored. The tdbbackup utility can safely be run at any time. It was designed so that it can be used at any time to validate the integrity of tdb files, even during Samba operation.

It is recommended to backup all tdb files as part of the Samba start-up scripts on a Samba server. The following command syntax can be used:

myserver# > cd /var/lib/samba
myserver@ > tdbbackup *.tdb

The default extension is .bak. Any alternate extension can be specified by executing tdbbackup -s 'new_extension' *.tdb as part of your startup script.