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The autorid idmap backend

The autorid identity mapping backend, like the rid one, also provides an algorithmic mapping between SIDs and Linux IDs, with the advantage that it can also automatically cope with Active Directory deployed across multiple domains. There is no need to pre-allocate ranges for each specific existing or future domain. Some planning is required, though:

  • range: the first and last ID that will be allocated on the Linux side by this backend. This includes all possible domains.
  • rangesize: how many IDs to allocate to each domain.

Let’s see an example:

    security = ads
    workgroup = EXAMPLE
    idmap config * : backend = autorid
    # 1,000,000 - 19,999,999
    idmap config * : range   = 1000000 - 19999999
    # 1,000,000
    idmap config * : rangesize = 1000000

The configuration above gives us 19 domains (or slots) with the capacity of 1 million IDs in each:

  • first slot: IDs from 1000000 up to 1999999
  • second slot: IDs from 2000000 up to 2999999
  • 19th slot (last): IDs from 19000000 up to 19999999


Which domain will get which slot? That is not deterministic. It will basically be a first come, first serve. Furthermore, if a domain exhausts the available IDs from a slot, an extension slot will be used, in which case the domain will be using two (possibly non-consecutive even) slots.

This also means that a persistent database is required to record which domain goes into which slot. This is managed automatically by the autorid backend in the autorid.tdb file.


The autorid.tdb domain mapping database file is kept in /var/lib/samba/ and should be backed up regularly.

Pros and Cons of the autorid backend

Let’s examine the Pros and Cons of the idmap_autorid backend, and which scenarios are a better fit for it.


  • automatic handling of trusted domains
  • simple initial planning, only done once


  • non-deterministic SID to ID mapping with multiple domains, even if the same idmap config settings are used for all domain-joined systems
  • extra concern to backup the domain mapping database file

So when to use the idmap_autorid backend?

  • Multiple domains are involved via trust relationships, and the stability of IDs is not required on the joined systems.
  • Single domain systems can also benefit from the easier and simpler up-front configuration.
  • If you need to share files owned by domain users via NFS or another mechanism which relies on stability of IDs, then this backend must not be used.

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