TLDL: You appear to need BOTH samba and avahi installed with just the right magic in your config files or MacOS freaks out and finder stops responding till you do a hard shutdown of the machine. Shame on Apple big time for the way finder handles it! Config file info is below!

When

Since at this point Apple has removed all the “Server” out of macOS Server I decided that I would start running ESXi 6.5 on my Xserves and start using Ubuntu VM’s to start taking over services. One of these was my local web server that keep old projects on. It essentially serves as an internal archive, but I share the folder to allow me to directly edit files as though they were on my local machine.

The way I do this is by making /var/www which is the apache2 root a private share folder. For years I had done this using AFP since I had the whole setup on OS X Server and that was the best way to share, however I am now migrating to Ubuntu so I can more closely mirror linux production environments.

At this point you are likely thinking … “Ok dude, just install Samba fill out your config file and your done!” Yea, I was thinking that too, but this turned into a classic example of a 5 minute job turning into a several day job!

There seems to be 2 big things to point out here, the first is that you need the right sprinkling of pixie dust in your smb.conf ( sample below ) and you need to have avahi advertising to the macOS clients.

In my environment I tested OS X 10.11 El Capitan and macOS 12 Monterey just to make sure that my oldest and newest client worked. It took A LOT of trial and error before I was able to get it working and running quickly. Below is the final smb.conf I put together that works. I tried at least 10 from others, but found I had to piece this together by testing and testing and testing. The big thinks you need to look at and change to your need are at the bottom. The share folders are “www” and “Time Machine”. Although I have “Time Machine” listed I didn’t do any testing on it so use it at your own risk and be ready to adjust as needed.


#
# Sample configuration file for the Samba suite for Debian GNU/Linux.
#
#
# This is the main Samba configuration file. You should read the
# smb.conf(5) manual page in order to understand the options listed
# here. Samba has a huge number of configurable options most of which
# are not shown in this example
#
# Some options that are often worth tuning have been included as
# commented-out examples in this file.
#  - When such options are commented with ";", the proposed setting
#	 differs from the default Samba behaviour
#  - When commented with "#", the proposed setting is the default
#	 behaviour of Samba but the option is considered important
#	 enough to be mentioned here
#
# NOTE: Whenever you modify this file you should run the command
# "testparm" to check that you have not made any basic syntactic 
# errors. 

#======================= Global Settings =======================

[global]

# Special configuration for Apple's Time Machine
# catia		- maps MacOS filename encodings to a form most Linux filesystems support
# fruit		- provides Appleā€™s proprietary extensions to SMB
# acl_xattr	- stores NTFS Access Control Lists (ACLs) in Extended Attributes (EAs)
# streams_xattr	- stores NTFS alternate data streams in POSIX xattrs
	vfs objects = fruit streams_xattr

# Next line requires catia (needed if no Windows clients?)
	fruit:encoding = native
	fruit:metadata = stream
# Next line never worked which is why I configure Avahi to set the icon
	fruit:model = Xserve
# Do not use NFS access control entries
	fruit:nfs_aces = no
# Enable extended attributes (requires streams_xattr)
	fruit:resource = xattr
# Next line is already the default
	fruit:zero_file_id = yes
	fruit:veto_appledouble = no
	fruit:posix_rename = yes
	fruit:wipe_intentionally_left_blank_rfork = yes 
	fruit:delete_empty_adfiles = yes

# Permissions
	inherit acls = yes
	inherit permissions = yes

# General Settings
	disable netbios = yes
	disable spoolss = yes
	dns proxy = no
	enhanced browsing = no
	host msdfs = no
	lm announce = no
	load printers = no

# Next 2 lines defer mDNS config to Avahi
	mdns name = mdns
	multicast dns register = no
	allow dns updates = disabled
	name resolve order = host bcast

	printcap cache time = 0
	printcap name = /dev/null
	printing = bsd
	restrict anonymous = 2

# RPC Settings
	rpc_daemon:spoolssd = disabled
	rpc_server:epmapper = disabled
	rpc_server:winreg = disabled
	rpc_server:lsarpc = disabled
	rpc_server:samr = disabled
	rpc_server:netlogon = disabled
	rpc_server:netdfs = disabled
	rpc_server:dssetup = disabled
	rpc_server:wkssvc = disabled
	rpc_server:spoolss = disabled
	rpc_server:svcctl = disabled
	rpc_server:ntsvcs = disabled
	rpc_server:eventlog = disabled
	rpc_server:initshutdown = disabled
	rpc_server:mdssvc = disabled
	dcerpc endpoint servers = rpcecho

# veto the ._* files and .DS_Store file
	veto files = /._*/.DS_Store/
	delete veto files = yes

#protocols
	client min protocol = SMB3_02
	server min protocol = SMB3_02

# Next line experimental until 4.15
	server multi channel support = no
	server services = rpc, smb
	show add printer wizard = no
	smb ports = 445

# Performance
	use sendfile = yes

## Browsing/Identification ###

# Change this to the workgroup/NT-domain name your Samba server will part of
	workgroup = WORKGROUP

# server string is the equivalent of the NT Description field
	server string = %h server (Samba, Ubuntu)

#### Networking ####

# The specific set of interfaces / networks to bind to
# This can be either the interface name or an IP address/netmask;
# interface names are normally preferred
;	interfaces = lo ens160

# Only bind to the named interfaces and/or networks; you must use the
# 'interfaces' option above to use this.
# It is recommended that you enable this feature if your Samba machine is
# not protected by a firewall or is a firewall itself.  However, this
# option cannot handle dynamic or non-broadcast interfaces correctly.
;	bind interfaces only = yes

#### Debugging/Accounting ####

# This tells Samba to use a separate log file for each machine
# that connects
	log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m

# Cap the size of the individual log files (in KiB).
	max log size = 1000

# We want Samba to only log to /var/log/samba/log.{smbd,nmbd}.
# Append syslog@1 if you want important messages to be sent to syslog too.
	logging = file

# Do something sensible when Samba crashes: mail the admin a backtrace
	panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d

####### Authentication #######

# Server role. Defines in which mode Samba will operate. Possible
# values are "standalone server", "member server", "classic primary
# domain controller", "classic backup domain controller", "active
# directory domain controller". 
#
# Most people will want "standalone server" or "member server".
# Running as "active directory domain controller" will require first
# running "samba-tool domain provision" to wipe databases and create a
# new domain.
	server role = standalone server

	obey pam restrictions = yes

# This boolean parameter controls whether Samba attempts to sync the Unix
# password with the SMB password when the encrypted SMB password in the
# passdb is changed.
	unix password sync = yes

# For Unix password sync to work on a Debian GNU/Linux system, the following
# parameters must be set (thanks to Ian Kahan <<kahan@informatik.tu-muenchen.de> for
# sending the correct chat script for the passwd program in Debian Sarge).
	passwd program = /usr/bin/passwd %u
	passwd chat = *Enter\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *Retype\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *password\supdated\ssuccessfully* .
	
# This boolean controls whether PAM will be used for password changes
# when requested by an SMB client instead of the program listed in
# 'passwd program'. The default is 'no'.
	pam password change = yes

# This option controls how unsuccessful authentication attempts are mapped
# to anonymous connections
	map to guest = bad user

########## Domains ###########

#
# The following settings only takes effect if 'server role = primary
# classic domain controller', 'server role = backup domain controller'
# or 'domain logons' is set 
#

# It specifies the location of the user's
# profile directory from the client point of view) The following
# required a [profiles] share to be setup on the samba server (see
# below)
;	logon path = \\%N\profiles\%U
# Another common choice is storing the profile in the user's home directory
# (this is Samba's default)
#	logon path = \\%N\%U\profile

# The following setting only takes effect if 'domain logons' is set
# It specifies the location of a user's home directory (from the client
# point of view)
;	logon drive = H:
#	logon home = \\%N\%U

# The following setting only takes effect if 'domain logons' is set
# It specifies the script to run during logon. The script must be stored
# in the [netlogon] share
# noTE: Must be store in 'DOS' file format convention
;	logon script = logon.cmd

# This allows Unix users to be created on the domain controller via the SAMR
# RPC pipe.  The example command creates a user account with a disabled Unix
# password; please adapt to your needs
; add user script = /usr/sbin/adduser --quiet --disabled-password --gecos "" %u

# This allows machine accounts to be created on the domain controller via the 
# SAMR RPC pipe.  
# The following assumes a "machines" group exists on the system
; add machine script  = /usr/sbin/useradd -g machines -c "%u machine account" -d /var/lib/samba -s /bin/false %u

# This allows Unix groups to be created on the domain controller via the SAMR
# RPC pipe.  
; add group script = /usr/sbin/addgroup --force-badname %g

############ Misc ############

# Using the following line enables you to customise your configuration
# on a per machine basis. The %m gets replaced with the netbios name
# of the machine that is connecting
;	include = /home/samba/etc/smb.conf.%m

# Some defaults for winbind (make sure you're not using the ranges
# for something else.)
;	idmap config * :				  backend = tdb
;	idmap config * :				  range	= 3000-7999
;	idmap config YOURDOMAINHERE : backend = tdb
;	idmap config YOURDOMAINHERE : range	= 100000-999999
;	template shell = /bin/bash

# Setup usershare options to enable non-root users to share folders
# with the net usershare command.

# Maximum number of usershare. 0 means that usershare is disabled.
#	usershare max shares = 100

# Allow users who've been granted usershare privileges to create
# public shares, not just authenticated ones
	usershare allow guests = yes

#======================= Share Definitions =======================

# Un-comment the following (and tweak the other settings below to suit)
# to enable the default home directory shares. This will share each
# user's home directory as \\server\username
;[homes]
;	comment = Home Directories
;	browseable = no

# By default, the home directories are exported read-only. Change the
# next parameter to 'no' if you want to be able to write to them.
;	read only = yes

# File creation mask is set to 0700 for security reasons. If you want to
# create files with group=rw permissions, set next parameter to 0775.
;	create mask = 0700

# Directory creation mask is set to 0700 for security reasons. If you want to
# create dirs. with group=rw permissions, set next parameter to 0775.
;	directory mask = 0700

# By default, \\server\username shares can be connected to by anyone
# with access to the samba server.
# Un-comment the following parameter to make sure that only "username"
# can connect to \\server\username
# This might need tweaking when using external authentication schemes
;	valid users = %S

# Un-comment the following and create the netlogon directory for Domain Logons
# (you need to configure Samba to act as a domain controller too.)
;[netlogon]
;	comment = Network Logon Service
;	path = /home/samba/netlogon
;	guest ok = yes
;	read only = yes

# Un-comment the following and create the profiles directory to store
# users profiles (see the "logon path" option above)
# (you need to configure Samba to act as a domain controller too.)
# The path below should be writable by all users so that their
# profile directory may be created the first time they log on
;[profiles]
;	comment = Users profiles
;	path = /home/samba/profiles
;	guest ok = no
;	browseable = no
;	create mask = 0600
;	directory mask = 0700

#[printers]
;	comment = All Printers
;	browseable = no
;	path = /var/spool/samba
;	printable = yes
;	guest ok = no
;	read only = yes
;	create mask = 0700

# Windows clients look for this share name as a source of downloadable
# printer drivers
#[print$]
;	comment = Printer Drivers
;	path = /var/lib/samba/printers
;	browseable = yes
;	read only = yes
;	guest ok = no
# Uncomment to allow remote administration of Windows print drivers.
# You may need to replace 'lpadmin' with the name of the group your
# admin users are members of.
# Please note that you also need to set appropriate Unix permissions
# to the drivers directory for these users to have write rights in it
;	write list = root, @lpadmin

# The Root folder for apache so that we can access dev files
[www]
	 comment = Apache Root Folder
	 path = /var/www
	 browseable = yes
	 guest ok = no
	 read only = no
	 writable = yes
	 spotlight = no
	 fruit:time machine = no

#[Time Machine]
;	 path = /data/backup/timemachine/%U
;	 fruit:time machine = yes
;	 fruit:time machine max size = SIZE [K|M|G|T|P]
;	 valid users = %U
;	 browseable = yes
;	 writable = yes
;	 read only = no
;	 inherit acls = yes
;	 spotlight = no

Now that you have the samba config hopefully nailed it’s time to make sure that macOS clients can find the shares. This is why you need to install avahi. Installing samba and avahi are outside the scope of this article so if you need help with that just google it and follow the steps then come back. Once you install it create a file with the following contents /etc/avahi/services/samba.service which you will need to create. In this example I have the name set to the hostname of the machine with “%h”, however you can change that to show whatever name you want.

<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?><!--*-nxml-*-->
<!<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?><!--*-nxml-*-->
<!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd">

<service-group>
  <name replace-wildcards="yes">%h</name>
  <service>
    <type>_smb._tcp</type>
    <port>445</port>
  </service>
 <service>
   <type>_device-info._tcp</type>
   <port>0</port>
   <txt-record>model=Xserve</txt-record>
 </service>
</service-group>

At this point you need to restart both samba and avahi, however I recommend just rebooting the whole machine. Once you do that connect to to your server with smb://<YOUR_SERVER_NAME> and smb://<YOUR_SERVER_IP> to make sure it is all working as you expect!

A note about icons: According to most of the docs and tutorials you will read you will only need to set the “fruit:model” identifier in your smb.conf file to get the right icon with macOS ( previously OS X), however that didn’t work for me. I still left it in place, but you will notice that I have an extra service section in my samba.service file that defines the model. This is what actually made the icon I wanted appear. If you use these and want a different icon I suggest you change both of them.