rpcclient -- tool for executing client side MS-RPC functions


rpcclient [-A authfile] [-c <command string>] [-d debuglevel] [-h] [-l logfile] [-N] [-s <smb config file>] [-U username[%password]] [-W workgroup] [-N] {server}


This tool is part of the Samba suite.

rpcclient is a utility initially developed to test MS-RPC functionality in Samba itself. It has undergone several stages of development and stability. Many system administrators have now written scripts around it to manage Windows NT clients from their UNIX workstation.



NetBIOS name of Server to which to connect. The server can be any SMB/CIFS server. The name is resolved using the name resolve order line from smb.conf(5).

-A filename

This option allows you to specify a file from which to read the username and password used in the connection. The format of the file is

		username = <value> 
		password = <value>
		domain   = <value>

Make certain that the permissions on the file restrict access from unwanted users.

-c 'command string'

execute semicolon separated commands (listed below))

-d debuglevel

set the debuglevel. Debug level 0 is the lowest and 100 being the highest. This should be set to 100 if you are planning on submitting a bug report to the Samba team (see BUGS.txt).


Print a summary of command line options.

-l logbasename

File name for log/debug files. The extension '.client' will be appended. The log file is never removed by the client.


instruct rpcclient not to ask for a password. By default, rpcclient will prompt for a password. See also the -U option.

-s smb.conf

Specifies the location of the all important smb.conf file.

-U username[%password]

Sets the SMB username or username and password.

If %password is not specified, the user will be prompted. The client will first check the USER environment variable, then the LOGNAME variable and if either exists, the string is uppercased. If these environmental variables are not found, the username GUEST is used.

A third option is to use a credentials file which contains the plaintext of the username and password. This option is mainly provided for scripts where the admin doesn't desire to pass the credentials on the command line or via environment variables. If this method is used, make certain that the permissions on the file restrict access from unwanted users. See the -A for more details.

Be cautious about including passwords in scripts. Also, on many systems the command line of a running process may be seen via the ps command. To be safe always allow rpcclient to prompt for a password and type it in directly.

-W domain

Set the SMB domain of the username. This overrides the default domain which is the domain defined in smb.conf. If the domain specified is the same as the server's NetBIOS name, it causes the client to log on using the server's local SAM (as opposed to the Domain SAM).







rpcclient is designed as a developer testing tool and may not be robust in certain areas (such as command line parsing). It has been known to generate a core dump upon failures when invalid parameters where passed to the interpreter.

From Luke Leighton's original rpcclient man page:

"WARNING! The MSRPC over SMB code has been developed from examining Network traces. No documentation is available from the original creators (Microsoft) on how MSRPC over SMB works, or how the individual MSRPC services work. Microsoft's implementation of these services has been demonstrated (and reported) to be... a bit flaky in places.

The development of Samba's implementation is also a bit rough, and as more of the services are understood, it can even result in versions of smbd(8) and rpcclient(1) that are incompatible for some commands or services. Additionally, the developers are sending reports to Microsoft, and problems found or reported to Microsoft are fixed in Service Packs, which may result in incompatibilities."


This man page is correct for version 2.2 of the Samba suite.


The original Samba software and related utilities were created by Andrew Tridgell. Samba is now developed by the Samba Team as an Open Source project similar to the way the Linux kernel is developed.

The original rpcclient man page was written by Matthew Geddes, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton, and rewritten by Gerald Carter. The conversion to DocBook for Samba 2.2 was done by Gerald Carter.