cifs-utils is included in the Ubuntu desktop live session for the stated purpose  of enabling you to use a root= on a CIFS share. It was added in 2010 and I would like feedback if anyone still uses this feature or not.
This is one of the initial blockers for removing python2 from the desktop image (and saving space)
CIFS services should be always included not only in the live OS (squashfs) but also in the ISO’s booting “initrd”.
Particularly CIFS services within the booting initrd are used when the live version is offered from a Windows based PXE server like Serva and the squashfs file is accessed by a MS SMB share.
Appreciate the feedback, the key reason I was pushing for removal was apparently fixed back in September yay!
- python-talloc: Remove the dependency on the python interpreter.
This allows installation of samba-libs on the desktop images without
installing the python2 interpreter. python-talloc isn't useful on
it's own, and samba itself depends on python-samba pulling in
python-talloc and the python interpreter again. Sure, a hack ...
- python-talloc-dev: Add the dependencies removed from python-talloc.
by Matthias Klose. Thanks!