13.2. Dissection and Discussion
If it is your purpose to get the best mileage out of your Samba servers, there is one rule that must be obeyed. If you want the best, keep your implementation as simple as possible. You may well be forced to introduce some complexities, but you should do so only as a last resort.
Simple solutions are likely to be easier to get right than are complex ones. They certainly make life easier for your successor. Simple implementations can be more readily audited than can complex ones.
Problems reported by users fall into three categories: configurations that do not work, those that have broken behavior, and poor performance. The term broken behavior means that the function of a particular Samba component appears to work sometimes, but not at others. The resulting intermittent operation is clearly unacceptable. An example of broken behavior known to many Windows networking users occurs when the list of Windows machines in MS Explorer changes, sometimes listing machines that are running and at other times not listing them even though the machines are in use on the network.
A significant number of reports concern problems with the smbfs file system driver that is part of the Linux kernel, not part of Samba. Users continue to interpret that smbfs is part of Samba, simply because Samba includes the front-end tools that are used to manage smbfs-based file service connections. So, just for the record, the tools smbmnt, smbmount, smbumount, and smbumnt are front-end facilities to core drivers that are supplied as part of the Linux kernel. These tools share a common infrastructure with some Samba components, but they are not maintained as part of Samba and are really foreign to it.
The new project, cifsfs, is destined to replace smbfs. It, too, is not part of Samba, even though one of the Samba Team members is a prime mover in this project.
Table 13.1 lists typical causes of:
It is obvious to all that the first requirement (as a matter of network hygiene) is to eliminate problems that affect basic network operation. This book has provided sufficient working examples to help you to avoid all these problems.