23.6 Common Errors

The following are some typical errors, problems and questions that have been asked on the Samba mailing lists.

23.6.1 Configuring Roaming Profiles for a Few Users or Groups

With Samba-2.2.x, the choice you have is to enable or disable roaming profiles support. It is a global only setting. The default is to have roaming profiles and the default path will locate them in the user 's home directory.

If disabled globally, then no one will have roaming profile ability. If enabled and you want it to apply only to certain machines, then on those machines on which roaming profile support is not wanted it is then necessary to disable roaming profile handling in the registry of each such machine.

With Samba-3, you can have a global profile setting in smb.conf and you can override this by per-user settings using the Domain User Manager (as with MS Windows NT4/ Win 200xx).

In any case, you can configure only one profile per user. That profile can be either:

  • A profile unique to that user.

  • A mandatory profile (one the user cannot change).

  • A group profile (really should be mandatory, that is unchangable).

23.6.2 Cannot Use Roaming Profiles

A user requested the following: " I do not want Roaming profiles to be implemented. I want to give users a local profile alone. Please help me, I am totally lost with this error. For the past two days I tried everything, I googled around but found no useful pointers. Please help me ."

The choices are:

Local profiles ” I know of no registry keys that will allow auto-deletion of LOCAL profiles on log out.

Roaming profiles ” As a user logs onto the network, a centrally stored profile is copied to the workstation to form a local profile. This local profile will persist ( remain on the workstation disk) unless a registry key is changed that will cause this profile to be automatically deleted on logout.

The roaming profile choices are:

Personal roaming profiles ” These are typically stored in a profile share on a central (or conveniently located local) server.

Workstations cache (store) a local copy of the profile. This cached copy is used when the profile cannot be downloaded at next logon.

Group profiles ” These are loaded from a central profile server.

Mandatory profiles ” Mandatory profiles can be created for a user as well as for any group that a user is a member of. Mandatory profiles cannot be changed by ordinary users. Only the administrator can change or reconfigure a mandatory profile.

A Windows NT4/200x/XP profile can vary in size from 130KB to very large. Outlook PST files are most often part of the profile and can be many GB in size. On average (in a well controlled environment), roaming profile size of 2MB is a good rule of thumb to use for planning purposes. In an undisciplined environment, I have seen up to 2GB profiles. Users tend to complain when it takes an hour to log onto a workstation but they harvest the fruits of folly (and ignorance).

The point of all the above is to show that roaming profiles and good controls of how they can be changed as well as good discipline make up for a problem-free site.

Microsoft's answer to the PST problem is to store all email in an MS Exchange Server backend. This removes the need for a PST file.

Local profiles mean:

  • If each machine is used by many users, then much local disk storage is needed for local profiles.

  • Every workstation the user logs into has its own profile; these can be very different from machine to machine.

On the other hand, use of roaming profiles means:

  • The network administrator can control the desktop environment of all users.

  • Use of mandatory profiles drastically reduces network management overheads.

  • In the long run, users will experience fewer problems.

23.6.3 Changing the Default Profile

" When the client logs onto the Domain Controller, it searches for a profile to download. Where do I put this default profile? "

First, the Samba server needs to be configured as a Domain Controller. This can be done by setting in smb.conf:

  Security = user os level = 32 (or more) domain logons = Yes  

There must be a [netlogon] share that is world readable. It is a good idea to add a logon script to pre-set printer and drive connections. There is also a facility for automatically synchronizing the workstation time clock with that of the logon server (another good thing to do).



To invoke auto-deletion of roaming profile from the local workstation cache (disk storage), use the Group Policy Editor to create a file called NTConfig.POL with the appropriate entries. This file needs to be located in the netlogon share root directory.

Windows clients need to be members of the domain. Workgroup machines do not use network logons so they do not interoperate with domain profiles.

For roaming profiles, add to smb.conf:

  logon path = \\%N\profiles\%U logon drive = H:  

Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide
The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 0131882228
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 297

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