Advanced MS Windows users are frequently perplexed when file, directory and share manipulation of resources shared via Samba do not behave in the manner they might expect. MS Windows network administrators are often confused regarding network access controls and how to provide users with the access they need while protecting resources from unauthorized access.
Many UNIX administrators are unfamiliar with the MS Windows environment and in particular have difficulty in visualizing what the MS Windows user wishes to achieve in attempts to set file and directory access permissions.
The problem lies in the differences in how file and directory permissions and controls work between the two environments. This difference is one that Samba cannot completely hide, even though it does try to bridge the chasm to a degree.
POSIX Access Control List technology has been available (along with Extended Attributes) for UNIX for many years , yet there is little evidence today of any significant use. This explains to some extent the slow adoption of ACLs into commercial Linux products. MS Windows administrators are astounded at this, given that ACLs were a foundational capability of the now decade -old MS Windows NT operating system.
The purpose of this chapter is to present each of the points of control that are possible with Samba-3 in the hope that this will help the network administrator to find the optimum method for delivering the best environment for MS Windows desktop users.
This is an opportune point to mention that Samba was created to provide a means of interoperability and interchange of data between differing operating environments. Samba has no intent to change UNIX/Linux into a platform like MS Windows. Instead the purpose was and is to provide a sufficient level of exchange of data between the two environments. What is available today extends well beyond early plans and expectations, yet the gap continues to shrink.