Weird Folder Looping

DavidAtkinson at DavidAtkinson at
Thu Sep 20 17:44:02 GMT 2001

You could do a few different things to get around that. The first is you can
set the do not follow sym links in the smb.conf file, which means the sym
links remain on the file system. This only causes a problem if you are
attempting to back up remotely using smb as the communication protocol.
Perhaps what you might consider doing is setting up a cron job on the
machine that is being backed up and get it to write the tar file directly
onto the server doing the backups using smbmount. ie mount up a directory on
the backup server and then locally run tar and dump the backup onto the
mounted directory. Alternatively, if you must run the backup from the backup
server, you may have to carefully select options so that it doesn't engage
in infinite recursion of sub-directories. You may be able to limit the
number of directory levels with smbtar, or, alternatively, you could run
find with options to make it aware of the excluded directories (fully
qualified, as you want them backed up at least once) and it will produce for
you a list of all the files currently on the filesystem which can then be
passed to tar / smbtar / cpio / other miscellaneous backup tool

David Atkinson

System Administrator
Solectron Australia
Phone: +61 3 5720-2556
Mobile: +61 4 1957-4112
Fax: +61 3 5720-2412

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Cooke [mailto:mpc at]
Sent: Friday, 21 September 2001 10:06 AM
To: DavidAtkinson at
Cc: samba-ntdom at
Subject: RE: Weird Folder Looping

I have seen this behaviour between two installs of samba.  We have a
Linux based backup server (2.2.1a) using smbtar to do weekly archives
of various desktop machines.

The desktops are a mix of Win2000/NT4/solaris 2.6 with samba 2.2.1a

I have seen this behaviour recently causing backups to fail by
crashing the smbtar and have been trying to pin it down.
Unfortunately, I need the backups to follow some sym links.


On Fri, 21 Sep 2001 DavidAtkinson at wrote:

> That problem relates to Symbolic References. You can turn off this
> with a directive like follow symbolic link = no, but you will have to
> the manual. I have this behaviour on my servers too, and I mostly just
> ignore it, but you can either disable it or you can tel your users not to
> try going down all these directories.>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Barry, Christopher [mailto:cbarry at]
> Sent: Friday, 21 September 2001 9:35 AM
> To: Samba-Ntdom (E-mail)
> Subject: Weird Folder Looping
> Hi. Has anyone seen the behavior of having explorer folder traversal
> loop? By this I mean, directories repeat over and over.
> As an example, say the samba server has a share on it called documents.
> I'll navigate to a file 3 or 4 directories beneath documents. Let's say
> the path looks like:
> documents\dir1\dir2\dir3\dir4\somefile.txt
> As I expand the tree, it can drop back to the root of documents, adding
> ghost directories, like:
> documents\dir1\dir2\dir1\dir2\dir1\dir2\dir3\dir4\somefile.txt
> It's flaky. Has anyone seen this? Not all of our win2k boxes produce
> this problem, all are at sp2. I'm using msdfs with samba 2.2.1a

Mark Cooke                  The views expressed above are mine and are not
Systems Programmer          necessarily representative of university policy
University Of Birmingham    URL:

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