Questions re: Samba MS-Dfs support

Shirish Kalele kalele at
Thu Mar 14 09:25:04 GMT 2002

> 1. a Windows 98 system is sharing a folder, which has a symlink in
>   the Samba Dfs tree.  When trying to access its own share through
>   the Dfs tree, the Win 98 client gets an error dialog:
>   \\Toltec\dfs\audio is not accessible
>   Is this a bug?

Not that I know of. This could be a user credential issue with Windows 98.
When browsing Dfs trees, the username/password you use to map the Dfs root
is used for all subsequent connections to dfs links in the tree.

> 2. smbclient can connect to the dfs root, but attempts to cd to
>   any of the remote shares results in the error message
>   (This happened when I ran smbclient from the dfs host, and
>   also from another Samba server.)
>   Is smbclient supposed to work with dfs?

smbclient/smbfs don't do dfs yet.

> 3. The htmldoc on setting up dfs shows a symlink created like this:
> ln -s msdfs:serverB\\share,serverC\\share linkb
>   I *assume* this means that linkb is pointing to two identical
>   read-only shares (one on serverB and one on serverC), and that
>   Samba will divide the load evenly between them, as a MS Dfs
>   server would.  Is this correct?

No. Samba just sends these two shares in its referral. According to the MS
protocol, it is up to the client to decide (based on whatever heuristics it
wants to apply) which share to go to. Clients also cache referrals; so once
they decide where to go for a link, they keep going there for a while. I
think MS might make the heuristic an AD policy item in the future.

I remember someone on the team doing some work (in HEAD?) to make Samba
round-robin the referrals by changing the order in the referral reply, but I
haven't looked at that.

>   And if so, how is the load divided?  Some experimentation here
>   indicates that when a client first connects to the share, Samba
>   picks one of the two servers, and after that point, the other
>   server is not used for that client.  Correct?  Is there any limitation
>   on the number of load-sharing servers that can be used?

AFAIK, there is no limitation on the number.

- SK

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