Home directories using UNIX/SMB

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at switchboard.net
Sat Nov 15 18:21:04 GMT 1997

On Sat, 15 Nov 1997, Gerald W. Carter wrote:

> > > That is one of the fundamental features of Samba, the "homes"
> > > directories.  It checks the password files and mounts the file
> > > space mapped to the user name who logs in.  It will even work
> > > with NIS maps and automounters with NFS file space (I do that).
> > > All this is not to say that it will work the first time, though.
> > > May take some fiddling as you understand the capabilities.  It's
> > > all in the documentation.
> > 
> > If I am using the password server as an NT box then there
> > is no local NIS/passwd/smbpasswd file and so if I connect
> > via an NT box how does samba know where the home directory
> > is? Or do I have to maintain a local passwd file as well?
> > 
> You will have to specify \\sambaserver\homes in the NT user profile as
> the home directory.

ah, this is the right approach, but will throw up a slight difficulty.  

when a user logs in, no connection is established under the user's account,
because the user has not been verified.  a connection is made under the
_machine_ account: a "Workstation Trust Account", i believe it is called. 

unfortunately, once this connection is made, it is maintained 
continuously until the machine is switched off.  no users are involved, 
therefore the [homes] %U substitution doesn't work.

the NT workstations _still_ try and read the profile using this machine 
account, and fail to do so, because it only exists once the _user_ is 

i will need to think of a way to deal with this.  it will probably 
involve suggesting doing a permanent share \\samba-server\profiles\%U or 
something, just to get round this difficulty.

although i don't think even that's going to solve it.

needs some thought.


>  I think I understand you that the user's home in
> located on the samba server, correct?  You can specify your [homes]
> share like this...
> [homes]
>         comment = Unix Home Directories
>         browseable = yes
>         path = /export/home/%u
>         read only = no
>         public = no
>         create mode = 0700
>         directory mode = 0700
> The trick is that you specify an absolute path for the directory share. 
> I do this in several of our labs where the home disk space is local and
> separate from the user's unix home directory ( as listed in /etc/passwd
> ).
> Hope this helps,
> j-
> ________________________________________________________________________
>                           Gerald ( Jerry ) Carter	
> Engineering Network Services                           Auburn University 
> jerry at eng.auburn.edu             http://www.eng.auburn.edu/users/cartegw
>        "...a hundred billion castaways looking for a home."
>                                   - Sting "Message in a Bottle" ( 1979 )
> ________________________________________________________________________

<a href="mailto:lkcl at switchboard.net"  > Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton  </a>
<a href="http://mailhost.cb1.com/~lkcl"> Samba Consultancy and Support </a>

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