samba, MS Access and file/record locking

Dave Reed dreed at
Thu Jun 15 01:07:20 GMT 2000

I've recently just resubscribed to the mailing list so my apologies if
this has been discussed in the last 4 to 5 months while I was off.
And the archive search seems to be down - I get:

Not Found The requested URL 
/search/smb-mail.shtml was not found on this server.

Sorry for the long message, but I didn't want to leave any necessary
details out.

Anyway, my wife's office is having some computer stability problems
and I'm wondering if Linux with samba might give them more stability.
They've got about 3 or 4 computers that share an Access database.  All
the machines are running Windows 9[58] (no NT/2000).  I don't know the
exact setup (and my wife doesn't have the computer knowledge to tell
me), but I'm assuming the database is stored on one computer and
they're all shared with Network Neighborhood.

A friend of a friend stopped by the office today and suggested they
get an NT server with Back Office and SQL server (but that's all he
knows) instead of the peer-to-peer setup they have now.  Give that he
doesn't know anything about Unix/Linux, I wondered if there isn't a
better and less expensive solution in Linux and Samba.

I'm thinking of getting a box running Linux with samba and putting the
database on it and then have all the Windows clients access (no pun
intended) the database off of it.  I don't understand exactly how
Access (I think they have the Office 97 version) works exactly as far
as file/record locking, etc. when multiple computers are sharing the
same database and how this might interact with samba.

Will multiple Windows clients be able to change different records in
the database at the same time and will samba and Access prevent two
clients from trying to change the same record at the same time?

It shouldn't ever happen, but it'd be nice to know I don't have to
worry about it.  I figure this must be a fairly common setup so
someone on the list can tell me it will work fine.

>From what I've gotten from the MS "paper clip guy" help, it appears
that Access can do "record locking" and from the "Using Samba" book,
it appears that this type of file locking is the default for Samba -

The database file is probably around 50MB in size and there will only
be 2 or 3 simultaneous clients (accessing very small portions of the
database) so I don't expect any performance problems.  I figured a
Celeron 400 with 128MB of memory should be more than enough power to
do the job.

I've got samba running on my Linux box at home for sharing files with
my wife's Windows computer but don't have a third computer hooked up
to my network to experiment with it (and of course, all I could do
with that is prove it doesn't work, not prove it will will always
work).  I'm certainly not a samba expert, but this simple setup
needed at the office (no password protections, etc.) shouldn't be any
more complicated than what I've got at home.

Can anyone tell me I don't have to worry about file corruption and
simultaneous connections will work fine (as long as they are accessing
different records in the database) with this setup?


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