[Samba] local/roaming profile default - different behavior

Markus A. Madlener markus.madlener at newlogic.com
Wed May 15 05:02:02 GMT 2002

i have exact the same behavior !
if a new user logons on to a samba domain, the profile IS roaming, you can
easily check by starting NT user manager and connect to the samba PDC, the 
path to the user profile is always set to the samba PDC

you also mentioned that this is the  opposite behavior on a NT/2k server, which
i can only confirm, on my NT and 2k server new users (for example when adding
users using "User Manager for Domains" for NT or the mmc in win2k) the profile
path is empty by default which automatically means that profiles also local by
default, i tried with samba 2.2.3a and 2.2.4 

even if delete the the home and profile options in the smb.conf file and i
try to logon to the samba domain with a win2k box,  win2k will bringup an error
message saying that it cannot find the profile 
so in order to add a new user to a samba domain with a local user profile i
always have to add the home and/or profile path option to smb.conf, change the
profile on the client to local and then delete these options again

> The selection of local vs. roaming profile is done on the client,
> not the domain controller. AFAIK, Samba correctly reproduces the
> behavior of a Windows NT or 2000 PDC.

-> IMHO the selection of local vs. roaming CAN be done on the client (after the
user has been created), but the initial decision (at least with NT/2k server) is
done on the server, when the user is being created (there i can specify if the
profile is local or roaming (by entering a path))

when adding a user to a samba domain a path to the roaming profile always gets
created (as seen when using usrmgr.exe to connect to the samba pdc)

i wonder why samba behaves differently in this matter

wouldn't it be better for samba to not use a roaming profile if there is no
path specified for samba clients to copy their profile to ? (ex if there is no
home drive or profile path specified in smb.conf)

of maybe even better having the same behavior like a NT/2k PDC, using local
profiles by default, and using an additional smbpasswd option to add a profile
path when a new user gets created and/or edited just like on a NT/2k PDC?

its no problem for me to use samba in this way, but it was quite confusing in
the beginning and it took me a while to discover this special behavior, (always
wondered why my windoze clients wanted to write a profile back to the samba
server without myself setting an option in smb.conf for them to do so).. till i
found out that this was so by default..
markus a. madlener - system administrator @ newlogic technologies ag

On 03-May-2002 Chris Smith wrote:
> On Fri, 2002-05-03 at 14:49, Jay Ts wrote:
>> Are you really sure of this?  I don't have time to check it right now,
>> but the way I remember it is that new users get a local profile, no
>> matter whether Windows or Samba is used as the PDC.
> Three separate Samba PDC installs that I've done recently all provided
> roaming profiles as the default behavior, I needed to add the kludge I
> mentioned previously to prevent this behavior. Opposite of my experience
> with NT/2k DC's, which corresponds with yours.
> I also received an email from someone with the identical problem who saw
> my post here and was looking for a solution as well. So if I'm
> hallucinating, it's at least a really solid repeatable hallucination,
> and someone else is on the same stuff.
>> At least, that's
>> the way it worked when I did a fresh install of Windows, added a user
>> account, and logged onto the domain for the first time.
> I didn't do a fresh install of Win(NT/2k/XP) but I didn't do that on the
> NT/2k domains either. After joining the Samba domain, every  user when
> logging on for the first time would get a roaming profile by default.
>> Is it possible that what you are experiencing there is attributable
>> to "funky Windows behavior", rather than whether Samba or Windows
>> is used as the PDC?
> No. Every single 2k/XP client has exhibited this behavior (roaming
> default) with Samba domains. I attribute the flaky profile losses to the
> kludge I mentioned causing some incompatibility, although I don't know
> exactly what steps are needed to recreate it and it has only happened to
> several systems - so far.
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