[Samba] Re: Samba vs. Windows : significant difference in timestamp handling ?

Dragan Krnic dkrnic at lycos.com
Wed Aug 13 15:09:15 GMT 2003

>> Oops! What do you mean "different users with the 
>> same name"? This is new to me. ...
> Have you ever noticed the options Dialog in any 
> Office application ? (Something like 
> Tools->options->general(PPT) or Userinfo(Word)
> You should tell MS Office who you are to enable 
> things like Revisions and Comments and finally 
> the "Document is in use by Mr. Dragan Krnic" message.
> User ID-names are not very helpful by default. (Some 
> Admins use partly numeric ID´s with employeenumbers 
> from the HR department ...) But this could also be a 
> relict of ancient times, when Windows was a single
> user OS where properties like realname were not 
> present. (As the whole usermanagement ...)

It defaults to the presently logged in user, 
DraganKrnic in my case. Some add titles like Sir, or
Dr. but I can't say what happens when they log in on
a client other than their own. My default name follows
me everywhere in the domain. It may be different in
the case of a TE/TS. I don't know.

>> The show-stopper for your migration might be the lax
>> rules of engagement where everyone logs in as
>> Administrator and then fakes identities by using
>> obscure Office sudo's.
>> Before you migrate, you should perhaps wean your 
>> users off such practices....
>Have you read my posting ?

I thought I did.

> Noone but the Administrator logs in as Administrator.

Sorry for this misunderstanding.

> Administrator is the default Office-user-name that 
> is written to the "DEFAULT_USER" registry hive when 
> MS Office is installed in Terminal Server mode. 

... because it is usually the Administrator who 
installs it...

> Values of this hive will then be copied to new users 
> to give them proper settings for such irrelevant 
> things like "Program Path", "Group Templates", 
> Add-Ins etc. I bet the changed timestamp thing will 
> not occur in your environment, because not a single 
> user has filled in the name property, so there is no
> "multi-user-office-usage" from the dumb Server´s 
> point of view.

Rather because there are no TE's here. Almost everyone 
has his own client and there's a pool of a dozen
clients which anybody can use on 1st-come-1st-served
basis. These people are absolutely dependent on such
details as time-stamping, ownership, group-ownership
(quotas), access rights (ACLs), and they didn't need 
to do anything extra to make it work. 

Terminal servers are not my kind of beer. They do seem 
to introduce another layer of complexity to an already 
fsck'd up os. Thin clients is a buzzword like RAID. 
In the mouth of salespeople it sounds like you are
going to make a nice saving if instead of buying a
six-pack of state-of-art PCs you buy a dual or quad
server and 5 worthless/diskless PCs. Just like in case
of RAIDs, you end up paying more money for less power
and a tricky system requiring a service contract to

Of course, there are situations where a terminal server
is better than a VNC. We are considering TS model for 
a number of very remote worker clients. But we are 
also considering setting them up as virtual hosts 
under Linux and using X11 emulation to access them. 
The latter has many performance advantages in addition 
to many times lower investment price. The only 
argument in favour of TS model is that it is MS and 
all of the remote stuff are MSCEs.

>> >> Probably because, should the other user have
>> >> changed anything and re-saved the file it would
>> >> have belonged to him now. So PPT first changed
>> >> ctime when it was quasi given over to the new 
>> >> user and then it changed back to original owner 
>> >> again when it was clear that the other user 
>> >> wouldn't commit his changes.
>> ... Perhaps PPT thinks that it should
>> revert the ownership to original owner and generates
>> an inode state change which doesn't change anything
>> but the ctime.
> Perhaps the moon falls from the sky tonight ...

We'll never know unless you do some observations. It
was an admittedly uneducated guess, but not so far 
off as the moon event.

> AFAIK, the new owner results from the fakt that the 
> temporary file (that is naturally owned by the one 
> who accesses the original file) is copied to the 
> original location and really overwrites the original 
> file with the current user as owner and new creation 
> time. That´s ok for me. This can be handled by 
> intelligent user rights management by groups and
> ACLs. Not the topic here.

Rather, the original file is deleted and the new one
is renamed after the original. But it really doesn't
matter mostly.

>>...but you can't set such high standards
>> of consistency on MS, can you?
>I could -but i don´t. Because i´m not new to IT ...

That's a realistic attitude. Samba is in many ways
better software but it's not bug-4-bug compatible
with MS. Close but not quite.

>> Fine. Use reiserfs and don't worry about ctime.
>But reiserfs doesn´t support ACLs. Does it?

Oh yes, it does. Big way.

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