[Samba] Real-time file synchronisation

Simon Hobson shobson-lists at colony.com
Thu Sep 30 15:11:48 GMT 2004

Chris Ricks wrote:
>Hi all!
>I'm looking for a method of doing the following, given that I'm taking care
>of a network with a Samba 3.0.6 box (running Mandrake 10.0) acting as a PDC
>for about 15 W2K boxes:
>. There is a share full of program files and data files on the Samba box
>. These files are currently synchronized at logon - all movement is from the
>server to the clients via a logon script using XCOPY /D
>I want to engineer a solution that would allow updates of the share to have
>changes propagated out to clients as the share is updated without the users
>being made aware. Essentially, the software vendor is demanding that
>everyone run their software from the network share as to ensure consistency,
>but I hardly think a 300 MB application with 15 MB (!!) executables (about 8
>of them) is really suitable for being "deployed" in that fashion.
>All comments appreciated!

I would say that your vendor is being unreasonable, and that you are 
correct to want to run these locally.

A few questions to think about :

How often do you update the application ? If it's only every few 
months, then there's no problem.

Do you ever do it while users are working ? Well you shouldn't be ! 
And what does the vendor propose to do about the problem of changing 
a binary whilst it is in use ? Having said that, I have done in-place 
upgrades on Unix systems by MOVING the original file and slipping the 
new one into place - if it's in use then the system will continue to 
use the old file (referenced by inode no, not file name) until it is 

Do you have (or do you ever expect to have, any remote workers ? If 
so then there is no way (even on Broadband/ADSL) that you want users 
sucking that sort of file size down the pipe.

One way of dealing with the issue is to make all the users log out 
and back in again when you upgrade. Another might be to run a 
scheduled task that periodically does an XCOPY, but then you'll run 
into problems of the program crashing when you change the binary 
running (or more likely a file in use error).


Simon Hobson MA MIEE, Technology Specialist
Colony Gift Corporation Limited
Lindal in Furness, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0LD
Tel 01229 461100, Fax 01229 461101

Registered in England No. 1499611
Regd. Office : 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA.

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