[SAMBA] Best practice in small office

Chad Vincent chad at rhiannonweb.com
Wed Sep 28 13:42:48 GMT 2005

Hash: SHA256


While I can't really say I'm the voice of experience, I've got a
20-computer, 15-user network with samba....  A few points that I used,
and hopefully someone else will set us both straight.

Plus we're using Samba 3.x, so YMMV.

1) PST Files.  When setting up each new user's Outlook, I move the PST
file into Application Data.  It's copied over with the profile on login,
and back to the samba server on logout.  While it's a load on the
network during logins, at least Outlook isn't manipulating large PST
files over the network all day.

2) My Documents.  For each computer (We're using W2K) I just did the

	Join domain.
	Login as user for first time.  W2K auto-created a roaming
		profile on \\server\username\profile
	Make \\server\username\MyDocuments
	Re-map My Docs to the folder on the server
	Setup outlook, etc.

This way other users could access My Documents without digging through
the profiles.  Plus, keeping them on the server proper meant that if
someone forgot to log off for the evening, at least their documents
would be backed up and current.

As for laptops, still looking for a good solution there.  The one laptop
I have setup (out of three) uses roaming profiles and offline files for
the user's home directory.  This is rather kludgy, though, but I don't
really know of any way to have someone log onto the domain with a local
profile.  (Plus she uses regular workstations, so getting info synced
between the server and the laptop would be tricky.)

samba-request at lists.samba.org wrote:
>    8. Best practice in small office (Russell Horn)

Hi folks,

I've been reading the definitive guide to samba3 and Samba3 by example as
well as scouring on line for advice. Sometimes however I find different
suggested solutions to the same problem, so perhaps the list can give me
some help with current strategies for these issues.

We are a small office and are currently going through an IT refurb.
Previously we've had a mix of laptops and desktops running Win2k or WinXP
with roaming profiles on samba 2.2.3

This has worked pretty well, people tend not to change computer but thee
roaming profile has been of help in a couple of hard disk crashes.

Our new setup is all XP and mainly desktops - about 15 of them with just
three laptop users. My thought is to stick with roaming profiles and
configure the desktops not to save the profile data - that should let users
swap machines if one dies and at the same tme not leave huge chunks of other
users' data on the hard disk. Is that a reasonable strategy?

Does it make sense to map My Documents to the user's home folder or is there
a benefit to bringing their entire profile over the network at the start of
the session then copying it back when they log off?

Will I see any great benefit from upgrading to Samba3 or should I stick with
what works?

We have a couple of laptops that I'd like users to be able to check out if
they do need to work outside the office. Ideally I'd like them to be able to
ge their data onto the laptop and remove it when they finish using it after
a few days. Is there a sensible way to do this with samba or is this really
a task for a VPN connection?

Final issue is Outlook. If I remember correctly, it doesn't like PST files
living on a Samba share. What's the best way for me to deal with these big
PST files.

As I mentioned we're a relatively small office. We're also running gigabit
to the desktops and laptops, so I'm not too concerned about shifting pretty
large quantities of data if that makes a difference to how we should

Any thoughts or advice would be really appreciated.

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