[Samba] What's the deal with the archive bit?

Aaron Kincer kincera at gmail.com
Wed Sep 13 15:25:32 GMT 2006

I have some deep concerns with what is happening under the hood here 
with the archive bit. I'm hoping someone will step up to the plate and 
give the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on this matter 
in clear and unambiguous language. Specifically:

1) Is there a known configuration where a Samba file server is fully 
integrated into an ADS domain (2003) where the setting of the archive 
bit functions as expected (i.e. set on editing of a file) for all 
applications--most notably MS Word?

2) Is it expected and acceptable behavior for files modified by MS 
Office to remove ACL information (as reported by getfacl) when modifying 
a file despite inherit permissions, inherit acls, map acl inherit, nt 
acl support, acl compatibility, store dos attributes and dos filemode 
all specifically being set in smb.conf and acl and user_xattr being 
configured in fstab for the filesystem?

The reason I have concerns is that it seems that the more I dig into the 
list archives, the more I see people asking related questions 
(specifically about the archive bit) with no clear resolution given. For 


A reply dodging the problem is given here :


Which was followed up by a workaround here:


Here we have an old thread discussing the issue involving both Word 97 
and Excel 97:


There didn't seem to be any responses to that inquiry that I can find 

Going back as far as 1998, we can see mention of the problem here:


Jeremy Allison responded with this potential solution:


It isn't clear if this was a solution to the archive bit issue or 
another issue the parent poster was having.

I am just hoping that someone steps up to the plate and clears the 
ambiguity once and for all. Either Samba correctly handles the archive 
bit or it doesn't. If this is an issue with MS Word only (which is what 
I think I'm seeing), what is the issue and is anyone working on it?

I feel like I'm chasing my tail on this. I realize you guys are busy, 
that I'm using Samba without charge and that Microsoft has been less 
than forthcoming on adequately documenting their software, but I need 
some insight. Can anyone provide some?

By the way, thanks to all that have helped so far. I've learned a 
tremendous amount about Samba in a very short period of time. I'm just 
hoping desperately that this issue can be resolved. The alternative is 
rather unpleasant to think about (i.e. replacing Samba with a 
Windows-based file server).


Aaron Kincer

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