[Samba] Unexpected feature (success!) re Roaming Profiles

Stefan Winter stefan.winter at restena.lu
Wed May 9 11:58:12 GMT 2007

Hello list,

I'm currently replacing a NT4 stand-alone with a Samba-3.0.24 implementation. 
I faced some tough hours trying to mimic a rather peculiar setting in the NT4 
domain: some users had Roaming Profiles, while others hadn't. But this Local 
vs. Roam was NOT specified on the client device, but pushed from the NT4 
server. So the box in User Profiles where one can usually select whether the 
roaming or a local profile is to be used was grayed out for the local-only 

This is a desirable situation in our company: some secreteriat girls jump from 
computer to computer and NEED a romaing profile, while engineers sit at PC 
and Notebook simultaneously and fear inconsistent profiles when both devices 
simultaneously access their same roaming profile.

The problem I faced was that I saw no easy way to mimic that in Samba. The 
official HOWTO mentioned that Roaming Profiles are a global setting, and that 
disabling it can only be done by editing registry keys on the clients - no 
auto-disabling from server-side.

By coincidence, I found that when one uses pdbedit to

pdbedit -u whatever --profile=""

then at least Windows XP SP2 treats this empty string at logon time as "user 
is not eligible for roaming profile", automatically uses a local profile and 
grays out the ability to switch to roaming - all this without error messages, 
meaning that this is somehow an intended behaviour.

The HOWTO doesn't mention this explicitly, and also the man page of pdbedit 
only mentions you can change the profile path - not the corner case described 

I found it quite cool that this actually works, and wanted to say thank you to 
all the developers here - and for the community, would like to request that 
the documentation is updated in that respect, so that others can profit of 
this nice feature of selectively disabling Roaming Profiles for some users, 
while by default allowing them.

Happy greetings,

Stefan Winter

P.S.: NT4 is about to die here :-)


Stiftung RESTENA - Réseau Téléinformatique de l'Education Nationale et de 
la Recherche
Ingenieur Forschung & Entwicklung

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E-Mail: stefan.winter at restena.lu     Tel.:     +352 424409-1
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