[Samba] Profile Location Best Practice

John H Terpstra jht at samba.org
Mon Oct 15 01:13:21 GMT 2007

On Sunday 14 October 2007 13:31, deann corum wrote:
> Eric J. Feldhusen wrote:
> > Charles Marcus wrote:
> >>> The key advantage is that if the profile is stored within the user's
> >>> home directory, the Windows workstations will sometimes discconnect the
> >>> user's home directory network drive mapping during logout before the
> >>> profile has finished synchronizing between the workstation and the
> >>> server, and your users may have broken profile problems.
> >>
> >> Wow... maybe this explains the mysterious problems I've been having...
> >>
> >> Currently, user profiles are stored in:
> >>
> >> \\server\home\user\system\profile
> >>
> >> system is a hidden folder in the users home dir, so they don't even
> >> 'see' it (unless they enable 'Show hidden files and folders').
> >>
> >> Home folder is mapped to H:, target = \\server\home\user
> >>
> >> 'My Documents' folder is mapped to H:
> >>
> >> It has worked very well - with the OCCASIONAL exception of mysterious
> >> problems with deleted icons from the desktop reappearing, and OCCASIONAL
> >> corrupted files in the users profile
> >>
> >> Are you saying that this could be causing these problems? I thought it
> >> would be ok, since the Profile path is an UNC path, not a mapped drive
> >> letter?
> >
> > That is what I used to think as well, but after 5+ years of Samba
> > experience on about 19-20 Linux servers, a lot of reading of the Samba
> > Official How-to and Official By-Example and samba email lists, my
> > experience is that a separate profile share not under the user's home
> > directory works best.
> >
> > >From the Samba Official How-to, check out the "Note" section just a few
> >
> > paragraphs down from the top of this link that explains why a separate
> > profile share
> >
> > http://us1.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/ProfileMgmt.ht
> >ml#id418314
> >
> > Also, I can't recommend the Samba Official How-to and Official
> > By-Example enough.  They both take time to read through, but each is
> > well written, easy to read, and real "glue" together understanding how
> > Samba and Windows clients interact.
> >
> > Also, you can download the latest versions of each document from
> > http://www.samba.org ,but I've purchased one edition of each once to
> > support the authors, because both books are that good.
> Wasn't it the case a while back that if there were older clients on the
> network (Win95-Win98, etc.) that the Samba profile HAD to be inside the
> home directory?  Probably many Samba installations still have them there
> from those days if they've been using Samba long enough, and IF that was
> the case.  (?)

I am not aware of any documentation that said that the Win9X profile HAD to be 
stored in the users' home directory.  I'd appreciate a pointer to where this 
is stated so ti can be fixed.

> Would having the profiles inside the home directory also cause slow
> logins, by chance with roaming profiles? We have issues with that EVEN
> when the roaming profiles are *not* large.
> Also, regarding where profiles should be stored, I wrote to this list a
> while back (5/17/07) regarding an Office 2007 read-only issue that was
> fixed by setting "profile acls = no" on the user's home directory. Well,
> it fixed the Office 2007 read-only problem but *broke* the roaming
> profiles.  Is the ONLY solution to this issue likely to be moving our
> hundreds of Samba profiles scattered across many servers into seperate
> directories?  OR, can/should this particular item be considered a Samba
> bug?

How can it be a Samba bug, when it is the Windows client that can disconnect 
its connections to network shares before the profile has been written to the 

Suggest you learn how Microsoft Windows NT4 and 200X network infrastructures 
implement roaming profile support, then do the same with a Samba-based 
environment.  If that fails - its a Samba bug.  If it works, but your Samba 
configuration does not work I wonder where the bug is!

The Samba documentation was written to follow the same methods Microsoft 
Windows NT4 domains implement roaming profile support.  If goes against the 
flow of how Samba users would prefer to configure their networks perhaps it 
is time for someone to contribute documentation that captures that approach.  
What would be even better, is documentation of several explicite case 
histories from large-scale working systems.

How will rise to the occassion to help update the HOWTO and the ByExample 
documents (books)?

John T.

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