[Samba] Profile Location Best Practice

Server Gremlin servergremlin at gmail.com
Mon Oct 15 15:08:15 GMT 2007

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.html#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.
I have the exact same setup as what Charles Marcus described, with user 
profiles in the home directory (save that my path is 
\\server\share\username\profile, and it's not hidden), and the exact 
same strange OCCASIONAL problems he described.  Desktop icons 
mysteriously reappear on the desktop over and over, the user can't 
permanently delete them.  File corruption seems to be less of an issue, 
but it has happened.

Eric Feldhusen, you've pretty much convinced me that best practice is 
having profiles stored in one place, and home folders in another.  But 
I'm still curious if you have also experienced these problems even with 
such a configuration.  Either way, I think the merits of such a 
configuration are clear; I just wonder if I can expect even these 
problems to go away, or if I shouldn't get my hopes up quite that much.

- SG

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