[Samba] msdfs root / directory structure.

John Drescher drescherjm at gmail.com
Fri Feb 29 10:42:27 GMT 2008

>  >>From the docs I do not see a mention of this and in the past it did
>  >not work for me however with samba-3.0.28 it appears to be working.
>  I've done this for a few years with various versions of Samba 3, never
>  noticed it it not working.
Possibly I needed to reboot the client then...
>  >Is this guaranteed to work? Known limitations? I am interested in XP,
>  >win2k3 and possibly linux cifs clients in the future.
>  We're mostly an XP shop (for desktop) and it seems to behave itself.
>  The usual DFS problems can occur, but the extra levels of sub-directories
>  don't cause extra problems.
Same here with a few windows server versions used only as workstations.
>  The other thing that Samba can do that I've not seen Windows Server do
>  is allow you to have multiple shares, each set up as a DFS root. So we
>  have  (something like)  :-
>         \\net
>                 \user
>                         \homes
>                         \mydocs
>                 \shares
>                         \finance
>                                 \budgets
>                         \admin
>                                 \meetings
>                         \it
>                                 \devel-team
>                                 \support-desk
>                 \software
>                         \microsoft
>                                 \office
>                                 \visio
>                         \adobe
>                                 \reader8
>                                 \illustrator
>  where 'net' is in fact a NetBios alias.
>  'user', 'shares', and 'software' are three different Samba shares, each
>  with DFS turned on. (i.e. DFS roots)
>  'homes','mydocs','finance' etc. are all normal subdirectories.
>  'budgets','meetings','office' etc are the DFS (sym-)links.
>  Works nicely for us.
>  (and somewhere we have a script to build the whole 'shares' tree by
>  parsing smb.conf files from across the whole site)
Thanks for the explanation, it was very helpful. Since you spent some
time explaining this,  I will explain what I am trying to do.

We are a medical imaging / cancer research team with less than 20
members. And as such we have to store 10+ TB of data reliably with a
tight budget. To access these images for the windows users  have a
single share I: which maps to our main fileserver which contains 3TB
of raid6. When I designed that 4 to 5 years ago (using 16 x 250 GB
SATA drives) it was more than we needed but now our data had grown (we
get several GB of new data each day) and so we have added additional
servers with larger drives. With the addition of these servers I ended
up nfs mounting parts of the share (over our nearly 100% gigabit
private network)  to these other servers. This works but creates a lot
of unnecessary network traffic so my idea is to keep the current
folder structure but use dfs to make this efficient.

Our directory structure is like the following.


Where all the Others are replaced with some project name I can not
remember being that I am at home and it is 5:30 in the morning...

So what I want is to have most of these projects mounted via a dfs
link so that I can better manage their storage and network efficiency.
I was thinking that I could make these hidden mounts with the $ syntax
and so I do not pollute the servers with 10 or more user visible


More information about the samba mailing list