[Samba] Problem with offline drive

Walter Mautner retlaw.rentuam at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 23:45:47 GMT 2009

Am Tuesday 03 February 2009 14:43:43 schrieb BOURIAUD:
> On Friday 30 January 2009 19:22:49 Adam Williams wrote:
> Hello !
> Here is a late answer to your advices, which are very interesting.
> > Walter Mautner wrote:
> > > Bad. Storing mail databases on network drives (in particular when they
> > > become bigger) or storing them on a roaming profile path is not
> > > supported for Microsofts e-mail programs. Even though
> > > Thunderbird/Mozilla don't explicitely forbid it, it is also bad for
> > > Thunderbird.
> I don't see where the problem is. I've read many things around the web
> concerning samba for instance, and many a person round the world advocate
> to pull out of the profile as many things as possible. I'm thinking of the

Having database or database alike files on offline files folder is bad. They 
won't sync (by intent or by file suffix, by Microsoft). They just produce 
errors and messageboxes which hinder shutting down/logging out.

> "My Documents" folder for instance. So, since one can easily change the
> path where both firefox and thunderbird store their datas (Simply edit the
> Profile.ini), I thought it was a good idea to pull them both on a network
> drive, so as to avoid having to use the sync tool.

Folder redirection is good for desktops, with constant network connection. We 
use that whenever possible, but the user demand on laptops urges us to find 
another solution. Offline files are not good for our multi-location setup, 
when the IP address of the home server changes for roaming laptop users.
Again by decision, offline files don't sync anymore when the IP address of the 
server serving the homedrive changes, even if it's the same content, the same 

> And for desktop machines, it works great. The fact is that on the 100
> machines we have on our network, we only have 15 laptops. And they come to
> the end of the installation process.
Desktops tend to "go offline" when only a slight network glitch occurs. Once 
there are "database-like" files in users paths, they will ever stay "offline" 
partially, just pestering users with errormessages on logoff. In fact, we 
have to turn off offline files before the first user accidently can turn them 
Laptop users want to have their data available offline, therefore offline 
files would be fine - but we have database (*.md?) files as well, and roaming 
users. Still, there would be no control about syncing while a user just has a 
gprs connection.
With MS synctoy it is the responsibility of a user, to sync when on a fast 
network, and doing backup this way (our branch servers have backup devices).

> > Yes I agree here.  You can hack the registry to save the Local Settings
> > folder with the roaming profile, or change the location of outlook.pst.
> > But when your users aren't locally on your network, they won't have a
> > connection to M:, hence outlook breaks.  Here we use Seamonkey and IMAP,
> > so that all mail stays on the server.  You should really be using imap,
> > it helps keeps the profile smaller, and with the mail being stored on
> > the server, its better for backups and archiving.
> The fact is that we can't use imap here. Well, we could if whe would like,
> but who on earth would like to work with a 25Mb imap box ? No one. We don't

Uhm. Why just so little? Our users partially have gigabyte mail databases. 

> have much space on the mail server, and whe use many attachements with
> mails, so that in half a day the imap storage place would be full.
So you tell, your users have their mails only locally ... well, what if a 
drive fails or a pc is infected, or a laptop is lost?
For business use, some people insist on having their important (and almost 
everything is claimed important) stored for legal purposes, for some years.

> > I also agree to
> > disable offline files.  If it syncs when logging off, its no better then
> > using a roaming profile, and if you have it sync at a certain time of
> > day, if the user makes any changes after that time, they are log when
> > they unplug themselves.  Personally, I use roaming profiles, and tell my
> > users if they are taking a notebook out of town, copy the files they
> > think they will need to their desktop because i redirect my documents to
> > a folder on their home drive to make the roaming profiles save and load
> > quicker.
> As for the last solution you propose here, that's the way some of the users
> are working with, but I thought offline files would make their life easier.

We have another problem with offline files: even on the domain with fast user 
switching disabled, they tend to sync the previous user when the next one 
logs on. Irritating and frustrating.
I hope you don't regret using "offline files" one bad-hair day ....

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