[Samba] Problem with softlinks under samba on RHEL

Parag Doke parag.doke+techie at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 05:14:52 MDT 2011

Hello all Samba enthusiasts.
I am a noob w.r.t. samba configuration and just happened to use it on
Solaris systems by creating conf files using copy-paste :-). This is
just to convey that I'm no advanced user and might need help with the
solutions / alternatives to come.

Some background => Here is my smb.conf:
    workgroup = <company domain>
    server string = Samba Server on <hostname> configured by Parag Doke
    security = share
    load printers = no
    log file = /usr/samba/var/log.%m
    max log size = 50
    socket options = TCP_NODELAY
    encrypt passwords = no
    comment = Read only shared folder on <hostname>
    path = /usr1/Shared
    public = yes
    write list = <my login>
    writeable = yes
    force create mode = 0755
    force directory mode = 0755
I have replaced texts that could potentially reveal irrelevant data
with <comment>. But this is a very simple configuration that works.
The samba version I have on this host is "Version 3.5.8" (I used "smbd
-V"). The host runs RHEL5 (Linux <hostname> 2.6.18-128.el5 #1 SMP Wed
Dec 17 11:41:38 EST 2008 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux).

The idea => So that people within my office can have (read-only)
access to Unix/Linux filesystems around right from their Windows
(mostly XP) desktops, I was trying to create a folder structure
similar to the one below:

Thus on the filesystem of <hostname>, I have:
At this location I create softlinks:
ln -s /net/unix-machine-001/usr1 .
ln -s /net/unix-machine-001/usr2 .
ln -s /net/linux-machine-001/disk1 .
ln -s /net/linux-machine-002/disk1 .

The problem => When I browse to
\\<hostname>\Shared\unix-machine-links\<unix-machine-001> from an XP
client, I can see the "usr1" folder there. But, when I attempt to open
it, Windows complains:
\\<hostname>\Shared\unix-machine-links\<unix-machine-001> is not
accessible. You might not have permission to use this network
resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you
have access permissions.

Access is denied.

For a long time I was playing around with the permissions, but that
did not help. Then I found another system running Solaris 10 (where I
had run similar samba configurations earlier) and the same thing does
seem to work. The only difference in the smb.conf (which is not
relevant to the problem) is the change in <hostname>. If this helps
towards the problem, the Solaris system details are: SunOS <solaris
hostname> 5.10 Generic_141444-09 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Blade-2500.
This system runs samba: Version 3.0.35 (again this is output of smbd -V).

That above experiment clarified that it wasn't a permissions issue.
Possibly something specific to RHEL ? Can someone kindly share any
thoughts (or diagnostic commands for me to try out) ?

Many thanks in advance,
Parag Doke
Save paper, save trees. Do not print emails/documents unless
absolutely necessary.

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