[Samba] Redirected folders and mental health

Mark Fox mark.fox at ecacs16.ab.ca
Fri Aug 16 09:02:16 MDT 2013

Just following up myself.

Quick summary: Roaming profiles and redirection were breaking down for us
on certain users. We think it could have been that all GPOs were
misbehaving, but aren't quite sure. The symptoms were that the profile and
redirected folders were created on the Samba4 server, exactly as they
should be, but that the user couldn't see them from the workstation.

In trying to determine which users were the issue, we noticed that any
account created on two of our three test workstations exhibited the
problem. The problem machines had our regular suite of software installed
and many tweaks applied. The machine that worked was a nearly virgin
Windows 7 install. On identical hardware to the problem machines, we
installed Windows 7 from scratch and confirmed that the problem didn't

So something about our standard software suite and configuration is causing
the problem. If we happen to figure it out, I'll share our findings here.
However, we're under some time pressure and don't have time to focus on
finding the problem. (Instead, we just have to focus on building
workstation images that work.)

At this point, I have no reason to believe that this is a Samba problem.

Mark A. Fox, M.Sc.
Director of Technology
East Central Alberta Catholic Schools
Cell: 403-740-6101
Office: 780-842-3992

On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM, Mark Fox <mark.fox at ecacs16.ab.ca> wrote:

> We are very close to being comfortable enough with Samba4 to begin moving
> it into production. We've got a PDC and AD running, machines can join the
> domain, authentication works, but we're having some fun with profiles.
> We're running 4.0.5 via the Sernet PPA on Ubuntu 12.04LTS. Workstations
> are Windows7.
> We require roaming profiles with redirection of the obvious sub-folders.
> We've deployed GPOs to do just this and it works...except when it doesn't.
> The symptoms are that everything just works for some users, roaming
> profiles work nicely along with redirection, but for others the user sees
> an empty profile from their Windows workstation. From the server, the
> redirected folders appear on the server on log in and the profile is
> created on logout as one would expect. But when it doesn't work on the
> workstation, if the user clicks on the start button, then on their
> username, they see an empty folder. When it works, they see the usual
> Desktop, My Documents, Downloads, and associated folders, all with the
> "available" symbol in the folder's icon.
> Users that work seem to consistently work. Users that don't consistently
> don't. Or so it seems. We are just now beginning to think the problem is
> with certain machines and are reinstalling Windows 7 on a couple of
> machines from scratch to test this.
> The one thing that worries me about our setup is that we have a Samba3 PDC
> on the same VLAN/subnet as the new Samba4 PDC. But this VLAN/subnet is
> separate from the workstations.
> Mark

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