[Samba] file server or member server?

Ricky Nance ricky.nance at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 18:55:42 MDT 2013

Steve, in simplest terms, a member server is just that, a member of the
domain serving something (print services, file services, etc). A file
server is generally part of either a member server, or it can be part of
the domain server, its simply the part of the server that is handling how
the files are transferred. A domain server would be either a PDC or AD DC,
something that handles authentication, in some environments, you will find
a NT4 style PDC (Primary Domain Controller), in others you will find AD
DC's (Active Directory Domain Controllers), and still yet, there will be
others that are just simple authentication (simple file servers, mainly
used in home networks).

With all that said, you can mix and match somewhat, all DC's (Domain
Controller, AKA domain server) have the capability of serving files (file
server), but a member server MUST be part of the domain as it does not
provide authentication, it only checks with a DC to see what parts of the
file server it can access.

I feel like I am saying what has already been said, so if you could be more
specific about what kind of hierarchy you have, I could give you a more
specific answer. For the most part, if its serving files and in a domain,
but not providing authentication itself, its a 'member server', if its NOT
in a domain, but simply serving files to any and all windows clients, its a
simple file server, if its in a domain and providing the domain with
username/password authentication its a domain server (or domain controller).

Hope that helps,

On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 5:34 PM, steve <steve at steve-ss.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 2013-07-01 at 22:36 +0100, Jonathan Buzzard wrote:
> Thanks for the input. But. . .
> >
> > In both NT4 style and AD domains you have servers called domain servers
> . . .now you've introduced yet another term. What's a domain server? I
> could make a guess and I'm almost certain it would be correct. But would
> I?
> Can anyone simply give a plain English definition on any of these in a
> samba context:
> - file server
> - member server
> and now
> - domain server
> I know that language evolves, but having to move the goalposts so often
> depending on what post you read is a nightmare for non native English
> speakers. It would help enormously over here, if we all stuck to calling
> a spade a spade.
> Thanks for reading,
> Steve
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