[Samba] Good Bye SAMBA?!?!?

Sketch smblist at rednsx.org
Thu Sep 29 16:11:13 UTC 2016

> This misunderstanding confirms my suspicion that most samba admins have no 
> idea how easy and enormously useful DFS and DFS-R are (and that many may not 
> want to keep using Samba it they would know).

I have used DFS-R in an all-Windows environemnet, and don't miss it one bit.

> On Windows servers I provide ALL shares via domain-based DFS, and replicate 
> all directories with DFS-R to a second server. This is all very easy to setup 
> and works just great. If one server was down, it quickly catches up, fully 
> automatic, and without recursing through all directories.

It works just great, until you end up with one user on the wrong server 
due to a flaky network connection or whatever, then DFS-R doesn't know how 
to handle the conflicts when changes start coming in to a single directory 
from both directions (which to me makes it pretty clear that it is 
operating on the directory level).  It is a poor man's replicated 
filesystem, always has been.  If you want true clustered filesystem, 
you're going to have a much better time on Linux, unless you have the cash 
for very expensive hardware solutions.

> Tell a Windows admin that Samba is still unable to replicate its own Sysvol 
> directory, and they will laugh at you.

Tell a Linux admin that they have to use rsync to replicate the sysvol 
directory, and they will say "OK, makes sense".  Samba is a Unix-based 
tool, so making use of other unix-based tools makes perfect sense.  Though 
it would be nice if it could natively replcate with Windows DCs...

> The docs say that domain-based DFS works for some. What does that mean? 
> Does it work or does it not work? And which docs should I read? Samba 
> still hosts docs that are so outdated that they cause more confusion 
> than they provide help.

I agree that documentation like this can be confusing.  Part of the 
confusion is probably that "DFS" means approximately 4 different things, 
which MS is partly to blame for.  BTW, the first google search result for 
"samba domain-based dfs" points you to a page on the Samba wiki which 
tells you how to set it up.


I can see why some people may say it works, since it sounds like a 
somewhat hacky solution.

> For AD I must manually give all users a numerical ID? And the tab where 
> this must be done is now going away! Are you joking? This means that 
> things are getting worse instead of better.

For Linux users on a domain, you must give them all a numerical ID.  This 
is true whether you are using Windows DCs or Samba DCs.  The tab going 
away in MS's management tools is purely a Microsoft issue, unrelated to 
Samba.  It will make UID management of Linux users with graphical tools 

> I must even seriously doubt the future of the whole project when it 
> keeps depending on things that Microsoft has deprecated long ago and is 
> about to expire. I had hoped that samba would eventually catch up a bit, 
> but it rather feels like the distance to Microsoft is growing.

I agree that there are some parts of Samba that are looking a bit long in 
the tooth.  To me, the biggest limtiation is lack of WMI support, so Samba 
can't synchronize with Windows DCs newer than 2008 R2.  But, this is free 
software made mostly by volunteers who are reverse engineering 
interoperability with MS's products.  If anything, it's a miracle that it 
works as well as it does...not to mention a testament to how well the 
developers do their jobs.

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