Apple Samba Issues

I am trying to support OS X 10.5 clients using Windows Server 2003 R2 shares as the users home directory, but run in to an issue with the creation of the default folders OS X needs to run. If the OS X computer is pointed to an AFP share on an Apple server the folders are created, but when using an samba share only two of the eight folders are created.

The Apple systems engineer responded to with the following in regards to this issue:

I have been digging a little deeper into your question about why,
when a new user signs on for the first time, it only creates a Library
and Desktop folder for your network users with a SMB/Windows share.
If you could support modern AFP (via something like Extreme-Z IP), all
of the folders will be created automatically.  Because of the
limitations of SMB, and how Samba is written to behave, it assumes the
folders are already there, and only does those two.

The typical solutions that I see are to script the folders creation
based on all the users in the system with homes in the directory, move
to a modern AFP, or move the shares to an xserve/Apple.  I vaguely
remember Chas looking into the Extreme-Z IP solution to allow all of
the advantages of AFP, but I don’t remember the results of his
research.  If that wasn’t possible the folders should be scriptable/
create-able on the Windows side, but I would still rather see a modern
AFP solution, if at all possible.

I hope this helps…  I expect some of the SAMBA open-source project
notes would help clarify, from a programming perspective, why those
choices were made.  I think they are going to be around the
limitations of SMB, but I don’t have enough coding experience to know
for sure.

I do not follow how a samba share would limit this from the server side, but perhaps it is the Apple samba client that is the issue. If anyone can point me to any information that would help shed light on this I would be most appreciative.

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2 Responses to Apple Samba Issues

  1. He’s being very vague about what exactly isn’t supported by Samba that causes this to break, or what choices he is referring to. I certainly can’t think of any technical reasons why this wouldn’t be possible.

    Also, a minor correction: the protocol is called SMB and the Free Software implementation is called Samba. Apple’s client side implementation is unrelated to Samba.

    • Charles Profitt says:

      Thank you for your reply. The Apple Systems Engineer already responded after a bit of pressure from me for a better explanation. The issue is with how the home directory folders are made (they are made by the Apple Server) and not with the file share protocol. It does trouble me that Apple tried to blame an open source project instead of being accurate about the issue in the first place.

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