It seems that I have missed out on something fundamental on how I can mount a home smb-share on a linux client used by many users. This isn't a problem with NFS - I have mounted /home/users/ on all clients, so that /home/users/user-a and /home/users/user-b will find their homedir then they log on. But how do I do this with SMB? I should mount /home/users in fstab - because I'll have to mount this SMB-share with a defined users rights, and that won't work as several users dir where they find their homedir.

AutoFS? A login script when the user log on? Isn't this automated in any of the linux distros? What have I missed out on?

I have the 389 Directory Server, 800 users and two file servers for the homedirs (active users...) and I use NFS - but I'm thinking about using SMB instead of NFS, but I really don't know how to mount the homedir for each user.


I think autofs would be the best solution here; but in all honestly if you have the option of going with NFS I don't see any reason to use SMB. NFS is problematic enough as a home directory because of some programs with bad locking mechanisms and various complications. On a file system that is missing many of the basic posix file system properties you will only make this worse.

While autofs could be configured to mount any given home directory via smb at the time access was requested and with separate mounts for each user, I would suggest that the reason there is not an obvious way to set this up is because it is inherently a problematic arrangement.

Can you just setup mounts INSIDE the users 'nix home directory so that they have access to their windows resources without making that resource their home directory? Can you use an NFS server for the home directories and then have automated mounts inside that for a two layered approach?

  • The main reason for going for SMB is that the homedir isn't mounted until the user (and the host) is authenticated. I'm using NFS v3, so everything is mounted in fstab - and a stray Ubuntu-machine with root-rights could easily mount everything from the fileservers. – MyOnlyEye Oct 3 '10 at 11:08

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