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Windows 2008 DFS and Linux access using CIFS RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We plan to roll out Windows 2008 as our main file system utilizing the benefits and functions of DFS.  Now our Netware support guys have asked the question that I am not sure of the answer.  They want to know, if we use DFS on Windows 2008 will the Linux clients be able to see all the DFS folders using a CIFS client?    Also will this work with Apple macs as we have about 400 of these?

    Thanks in advance for any help or pointers

    Pete
    Thursday, June 5, 2008 5:23 AM

Answers

  • If you read the article "How DFS Works" which you'll find here:http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/a9096e88-1634-4da6-b820-537341d349061033.mspx?mfr=true you'll find the following paragraph:
    Link targets

    Link targets are typically shared folders or folders within shared folders. Link targets can be served by any network file system that is accessible by a UNC path, such as Server Message Block (SMB), NetWare Core Protocol (NCP) for NetWare, or Network File System (NFS) for UNIX. (The client computers must have the appropriate redirector installed to access link targets.) The UNC path can lead to shared folders in any workgroup, shared folders within the same domain as the namespace, shared folders in trusted domains, and shared folders in trusted forests.

    Shared folders that are specified as link targets have no special settings that indicate that they are part of a DFS namespace. All existing shared folder permissions and NTFS permissions on the shared folder still apply when users access the shared folder through the namespace.

    A link target can also be a DFS path in another namespace. For example, the Software link in \\Contoso.com\Public\Software might have a link target of \\Software\Public, which is a root within a stand-alone namespace. When using DFS paths as link targets, it is important to ensure that client failover works correctly. For more information, see “Linking to Different DFS Namespaces” later in this section.

    You also have this section about clients:

    When evaluating client compatibility, review the following important considerations:

    Client computers must be members of a local or trusted domain before they can access a domain-based namespace by using the format \\NetbiosDomainName\RootName. If clients are members of a workgroup or an untrusted domain and can resolve DNS names, they can access domain-based namespaces by using the format \\DNSDomainName\RootName. For information about how clients determine the list of trusted domains, see “DFS Physical Structures and Caches on DFS Clients.”

    Link targets can be shared folders served by other protocols, such as NetWare Core Protocol (NCP) for NetWare and Network File System (NFS) for UNIX, but client computers must have the appropriate redirector installed to access those link targets.


    Technet Forums Moderator | Solution Specialist | Ask The Experts IT-forum
    • Proposed as answer by Malu Menezes Friday, June 6, 2008 12:43 AM
    • Marked as answer by Malu Menezes Monday, June 9, 2008 1:39 PM
    Thursday, June 5, 2008 7:52 PM

All replies

  • If you read the article "How DFS Works" which you'll find here:http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/a9096e88-1634-4da6-b820-537341d349061033.mspx?mfr=true you'll find the following paragraph:
    Link targets

    Link targets are typically shared folders or folders within shared folders. Link targets can be served by any network file system that is accessible by a UNC path, such as Server Message Block (SMB), NetWare Core Protocol (NCP) for NetWare, or Network File System (NFS) for UNIX. (The client computers must have the appropriate redirector installed to access link targets.) The UNC path can lead to shared folders in any workgroup, shared folders within the same domain as the namespace, shared folders in trusted domains, and shared folders in trusted forests.

    Shared folders that are specified as link targets have no special settings that indicate that they are part of a DFS namespace. All existing shared folder permissions and NTFS permissions on the shared folder still apply when users access the shared folder through the namespace.

    A link target can also be a DFS path in another namespace. For example, the Software link in \\Contoso.com\Public\Software might have a link target of \\Software\Public, which is a root within a stand-alone namespace. When using DFS paths as link targets, it is important to ensure that client failover works correctly. For more information, see “Linking to Different DFS Namespaces” later in this section.

    You also have this section about clients:

    When evaluating client compatibility, review the following important considerations:

    Client computers must be members of a local or trusted domain before they can access a domain-based namespace by using the format \\NetbiosDomainName\RootName. If clients are members of a workgroup or an untrusted domain and can resolve DNS names, they can access domain-based namespaces by using the format \\DNSDomainName\RootName. For information about how clients determine the list of trusted domains, see “DFS Physical Structures and Caches on DFS Clients.”

    Link targets can be shared folders served by other protocols, such as NetWare Core Protocol (NCP) for NetWare and Network File System (NFS) for UNIX, but client computers must have the appropriate redirector installed to access those link targets.


    Technet Forums Moderator | Solution Specialist | Ask The Experts IT-forum
    • Proposed as answer by Malu Menezes Friday, June 6, 2008 12:43 AM
    • Marked as answer by Malu Menezes Monday, June 9, 2008 1:39 PM
    Thursday, June 5, 2008 7:52 PM
  • Thanks for the link and your reply, I will read and comprehend over the weekend..  It does not look like MS officeially support Linux or Mac clients, however if we can get it to work that will be good.

    I am sure I will be back with more questions,

    Thanks again

    Pete
    Thursday, June 5, 2008 11:23 PM
  • Hello, Norrispc

    It’s not that Microsoft doesn’t support Linux or Mac clients. One thing is to access a share through SMB, which can be done by newer versions of Mac or Linux. The problem is that software is needed in the clients to access the DFS Namespace. 

    In Windows Clients, this software is already included (shipped inbox). In other OS sometimes it isn’t, and that is the case of Mac clients and some Linux distributions, so you have to install them separately.

    For MacOS there is a product called DAVE (
    http://www.thursby.com/products/dave.html) that gives access to SMB and DFS resources.

    I don’t know of any Linux clients, anyone?

    --Malu


    Malu Menezes
    Messages in this forum are provided "AS IS" with no warranties
    • Edited by Malu Menezes Friday, June 6, 2008 9:53 PM signature missing
    Friday, June 6, 2008 9:49 PM
  • In Windows Clients, this software is already included (shipped inbox). In other OS sometimes it isn’t, and that is the case of Mac clients and some Linux distributions, so you have to install them separately.

    The short answer to the original question is NO.  Other than Windows, no other platform has native support for DFS namespace.  Without trickery / hackery, any non-Windows clients can only access the same data by referencing it the 'old fashioned' way - \\server\share

    If you are looking to implement DFS as for the flexibility it offers (can move data without changing paths), having any clients point to the \\server\share path kills this flexibility dead.  

    One possible solution which is workable is to put a Windows IIS WebDAV server in front of it and have your non-Windows (or all) clients use the WebDAV path instead.  WebDAV is far more widely supported than DFS.

    It's woth noting that all of the 'bolt-on' DFS hacks like DAVE and ExtremeZIP have one big problem:  they require client-side software.  In every environment I have worked in has considered OSX to be 'unmanaged', therefore there is no way to push the client-side bolt-ons out to the OSX clients.  This is another challenge you may want to consider.

    Further, even if you could push them out, they are horrible to use.

    IMO, Microsoft should be looking at writing support for DFS for other platforms if DFS-N is going to service far into the future.

    Friday, May 20, 2011 5:45 AM