Samba 3 and Windows Vista Clients

Samba & Vista - Problems & Solutions

For a while now I have been ignoring Microsoft's Vista operating system and have simply been stating (along with everyone else) "Not on my networks" to anyone who wanted the Operating System. However, since Microsoft has stopped offering Windows XP to purchase, there has been numerous requests to put Vista machines on some of the networks I manage.

So, with "necessity being the mother of all invention", I finally had to seriously look at placing Windows Vista machines on Samba networks. This guide (which is still a work in progress) covers what I have come across and how I addressed certain issues with Windows Vista.

Note: This document is not a guide to deploying Samba Servers, prior knowledge is needed in order to comprehend some of the subjects covered here. For a good introduction to deploying Samba Servers, check out this chapter from my Deploying Suse Linux Enterprise Server Book.

Overview of the Changes Windows Vista brings

Microsoft introduced many "structural" changes to Windows Vista that every Administrator must be aware of when deploying Windows Vista. Many people believe that too much was changed with Windows Vista, but hopefully this guide will cut through all the Vista Changes and Downfalls to allow you to successfully deploy Vista Workstations in your domain. I will try to cover the following subjects:

User Profiles - With the introduction of Vista, Microsoft has "upgraded" it's user profiles to "version 2". I will try to cover some of these changes in this guide. To get more information about this topic, download Microsoft's Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide (warning - Word Document).

Vista does not apply System Policies - Unfortunately Microsoft removed the capability of using System Policies (NTConfig.pol) from the "netlogon" share. I will try to give you some options that you may be able to use to work around this problem.

General Vista Complaints - It is rare to find anyone that is satisfied with Windows Vista, many problems must be addressed before you deploy Vista on your network. I cover quite a few Local Group Policies and various Registry Keys that you can utilize to (hopefully) make Vista more palatable to your Users.