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Implementing User & Computer Policies with Samba

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In Brief

Use the System Policy Editor and custom policies to control Windows XP Clients, using Samba as a Primary Domain Controller.


Product Categories:
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
  • Functional Categories:
  • Policies
  • Samba
  • Posted:6 Jul 2005
    Publisher:Mike Petersen


    Please read the note from our friends in legal before using this file.


    When replacing a few Windows NT 4 Servers with SLES 9, I had to come up with a cost-effective way (meaning no-cost) to control Microsoft Windows Clients without implementing Active Directory or ZENworks.

    The path I chose was to implement Windows NT 4 System Policy Editor with updated/customized policy templates to handle XP Clients. Attached are two files: the actual SPE Template that I created, and a few SPE Worksheets I created in to aid in implementing Policies.

    This information is relevant to any SUSE Linux product that includes Samba, but most relevant to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. I also updated the web page to include a nice "how-to" to implement these policies.

    Most sites that I talk with to replace Windows Servers with Novell's SLES9 always want a way to "control" their Windows Machines, similar to what can be done with "Group Policy Objects" using Microsoft's Active Directory.

    What I did was to allow this same functionality when using Samba (or any other SMB Server) by simply using Microsoft's older "System Policy Editor", along with a custom policy template that I created. Using these instructions, you can replace Windows Servers (especially NT 4 Servers) without losing too many features that you might gain from Active Directory.

    For example, you can implement a site wide "Home Page" for Internet Explorer, or force your users to use the "Windows Classic" theme on their workstations instead of the ugly "Windows XP" theme. You can also redirect certain folders, such as "My Documents" or "Favorites" to a network share.

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