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Implementing User & Computer Policies with Samba



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July 6, 2005 12:01 pm

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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 (See custom.zip): the actual SPE Template that I created, and a few SPE Worksheets I
created in OpenOffice.org 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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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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