12.3. Support for MSDFS#

The Microsoft Distributed File System (MSDFS) is a distributed file system which makes it possible to access shares spanning several servers and paths as a virtual directory hierarchy. The load can then be distributed across several servers.

Setting the MSDFS Root option for a share (see Management of shares via UMC module) indicates that the shared directory is a share which can be used for the MSDFS. References to other shares are only displayed in such an MSDFS root, elsewhere they are hidden.

To be able to utilize the functions of a distributed file system, the Univention Configuration Registry Variable samba/enable-msdfs has to be set to yes on a file server. Afterwards Samba has to be restarted.

For creating a reference named tofb from server sa within the share fa to share fb on the server sb, the following command has to be executed in directory fa:

$ ln -s msdfs:sb\\fb tofb

This reference will be displayed on every client capable of MSDFS (e.g. Windows 2000 and Windows XP) as a regular directory.


Only restricted user groups should have write access to root directories. Otherwise, it would be possible for users to redirect references to other shares, and intercept or manipulate files. In addition, paths to the shares, as well as the references are to be spelled entirely in lower case. If changes are made in the references, the concerned clients have to be restarted.

Further information on this issue can be found in Jelmer R. Vernooij and Carter [15].