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[K12OSN] W98 client setup for Samba



Hi all,
I have a few questions. Any little guidance can help me get up to speed
when I will not waste time in dead-ends.
No doubt that almost everyone on this forum had dealt with similar issues ...

I am one of PTA volunteers maintaining computer lab at Nixon Elementary in
Palo Alto, California. http://www.nixon.palo-alto.ca.us/
Our computer lab has 20 Win98 workstations connected to NT domain. (NT4
server - ready to be obsoleted by a RH Linux/Samba server). To prevent kids
from messing up the desktop and other settings I am running server-based
(roaming) mandatory profiles for each of the stations. This is not the way
profiles were intended to be used primarily - but it works. We are using
computer-based logons (each computer has a "username" which is the only
name used to connect to the domain from the specific station) so having 20
profiles doesn't represent any problem.

Now I want to switch to Samba where I have unique logon names for each of
the students as well as of the kids. Here I certainly do not want to
maintain user profiles - not only wasting of server and workstation space
or increasing time to complete logon but  users shouldn't have customized
configuration (desktop) anyway.
Having the desktop "locked" as suggested at 
http://www.cnet.com/software/0-3923203-7-283967.html
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"NoSaveSettings"=dword:00000001
This seemed to be promising - but for some reason it doesn't work for me.
Perhaps it doesn't work with profiles on (or off?)?...

- The ideal case might be - in my opinion - having the setting configured
(and locked) for each computer individually with no way to delete, add or
even move desktop items when a STUDENT is logged on. (Also other
restriction as SW installation may be enforced).  I spent a day with
POLEDIT changing registry with no luck.

Certainly there should be a way to modify settings - that would be when an
ADMIN member (or a teacher) would log on.
Is there a simple way to have that happens? Preferably w/o profiles
individual to each of the users?
(I was thinking of a *very dirty* way how to make the system locked: In
AUTOEXEC.BAT at the windows boot I can keep overwriting USER.DAT and
SYSTEM.DAT. This would be a real hack and can lead to more trouble. And
also - we don't want to reboot the machine too often (or even  between logons).

I may try to set-up policies - but if I understand right it is necessary to
switch PROFILES on in order to have policies working. Is this right? That
might mean dealing with hundreds of profiles again?

As I saw in some of the posts here, I may keep deleting locally stored
profiles in logon script. That would be a must if  we would really use
individual profiles, as our wimpy station machines cannot handle over a
hundred of profile copies on the local drives.

What way would be the best? 


Another issue:
Whatever I did on Samba configuration I wasn't able to separate 
"logon home" from "logon path". The best I can achieve so far is to have a
hidden directory (.profiles) inside of  "logon home" directory. /home is
mapped so students can use it as their home directory - so it doesn't look
safe - when eventually using profiles.

Thanks for any help!

Martin Vana
PTA volunteer
Palo Alto, California
martin_vana usa net





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