When MS Windows NT 3.5 was introduced, the hot new topic was the ability to implement
Group Policies for users and groups. Then along came MS Windows NT4 and a few sites
started to adopt this capability. How do we know that? By the number of “boo-boos”
(or mistakes) administrators made and then requested help to resolve.
By the time that MS Windows 2000 and Active Directory was released, administrators
got the message: Group Policies are a good thing! They can help reduce administrative
costs and actually make happier users. But adoption of the true
potential of MS Windows 200x Active Directory and Group Policy Objects (GPOs) for users
and machines were picked up on rather slowly. This was obvious from the Samba
mailing list back in 2000 and 2001 when there were few postings regarding GPOs and
how to replicate them in a Samba environment.
Judging by the traffic volume since mid 2002, GPOs have become a standard part of
the deployment in many sites. This chapter reviews techniques and methods that can
be used to exploit opportunities for automation of control over user desktops and
network client workstations.