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Samba HowTo Guide
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This path translates, in Samba parlance, to the smb.conf [NETLOGON] share. The directory should be created at the root of this share and must be called Default User.

If a default profile does not exist in this location, then MS Windows 200x/XP will use the local default profile.

On logging out, the user's desktop profile is stored to the location specified in the registry settings that pertain to the user. If no specific policies have been created or passed to the client during the login process (as Samba does automatically), then the user's profile is written to the local machine only under the path C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%.

Those wishing to modify the default behavior can do so through these three methods:

  • Modify the registry keys on the local machine manually and place the new default profile in the NETLOGON share root. This is not recommended because it is maintenance intensive.

  • Create an NT4-style NTConfig.POL file that specifies this behavior and locate this file in the root of the NETLOGON share along with the new default profile.

  • Create a GPO that enforces this through Active Directory, and place the new default profile in the NETLOGON share.

The registry hive key that affects the behavior of folders that are part of the default user profile are controlled by entries on Windows 200x/XP is:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\

This hive key contains a list of automatically managed folders. The default entries are shown in the next table

Table26.3.Defaults of Default User Profile Paths Registry Keys

Name Default Value
AppData %USERPROFILE%\Application Data
Cache %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
Cookies %USERPROFILE%\Cookies
Desktop %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
Favorites %USERPROFILE%\Favorites
History %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History
Local AppData %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data
Local Settings %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings
My Pictures %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Pictures
Personal %USERPROFILE%\My Documents
PrintHood %USERPROFILE%\PrintHood
Programs %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
Recent %USERPROFILE%\Recent
Start Menu %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu
Startup %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Templates %USERPROFILE%\Templates

There is also an entry called “Default” that has no value set. The default entry is of type REG_SZ; all the others are of type REG_EXPAND_SZ.

It makes a huge difference to the speed of handling roaming user profiles if all the folders are stored on a dedicated location on a network server. This means that it will not be necessary to write the Outlook PST file over the network for every login and logout.

To set this to a network location, you could use the following examples:


This stores the folders in the user's home directory under a directory called Default Folders. You could also use:


in which case the default folders are stored in the server named SambaServer in the share called FolderShare under a directory that has the name of the MS Windows user as seen by the Linux/UNIX file system.

Please note that once you have created a default profile share, you must migrate a user's profile (default or custom) to it.

MS Windows 200x/XP profiles may be local or roaming . A roaming profile is cached locally unless the following registry key is created:

 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\

In this case, the local cache copy is deleted on logout.

Samba HowTo Guide
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