[OpenAFS] OpenAFS on windows - profile in AFS, who uses it?

Stephen Joyce stephen@physics.unc.edu
Sun, 10 Feb 2008 23:15:56 -0500 (EST)

I second almost everything Rodney said. But I have a few comments (inline).

On Sun, 10 Feb 2008, Rodney M. Dyer wrote:

> 2.  A users profile has a folder under it called "Local Settings".  THIS 
> FOLDER DOES NOT ROAM.  This folder only exists during your session on the 
> local machine.  When you logout, the data in that folder is considered 
> temporary for your session.  Microsoft in further "grand wisdom" decided to 
> store valuable information in that folder that you really need to carry 
> around with you with the profile, but this data is "excluded by default". 
> Notable application data includes:
>     Microsoft Outlook email settings and PST files, etc..
>     Microsoft IE history, etc..
>     Microsoft Visual Studio .NET option settings,etc.

This is a very good reason to recommend Firefox and Thunderbird. The most 
annoying thing for my users was that the desktop picture is a "Local 
Setting" that doesn't roam. Clever logout and login scripts took care 
of this though.

> 6.  Profiles saved under Windows contain unicode characters.
>   Profile and redirected folders don't currently work well with the AFS 
> client because it doesn't support unicode file names.  This isn't a huge 
> issue, but sometimes this comes into play for our foreign students who save 
> web browser items in AFS, or IE does with the history, etc.  Sometimes in our 
> environment the profile of a user will not save/load because the filename has 
> strange characters in it.  Our help desk ends up fixing each of these users 
> by hand.

We've seen the same problem; again, usually with ESL users. It's slightly 
worse than Rodney said: the unicode files are created on the local disk, 
then during the sync at logoff, the unicode characters are converted to 
question marks in the filenames in AFS. The next time the user tries to log 
in, Windows refuses to copy the files because ? is an illegal character in 
Windows filenames. The user then can't log in (if you have it set so that 
profiles must be loaded), or gets a temp profile (if you allow logins when 
roaming profiles aren't available.)

We're still using a fairly old version of the Windows client, but if this 
is still the behavior, I'd like to see it changed (like using a 
Windows-legal character rather than "?" to replace unicode characters when 
saving into AFS).

But I digress. Regardless, this mess is another good reason to recommend 
Firefox. It stores a user's history and bookmarks in single 
(intelligently-named) files rather than in separate files with names 
reflecting page titles.

Cheers, Stephen
Stephen Joyce
Systems Administrator                                            P A N I C
Physics & Astronomy Department                         Physics & Astronomy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill         Network Infrastructure
voice: (919) 962-7214                                        and Computing
fax: (919) 962-0480                               http://www.panic.unc.edu

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