Cross platform file permissions on shared server volumes

I’m interested in how other research groups handle their shared data folders on group servers. We have a heterogenous desktop environment with Mac/Win/Linux/Irix machines all accessing group and private share points on centrally managed servers. We have gone through several iterations of servers from separate SGI’s for the SGI machines and a Sun running Helios to serve the PC’s and Macs, to a cluster of Xserves simulataneouly serving the same shares via SMB, AFP, and NFS, and most recently a Sun simultaneouly serving the same shares via SMB, AFP, and NFS. The problem we face is that all the different OS’s seem to honour file
permissions on the server differently.

A common scenario is that a group member leaves and we want their data to remain available but in a user readable but not deletable manner. Currently we zip the data into logical chunks and hope that their co-workers copy it off to a local disk before double-clicking. But of course many don’t with the result that uncompressed versions appear on the server with that users file permissions and ownership. So far all attempts to write-protect the ex members folder fail because Windows doesn’t seem to respect Mac permissions on servers and vice versa and Linux? Don’t get me started…

About martin

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