What is DFS root and how to create one

What is DFS root and how to create one

The What is DFS root question is directly related to the next question someone might ask How to create a DFS root. DFS root is an object in the Microsoft Active Directory system used for sharing files and folders across network. DFS root is the starting point of the DFS namespace.

DFS root is an object which consolidates your network shared folders and makes them available to network users as a single entry point.

A DFS root has one of the following formats:

\\ServerName\DFSRootName or \\DomainName\DFSRootName

In case you are wondering what a DFS is, then we suggest starting your reading on the first page of our DFS tutorial: What is DFS (Distributed File System). The How to publish shared folder in Active Directory page provides good information about network sharing too.

Before you create DFS root

Before you can create a DFS root, you need to prepare your server to be able to handle this functionality. This is usually done through configuring your server to have the file server role. The following steps demonstrate how this can be done in Windows Server 2003.

-> Start menu
-> Administrative Tools
-> Configure Your Server Wizard
-> select the server role in the Roles wizard (you may need the Windows Server 2003 CD to complete this setup)

If you do not wish to configure the file server role for your server, you can install the DFS components as follows:

-> Start
-> Control Panel
-> Add/Remove Programs
-> Windows Components
-> check the box next to the desired DFS component

Once you have the DFS components installed, you can create a DFS root.

How to create DFS root

Creating DFS root is quite simple. Follow these steps:

-> Start
-> Programs
-> Administrative Tools
-> Distributed File System
-> right-click the Distributed File System node in the left pane of the DFS snap-in and select New DFS Root
-> select Create a domain DFS root or Create a standalone DFS root in the Select the DFS Root Type window (the difference between root types relates to replication; if you are creating a domain DFS root, click the name of the domain where you want to create the DFS root)
-> Provide the name of the host computer for the DFS root or click Browse to select a server name.
-> click an existing shared folder or specify the path and name of a new shared folder in the Specify the DFS Root Share window
-> specify a name for the DFS root
-> restart your computer

You have created the DFS root, and now you can add other shared folders to it.

How to add links to DFS root

Here is how you can add additional shared folders to your DFS root.

-> Start
-> Programs
-> Administrative Tools
-> Distributed File System
-> right-click the DFS root in the console tree to which you want to assign a shared folder
-> New DFS Link
-> enter some meaningful name for this subfolder in the Link Name box

That is all.

Permissions to create DFS roots

Your network users are by default allowed to publish DFS roots in Active Directory. If you wish to impose restrictions on their ability to do so, you can set the Allow DFS roots to be published group policy.

More information about DFS and DFS roots

If you are still asking What is DFS root, you may be interested in reading the following page: What is DFS.


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