guess I’ll wrap this one up. The bottom line is that neither WD tech support nor this forum have provided any information on my query regarding configuring network shares to suppress symbolic links. My only option is to reverse engineer to figure out how WD is doing configuration of busybox.
To summarize: I purchased the EX2 for network file sharing only. I have a number of client machines, running various flavors of windows and linux. I have used Samba and NFS for network fileservers for over 30 years, and am fairly familiar with smb.conf to configure samba. Samba offers many configuration options via smb.conf. In my particular case, I am interested in disabling unix extensions. By default, they are enabled. If your server uses *ux symbolic links, as mine does, disabling unix extensions is necessary for window clients, which will not understand the links. This is a one line change in smb.conf that I have used for years.
on the EX2, WD has locked down smb.conf. users have no interface for changing any samba configuration, for security or other reasons such as mine. smb.conf exists because the samba developers realize that no one samba configuration will be satisfactory in all cases. I have confirmed that directly editing smb.conf via ssh and vi does not work, likely because the file is overwritten with a canned version on reboot. The resulting situation is that WD is selling a fileserver whose samba configuration cannot be configured in basic ways. Tech support and tech support management would not discuss this, simply stating and restating that its not supported. While my original message was viewed by over 70 forum members, I have no responses other than moderator acknowledgement. My suggestion to WD that some form of samba configuration be exposed for users was ignored.
good luck folks. the ex2 has locked you into a tight little box. if it does what you want and is reliable, great. In my case, in addition to the smb.conf issue, I found the web backup failed consistently between a USB-attached EX2 drive and an internal EX2 drive. Yet when I ssh’d into the EX2 and ran rsync to back up the internal drive to the USB drive, it worked flawlessly.
I’ll monitor this forum, but unless some basic improvements are made, I’m going back to my raspberry pi NAS. At least there I can configure smb.conf, and backups are reliable.