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I am the system administrator on a network using a single Ubuntu 12.04 computer as a server and several Windows (XP) clients.

Is it possible to restrict users from accessing USB storage devices on their Windows machines from the Ubuntu server?

Note: These machines may have other non storage devices connected via USB such as keyboards and mice which must not be affected by this.

I am aware I can block access on a client by client basis from the Windows side by following the instructions from Microsoft here:
How can I prevent users from connecting to a USB storage device?

But I want to be able to enforce this from the Ubuntu side.

Is this possible and if so how?

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What do you mean block USB? On the clients or on the server? What kind of server are you using Ubuntu for? – strugee Jun 3 '13 at 8:13
@WarrenHill - 10.04 Server is distinctly on-topic and is supported. Only the desktop GUI type questions are off-topic now. – fossfreedom Jun 3 '13 at 10:02
@fossfreedom: Sorry I thought 10.04 was no longer supported: Just checked server still supported till April 2015. surendar for XP see this note from Microsoft. – Warren Hill Jun 3 '13 at 10:06
I have updated my system to 12.04. Now please tell me the procedure for blocking usb as requested above. – surendar Jun 3 '13 at 13:31
@surendar Please answer strugee's question. It's not clear what you're trying to block. If you could give examples that explain how things are set up and what you want to stop, that will help. Please edit this information into your original post. – Oli Jun 3 '13 at 14:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unless there is an extra client-server system in place, I read from your question the following.

You have a network with several computers, used as Windows clients, and a computer used as Ubuntu server. These computers have no special relationship, they just 'are' on the network. Now you want to disable the "use USB storage devices" feature on the windows computers

Then no: your 'random' ubuntu computer (that currently is designated 'server') cannot force another computer to restrict USB access. That's all local. The computer itself must do this.

Now solutions could be the windows OS setting permissions. It MUST be from the windows side. What you can do is have your windows computers 'look' for a master (domain server for instance) and that server set the policies. But the you'd still need to change the windows machines, and I know of no method to set windows policies from Ubuntu...

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