Whoever is doing this is, pardon me, insane. If you want to share files between UNIX machines, you should be using NFS. The excuse of:
> > > Connecting workstations to the Linux server via NFS does work without
> > > error but I would prefer not to do this as this would require server
> > > level administration / configurations on each workstation. I thought
> > > it might be better to use a OS X "server" to connect to the Linux
> > > server via NFS.
is silly. You need to have permissions to do the same thing with other file "sharing" techniques like samba. Just set up an exportfs from the Linux server, and tell all the OS X machines to mount the filesystem via NFS. It's not difficult, and it's a hell of a lot more robust than the SMB garbage being used by samba (remember, samba is designed to interface UNIX and windows because windows doesn't know how to deal with a real network filesystem).
You already have a solution that, "works without error". Use it!