Open Source software
Stress free technology

The Release of Samba 4.0 - First Free Software Active Directory Compatible

On Tuesday 11th December 2012 the Samba team announced the release of Samba 4.0 containing the first compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocols. This is great news as it is sure to be the beginnings of bridging the gap between the Open Source world and the Microsoft World. Containing an admirable quote from Director of Development at Microsoft; Thomas Pfenning this could be a remarkable start to further development in other areas. Sirius has implemented Samba for many of their projects and long term clients, including Specsavers. The most recent was the introduction of Open Source in the backend infrastructure at Ysgol Maesydderwen School in Wales, but this was with Active Directory in place. If Sirius had Samba 4.0 at the time, it would have been possible to replace Active Directory too. Sirius has always used Samba for complete OSS infrastructure environments and in the past Samba only did the old style Windows NT type of domains. However now that it is Active Directory compatible, a lot more can be done. Looking at the amount of Active Directory used in Government, Education and the Private Sector, this Active Directory compatible Samba will no doubt have a major impact in accelerating uptake to OSS as well as improving interoperability with the Microsoft World.

The press release follows

The First Free Software Active Directory Compatible Server

As the culmination of ten years' work, the Samba Team has created the first

compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocols.

Familiar to all network administrators, the Active Directory protocols are the

heart of modern directory service implementations. Samba 4.0 comprises an LDAP

directory server, Heimdal Kerberos authentication server, a secure Dynamic DNS

server, and implementations of all necessary remote procedure calls for Active

Directory. Samba 4.0 provides everything needed to serve as an Active Directory

Compatible Domain Controller for all versions of Microsoft Windows clients

currently supported by Microsoft, including the recently released Windows 8. The

Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server provides support for features such as

Group Policy, Roaming Profiles, Windows Administration tools and integrates with

Microsoft Exchange and Free Software compatible services such as OpenChange. The

Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server can also be joined to an existing

Microsoft Active Directory domain, and Microsoft Active Directory Domain

Controllers can be joined to a Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server,

showing true peer-to-peer interoperability of the Microsoft and Samba

implementations of the Active Directory protocols. Acknowledging the value of the

interoperability of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, Steve van

Maanen, the co-founder of Starsphere LLC, an IT services company in Tokyo, said:

"Thanks to Samba4, I have two fully replicating Active Directory Domain controllers

that boot in under 10 seconds ! It is nice to have alternatives, and Samba4 is a

great one." Upgrade scripts are also provided for organizations using the previous

Microsoft Windows NT Domain Controller functionality in Samba 3.x, to allow them to

migrate smoothly to Samba 4.0. Suitable for low-power and embedded applications,

yet scaling to large clusters, Samba 4.0 is efficient and flexible. Its Python

programming interface and administration toolkit help in enterprise deployments.


Created Using Microsoft Documentation

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server was created with help from the

official protocol documentation published by Microsoft Corporation and the Samba

Team would like acknowledge the documentation help and interoperability testing by

Microsoft engineers that made our implementation interoperable. "Active Directory

is a mainstay of enterprise IT environments, and Microsoft is committed to support

for interoperability across platforms," said Thomas Pfenning, director of

development, Windows Server. "We are pleased that the documentation and

interoperability labs that Microsoft has provided have been key in the development

of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory functionality."


Introducing SMB2.1 File Serving Support

Samba 4.0 includes the first Free Software implementation of Microsoft's SMB2.1

file serving protocol. Building on the success of the SMB2.0 server in Samba 3.6,

the Samba 4.0 file server component is an evolution of the trusted Samba file

serving code that is used worldwide by vendors of file servers, such as IBM's

clustered Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), and many other commercial

products. In addition, the Samba 4.0 file server contains an initial implementation

of SMB3, which will be further developed in later Samba 4 releases into a

fully-featured SMB3 clustered file server implementation. Future developments of

our SMB3 server and client suite, in combination with our expanding number of SMB3

tests, will keep driving the performance improvements and improved compatibility

with Microsoft Windows that Samba users have come to expect from our software.


Integrated Clustered File Server Support

Building on our success as the first commercial implementation of a clustered

SMB/CIFS server, Samba 4.0 provides industry-leading scalability and performance as

a clustered SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server, using our "clustered tdb" (ctdb) technology

- also available as Free Software. Clustered Samba provides a "Single Server" view

of clustered file storage, allowing clients to connect to the least loaded server

and still providing a completely coherent view of the underlying clustered file

system. Written and tested to be compatible with most clustered file systems, both

Free Software and proprietary, Samba 4.0 with ctdb provides a scalable clustered

file server solution with full Windows file sharing semantics. Samba and ctdb have

been shipping in production file serving products for many years, to some of the

most demanding customers in the world.

Easy Integration into Existing Directory Services

Samba 4.0 ships with an improved winbind, which allows Samba 4.0 file servers to

easily integrate into existing Active Directory services as member servers. Both

Microsoft Active Directory and Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible servers are


Stability, Security and Performance

Samba 4.0 has been tested using our widely accepted smbtorture test suite, created

by the Samba Team to test Samba itself and now used by most of the companies

writing SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server software to test their own products. We also

regularly test interoperability with other major vendors at plug-fest events to

make sure Samba 4.0 deployments work correctly with existing customer equipment. In

addition, Samba is one of eleven open source projects that leading software

integrity vendor Coverity has certified as "secure" and has reached Coverity

"Integrity Rung 2" certification. The Samba Team provides immediate responses to

any security vulnerabilities, and provides fixes to all vendors using the Samba

code in coordination with industry standard security reporting agencies.

A Modular Toolbox for OEM Vendor Needs

As Free Software, Samba 4.0 is the ideal choice for Original Equipment

Manufacturers (OEMs) to use for their file, print and authentication products. It

is easily integrated into a whole host of different tasks, and can be customized at

will by the vendor to satisfy their needs. In addition, Samba 4.0 includes a

modular "Virtual File System" (VFS) interface that vendors can use to quickly and

efficiently customize Samba to take advantage of any specific features of their

underlying technology without having to modify any of the core Samba code. From

advanced file systems to network traffic analysis, the Samba VFS layer allows

external code to be easily integrated with Samba. Example modules are provided as

source code for vendors to customize as they wish.

Samba is the leading choice for Microsoft Windows connectivity

Samba is the leading technology choice for Windows file serving on Linux and UNIX

platforms and in embedded Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions. Samba is used

by vendors selling NAS solutions ranging from high end clustered business-critical

systems, to low end consumer devices, and everything in between. Samba is fully

IPv6 enabled and meets all mandates for modern network interoperability. Commercial

support is available for Samba from many different vendors.

Getting Samba 4.0

Samba 4.0 source code is available now from the Samba Web site.

About Active Directory

Microsoft Windows and Active Directory are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

About the Samba Team

The Samba Team is a worldwide group of computer professionals working together via

the Internet to produce the highest quality Free Software Windows

(SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS) server and client software. We are the undisputed experts in

providing interoperability with computers running Microsoft Windows. Members of the

Samba Team work for many of the largest companies in the software Industry and even

helped Microsoft produce the protocol documentation that fully specifies the

SMB/CIFS protocol.




About Sirius
What do we do and how do we do it? Find out here
Sign up
Interested in
what we do?
Sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date.

Our clients