Friday, September 14, 2012

Samba 4 RC1 is Ready

Samba finally released their first RC release for the upcoming Samba 4. This is another milestone after reaching 8 Beta releases during their development cycle. The primary additional features over Samba 3.6 are support for the Active Directory logon protocols used by Windows 2000 and above.

Here are the new features implemented in Samba 4:
Samba 4.0 supports the server-side of the Active Directory logon
environment used by Windows 2000 and later, so we can do full domain
join and domain logon operations with these clients.

Our Domain Controller (DC) implementation includes our own built-in
LDAP server and Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) as well as the
Samba3-like logon services provided over CIFS.  We correctly generate
the infamous Kerberos PAC, and include it with the Kerberos tickets we
issue.

Samba 4.0 ships with two distinct file servers.  We now use the
file server from the Samba 3.x series 'smbd' for all file serving by
default.

Samba 4.0 also ships with the 'NTVFS' file server.  This file server
is what was used in all previous alpha releases of Samba 4.0, and is
tuned to match the requirements of an AD domain controller.  We
continue to support this, not only to provide continuity to
installations that have deployed it as part of an AD DC, but also as a
running example of the NT-FSA architecture we expect to move smbd to in
the longer term.

For pure file server work, the binaries users would expect from that
series (nmbd, winbindd, smbpasswd) continue to be available.  When
running an AD DC, you only need to run 'samba' (not
nmbd/smbd/winbind), as the required services are co-coordinated by this
master binary.

As DNS is an integral part of Active Directory, we also provide two DNS
solutions, a simple internal DNS server for 'out of the box' configurations
and a more elaborate BIND plugin using the BIND DLZ mechanism in versions
9.8 and 9.9. During the provision, you can select which backend to use.
With the internal backend, your DNS server is good to go.
If you chose the BIND_DLZ backend, a configuration file will be generated
for bind to make it use this plugin, as well as a file explaining how to
set up bind.

To provide accurate timestamps to Windows clients, we integrate with
the NTP project to provide secured NTP replies.  To use you need to
start ntpd and configure it with the 'restrict ... ms-sntp' and
ntpsigndsocket options.

Finally, a new scripting interface has been added to Samba 4, allowing
Python programs to interface to Samba's internals, and many tools and
internal workings of the DC code is now implemented in python.