[ANNOUNCE] Samba 4.0.0alpha5

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at samba.org
Mon Jun 30 11:22:58 GMT 2008

We are proud to a announce another alpha release of Samba 4. 

What's new in Samba 4 alpha5

Samba 4 is the ambitious next version of the Samba suite that is being
developed in parallel to the stable 3.0 series. The main emphasis in
this branch is support for the Active Directory logon protocols used
by Windows 2000 and above.

Samba4 alpha5 follows on from the alpha release series we have been
publishing since September 2007


Samba4 alpha5 is not a final Samba release.  That is more a reference
to Samba4's lack of the features we expect you will need than a
statement of code quality, but clearly it hasn't seen a broad
deployment yet.  If you were to upgrade Samba3 (or indeed Windows) to
Samba4, you would find many things work, but that other key features
you may have relied on simply are not there yet.

For example, while Samba 3.0 is an excellent member of a Active
Directory domain, Samba4 is happier as a domain controller, and it is
in this role where it has seen deployment into production.

Samba4 is subjected to an awesome battery of tests on an
automated basis, we have found Samba4 to be very stable in it's
behaviour.  We have to recommend against upgrading production servers
from Samba 3 to Samba 4 at this stage, because there may be the features on
which you may rely that are not present, or the mapping of
your configuration and user database may not be complete. 

If you are upgrading, or looking to develop, test or deploy Samba4, you should
backup all configuration and data.


Samba4 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

The new VFS features in Samba 4 adapts the filesystem on the server to
match the Windows client semantics, allowing Samba 4 to better match
windows behaviour and application expectations.  This includes file
annotation information (in streams) and NT ACLs in particular.  The
VFS is backed with an extensive automated test suite.

A new scripting interface has been added to Samba 4, allowing
Python programs to interface to Samba's internals.

The Samba 4 architecture is based around an LDAP-like database that
can use a range of modular backends.  One of the backends supports
standards compliant LDAP servers (including OpenLDAP), and we are
working on modules to map between AD-like behaviours and this backend.
We are aiming for Samba 4 to be powerful frontend to large


In the time since Samba4 Alpha4 was released in June 2008, Samba has
continued to evolve, but you may particularly notice these areas:

  LDAP backend support restored (issues preventing the use of the LDAP
  backend in alpha4 have been addressed).

  SMB2 Support:  The SMB2 server, while still disabled, has improved,
  and now supports SMB2 signing. 

  OpenChange support:  Updates have been made since alpha4 to better
  support OpenChange's use of Samba4's libraries. 

  Faster ldb loading:  A fix to avoid calling 'init_module' (which was
  not defined by Samba modules, but was by the C library) will fix
  some of the slowness in authentication. 

  SWAT Remains Disabled: Due to a lack of developer time and without a
  long-term web developer to maintain it, the SWAT web UI remains been
  disabled (and would need to be rewritten in python in any case).

  GNU Make: To try and simplfy our build system, we rely on GNU Make
  to avoid autogenerating a massive single makefile. 

These are just some of the highlights of the work done in the past few
months.  More details can be found in our GIT history.


Those familiar with Samba 3 can find a list of user-visible changes
since that release series in the NEWS file.


- Domain member support is in it's infancy, and is not comparable to
  the support found in Samba3.

- There is no printing support in the current release.

- There is no NetBIOS browsing support in the current release

- The Samba4 port of the CTDB clustering support is not yet complete

- Clock Synchronisation is critical.  Many 'wrong password' errors are
  actually due to Kerberos objecting to a clock skew between client
  and server.  (The NTP work in the previous alpha is partly to assist
  with this problem).

- Samba4 alpha5 is currently only portable to recent Linux
  distributions.  Work to return support for other Unix varients is
  expected during the next alpha cycle

- Samba4 alpha5 is incompatible with GnuTLS 2.0, found in Fedora 9 and
  recent Ubuntu releases.  GnuTLS use may be disabled using the
  --disable-gnutls argument to ./configure. (otherwise 'make test' and
  LDAPS operations will hang).


A short guide to setting up Samba 4 can be found in the howto.txt file
in root of the tarball.

Bugs can be filed at https://bugzilla.samba.org/ but please be aware
that many features are simply not expected to work at this stage.  

The Samba Wiki at http://wiki.samba.org should detail some of these
development plans.

Development and general discussion about Samba 4 happens mainly on
the #samba-technical IRC channel (on irc.freenode.net) and
the samba-technical mailing list (see http://lists.samba.org/ for

Download Details

The release tarball is available from the following location:
 * http://download.samba.org/samba/ftp/samba4/samba-4.0.0alpha5.tar.gz

This release has been signed using GPG with Andrew's GPG key (28B436BB).

 * http://download.samba.org/samba/ftp/samba4/samba-4.0.0alpha5.tar.asc

To verify that the signature is correct, make sure that the tarball has
been unzipped and run:

$ gpg --verify samba-4.0.0alpha5.tar.asc

We are also planning on making Debian packages available, as well as 
packages for Fedora.

Happy testing!

The Samba team

Andrew Bartlett
Authentication Developer, Samba Team           http://samba.org
Samba Developer, Red Hat Inc.
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