samba 4: a new configuration system?
abartlet at samba.org
Thu Jun 23 05:48:24 GMT 2005
On Wed, 2005-06-22 at 21:55 -0700, Raymond Lillard wrote:
> Tim Potter wrote:
> > On Wed, 2005-06-22 at 23:41 +0200, Sebastien Estienne wrote:
> >>I was wondering if samba 4 will have a different configuration file
> >>format, maybe something with an Api to ease writing configuration
> > I don't think that issue has been resolved yet but I am guessing that if
> > the configuration file format is changed it will involved ldb somehow.
> I hope not. I realize I am "old school", and I fully realize
> I am NOT a decision maker here, but dammit what's so bloody
> wrong about flat text files that can be modified with "vi" or
> *emacs*? We don't need to turn Samba in *)&$^%& windows.
> Text files are well established as the Unix way of doing things.
> I've had my fill of system configuration databases that become
> corrupted and have to be rebuilt. It's the same bullshit as
> the windows registry and we all know the sorry mess it is.
> Wouldn't we all like to have back our wasted time caused by it.
I agree here, and to a point, this is actually the direction Samba4 is
moving to. Leaving configuration aside for a moment, and instead
looking at the issue of run-time state, Samba4 has made great leaps
Unlike Samba3, Samba4 stores all runtime state in a human-editable
format. This format is ldb, and while it is binary on disk, is far
better than what Samba3 had (cf secrets.tdb). Samba3 stores it's data
in a format that is almost impossible for a human to edit, even with
tdbtool. Samba4 provides ldbedit, ldbsearch etc to manage the ldb
databases - you can bring up the ldap-like record in the editor of your
Now, the problem with configuration data is that in many ways, it is an
expression of run-time state. Not only with web interfaces, but also
with the remote administration tools in the DCE-RPC protocols. This
can and will change many aspects of Samba's configuration.
I'm a strong believer that while text-based configuration has it's
usability problems, it is also a vital link with what makes Samba
different: we do benefit from being able to add arbitrary comments to a
config value, we do benefit from the absurdly over-extended macro
syntax, and we do benefit from the ability to simply place the
configuration into version control, or paste a copy on a mailing list.
What we need to figure out is how to merge the two worlds: structured
syntax is one way, an 'include this ...' system is another (I have
proposed that file shares be configured this way, with text-based for
the default, with additional shares configured from an ldb, if the admin
Andrew Bartlett http://samba.org/~abartlet/
Samba Developer, SuSE Labs, Novell Inc. http://suse.de
Authentication Developer, Samba Team http://samba.org
Student Network Administrator, Hawker College http://hawkerc.net
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