[ANNOUNCE] Samba 4.0.0alpha1

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at samba.org
Wed Sep 5 00:28:20 GMT 2007

We are proud to a first alpha release of Samba 4. 

What's new in Samba 4 alpha1

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.

Samba 4 is currently not yet in a state where it is usable in
production environments. Note the WARNINGS below, and the STATUS file,
which aims to document what should and should not work.

Samba4 alpha1 is the culmination of 4.5 years of development under our
belt since Tridge first proposed a new Virtual File System (VFS) layer
for Samba3 (a project which eventually lead to our Active Directory
efforts), and 1.5 years since we first released a Technology Preview,
we wish to allow users, managers and developers to see how we have
progressed, and to invite feedback and support.


Samba4 alpha1 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: (This is
where we have done most of the research and development).

While Samba4 is subjected to an awesome battery of tests on an
automated basis, and 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.  If you are upgrading an
experimental server, or looking to develop and test Samba, 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
JavaScript 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 TP5 was released in June 2007, Samba has
continued to evolve, but you may particularly notice these areas:

  Group Policy Support:  Basic group policies may be defined, and are
  enforced by Windows clients

  MMC Support:  The Active Directory Users and Computers console now
  works, supporting most operations.  

  Winbind:  Kai Blin has been working hard on his Google Summer of
  Code project, creating a winbind implementation for Samba4.

  Heimdal update:  A Heimdal 1.0 snapshot is now included as the
  internal Kerberos library in Samba4.

  In the past few weeks, many small but significant bugs have been
  fixed, particularly thanks to Matthias Dieter Wallnöfer <mwallnoefer at yahoo.de>

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

- Support for managing groups is currently poor (as the
  memberOf/member linked attributes are not kept in sync). 

- Renaming and deleting subtrees (containers) in the the LDB tree will
  have unexpected results.

- 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.  


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

Download Details

The release tarball is available from the following location:
 * http://download.samba.org/samba/ftp/samba4/samba-4.0.0alpha1.tar.gz

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

 * http://download.samba.org/samba/ftp/samba4/samba-4.0.0alpha1.tar.asc

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

$ gpg --verify samba-4.0.0alpha1.tar.asc

We are also planning on making Debian packages available. No packages
for other distributions are planned at the moment.


A short guide to setting up Samba 4 can be found on

Development and Feedback
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

Happy testing!

The Samba team

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