[ANNOUNCE] Samba 4 alpha 15

Jelmer Vernooij jelmer at samba.org
Sat Apr 23 18:11:04 MDT 2011

We are proud to a announce another alpha release of Samba 4, alpha 15.

What's new in Samba 4 alpha15

Samba 4 is the ambitious next version of the Samba suite that is being
developed in parallel to the stable 3.x series. The main emphasis in
this branch is support for the Active Directory logon protocols used by
Windows 2000 and above.

Samba4 alpha15 follows on from the alpha release series we have been
publishing since September 2007.


Samba4 alpha15 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 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 directories.


For a list of changes since alpha 14, please see the git log.

$ git clone git://git.samba.org/samba.git
$ cd samba.git
$ git log release-4-0-0alpha14..release-4-0-0alpha15


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 alphas are partly to assist
  with this problem).

- The DRS replication code fails, and is very new

- Users upgrading existing databases to Samba4 should carefully 
  consult upgrading-samba4.txt.  We have made a number of changes in 
  this release that should make it easier to upgrade in future. 
  Btw: there exists also a script under the "setup" directory of the 
  source distribution called "upgrade_from_s3" which should allow a 
  step-up from Samba3 to Samba4. It's not included yet in the binary    
  distributions since it's completely experimental!


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



We need your help! Projects as Samba 4 live from the community feedback.
If you provide expressive bug reports, some documentation snippets on
the wiki or some real code patches - all is appreciated if it meets our
quality criterias. Here you can find further references:

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-4.0.0alpha15.tar.gz

This release has been signed using GPG with Jelmer's GPG keys (1EEF5276,

 * http://download.samba.org/samba/ftp/samba4/samba-4.0.0alpha15.tar.asc

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

$ gpg --verify samba-4.0.0alpha15.tar.asc

Happy testing!

The Samba team
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