Success with Samba4

Alex Hieronymi alex at
Sun Jul 10 22:21:54 MDT 2011

As per the Samba4/howto page, here's some information surrounding my 
success with Samba 4-alpha17-GIT-8083849.  My apologies if this is too 
verbose || not strictly technical.

Over the past several months I have been looking for an alternative to 
run in place of a Windows PDC for a small school.  Unfortunately, their 
current PDC/File/Print server is on its last legs, and finding 
replacement hardware would be painfully expensive.  Thankfully I was 
given a "phased-out" PC from the company I work for, and therefore, had 
one of the two pieces to the solution.

I have worked with Samba before (I run it on my home file server), and 
had read that there was some development toward Samba as a PDC.  I was 
already running Samba on another server on the premises (allowing a 
Debian GNU/Linux box to act as a domain member server).  In addition, 
I've been trying to minimize the costs associated with use proprietary 
software, given the very limited budget available.  Samba, along with 
the multitude of other open-source software provides an awesome solution 
for such a scenario.

After a few weeks of testing, I found that Samba4-alpha was actually 
quite stable, and seemed suitable to act as the second part of this 
solution.  This past week, I built-up that "phased-out" PC with Debian 
6, installed VirtualBox, and built-up a VM with Debian 6 and Samba4.  I 
created the domain and active directory structure with no problems.  My 
only issue with the setup was how to properly configure DHCP with 2 
domains (allowing proper registration, etc...), which isn't very 
relevant to samba itself.

While testing Samba4, I found that some permission directives found in 
Samba3's smb.conf were not entirely implemented yet.  A quick glace into 
the source4 files proved this to be the case.  To get around this, I had 
setup a second VM running Samba3.5.

Barring one issue (unrelated to Samba), I will have the new PDC / File 
servers in production next week, running as follows:

    + Samba4 = PDC
    + Samba3.5 = File server

Both Samba3.5 and Samba4 have been running for a week, with nightly 
backups running over scp.  These are both great products, and I look 
forward for all future development work.  That being said, I myself am a 
C programmer, and will be looking through the TODO list for any work I 
can contribute.

Once again, thanks very much,
-Alex Hieronymi

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