A DRAFT statement on our build systems for Samba 4.0

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at samba.org
Wed May 16 18:44:02 MDT 2012

I wanted to start a discussion about how we position and use the two
build systems, so that when we get to a Samba 4.0 release, our users are
clear on what build system provides what features, and why they should
use it.  

I'm trying to make it clear in our user's minds that we have moved past
having a 'file server' build and an 'AD build', and that for almost all
users, the top level build is the one they want.

I fully expect that some of you will not agree with this DRAFT statement
in whole, but then your constructive feedback is important:  If we do
not have a common position, or we have technical issues that conflict
with this statement, then we need to sort that out.  I want us all to
understand the issues and (if technical) fix them, or (if philosophical)
see if we can come up with something that we all agree on, so that when
users of Samba 4.0 ask, they get a consistent answer. 

I would appreciate your thoughtful feedback and comments on this.

Samba 4.0 ships with a new build system, based on waf.  A background to
this build system can be found at https://wiki.samba.org/index.php/Waf

This is the build system that is used when you run ./configure && make
in the top level of a Samba 4.0 release tree.

For the vast majority of our users, this is the build system you should
use.  It supports parallel and incremental builds, and builds the whole
Samba suite, the file server, the print server, the NT4 domain
controller, winbind, the AD Domain Controller, the client libraries and
the python libraries.  

A key feature for many of our distributors and OEMs is that despite the
range of additional features, the resulting binaries and libraries are
substantially smaller, because we use shared libraries extensively. 

For distributions that have a requirement to use the system-supplied
Kerberos library, by the time of the first release candidate, we will
support building against a Heimdal or system MIT Kerberos library,
provided the version is recent enough (otherwise we will use our
internal version of Heimdal).  Please note that builds with MIT krb5
support will not have AD DC features.

Also by the time of the first release candidate, we will finish renaming
the binaries that we ship so that where we provide a tool under a name
that was used in Samba 3.x, it continues to behave in the same way it
always has.  This will ensure that our change in build system does not
impact on our user's ability to use Samba as they always have.

For developers, this build system backs a comprehensive 'make test',
which provides code coverage of around 48% of our code by line:

This build system also implements important features such as ABI
checking (which protects you as users from accidental changes to our
published libraries), symbol versions and dependency checked incremental
rebuilds after header-file changes. 

For users who do not have python installed on their systems, we provide
a install_with_python.sh script, which will install a local copy of
python sufficient to run the build system, without impacting on the rest
of the system.  

Within this requirement, we expect that this build will run on all our
supported platforms, and will actively deal with any portability issues
that users can bring to our attention. 

For all these reasons, we highly recommend this new build system to all
our users, for whatever purpose you want to put Samba to.

For a small number of users, the requirement to have access to Python
2.4 and perl will be unacceptable, and for these users we continue to
provide the 'autoconf' build system used in Samba 3.x under the
source3/.  This will build less parts of Samba, but should not be seen
as 'the file server build' (typical file server deployments should use
the top level build), but as a measure provided with limited features
for systems and organisations unable to meet the requirements for the
new build system.

If you do need to use the autoconf build system, please let us know:
both why you cannot use the 'waf' build in the top level, and what
features of the source3 build that you require.  We need this
information to assess the continuing demand for this parallel
infrastructure, and to determine which features need to remain available
in both build systems.

Again, this is a DRAFT.  I expect there are a wide range of views both
on the team and from our user community.  I welcome that feedback, so we
can be on as much of the same page as possible on this important issue
when we make the 4.0 release.


Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett                                http://samba.org/~abartlet/
Authentication Developer, Samba Team           http://samba.org

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