[Samba] Understanding Samba 4's features and goals

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at samba.org
Fri Mar 24 11:53:34 GMT 2006

On Wed, 2006-03-22 at 20:05 -0600, Thomas Boutell wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I'm the co-author of "Windows and Linux Integration," a recent
> Sybex/Wiley title. So I'm very much interested in what's coming
> next in the Samba world. And I've been watching the Samba 4
> 'technology releases" with interest.
> One nifty feature that I like a lot: the old options that specified
> many confusing types of server behavior have been replaced with a
> "role" option. That makes total sense to me.


> Here's what doesn't make sense to me, though: this option has
> "PDC" and "BDC" settings, among others. But my understanding of
> the Active Directory world is that it is a "multimastering"
> environment, in which updates can be made on *any* DC and will
> be replicated correctly to the other DCs in the domain. There
> is therefore no PDC/BDC distinction.

In the AD world, there is still a PDC/BDC distinction in the idea of a
'PDC emulator' (who holds the #1b name), as well as the global catalog
server.  This option is mainly aimed at the first situation.

> So, the big questions:
> 1. Will Samba 4 support multimastering, AD-style, with no BDCs?

First I expect we will have master/slave operation, as this is easy to
implement in the ldb backend.  We (I hope) will also be able to back
onto an LDAP server such as Fedora DS, and use that backend's
multi-master capability.  After that is settled in, we may look into
multimaster in our own ldb backends.

> 2. Can the other masters run Windows AD, or must they also run Samba 4?

This is going to require more work than supporting just Samba DCs.  We
know some details about how the replications works, but we are far from
being able to participate in the DRSUAPI replication.

> 3. If not, what is offered in place of these features?
> Thanks for any light you can shed on the matter. And thanks, as
> always, for a fantastic set of tools.
> --
> Thomas Boutell
> Boutell.Com, Inc. 
> http://www.boutell.com/
Andrew Bartlett                                http://samba.org/~abartlet/
Authentication Developer, Samba Team           http://samba.org
Student Network Administrator, Hawker College  http://hawkerc.net
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