[Samba] Support of Samba on RHEL4?

Aaron Kincer kincera at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 16:17:20 GMT 2006


I tried running Samba on RHEL4 Update 2 (on VMWare) and ran into some 
issues and I can provide you my opinion. Take care when making any 
decisions. There are quite a few things to consider:

1) Is having support from Red Hat on Samba necessary?
2) Are you confident enough in yourself to go off the beaten path from 
Red Hat?
3) Have you considered other vendors for support on Samba itself?
4) Would upper management (if any) hold you responsible for going off 
the support path in the event of an issue?
5) Do you have an adequate test environment?

If you are going away from Red Hat support, #5 is critical. They test 
and test and test (or at least should) packages prior to pushing them 
out. They will know or be able to quickly find solutions to common 
problems with their packages. There are some caveats to that statement, 
so let me get to a bit more meat.

Let's face it--the packages in RHEL4 for Samba are just plain old. Red 
Hat has back-ported security fixes and even some bug fixes, but I know 
without a doubt that not all bugs have been addressed. RHEL5 will be out 
in the coming future. Perhaps it will provide newer packages. I urge you 
to investigate and consider that route if you are extremely nervous 
about losing support on Samba from them.

In my case, I've chosen to move my production File Server to Ubuntu 6.06 
Server (well, I have loaded the latest distro upgrade) running Samba 
3.0.22 after I complete quite a bit of testing. I just found myself 
banging my head against the wall with my smb.conf in ways that I 
shouldn't have to since the problems were with bugs in the older Samba 
that haven't been back-ported. The instant I transferred my smb.conf 
over to the new Ubuntu server, my bugs went away. The one exception is 
the archive bit issue I've been posting about lately.

The bottom line in my humble opinion is that if you go your own way, you 
shift burden of responsibility more to yourself than Red Hat. Of course, 
if you have the hardware (or a VMWare/Xen virtual server) you could 
always run parallel using two servers with a Red Hat approved Samba 
version as a control and your own Samba server with identical 
configurations (minus Samba version) for production and work out non-bug 
related issues with their help on your reference server. This won't help 
you in resolving bug-related issues, but it could help provide you with 
a warm fuzzy-feeling. This would be less than ideal since the versions 
are so far apart.

I know you asked for technical reasons, but you should be aware that not 
all of the factors in the equation are technical when considering a 
production server.

Hope that helps.

Aaron Kincer

Alex de Vaal wrote:
> Hello,
> A while ago I asked what kind of Samba packages I could use on
> RHEL4. If I use the packages from www.samba.org then I'd void
> the support agreement with Red Hat. (...)
> Downloading and investigating the latest Samba source package from
> RHN (samba-3.0.10-1.4E.9.src.rpm) told me that the Samba package
> of RHN is based on the native 3.0.10 Samba package of samba.org
> with some necessary patches (samba-3.0.10-winbindd_2k3sp1.patch, 
> samba-3.0.10-ldap-failover-timeout-backport.patch are the most important
> ones for me), while even the patches come from samba.org
> In samba-3.0.10-ldap-failover-timeout-backport.patch I found this statement:
> +	/* Setup alarm timeout.... Do we need both of these ? JRA. */
> This is from Jeremy Allison of samba.org...
> Is there any technical reason NOT to use the packages of samba.org on RHEL4?
> Regarding the above info I'd like to use the original samba packages on
> RHEL4.
> If I only void support for Samba at Red Hat, so be it. I'm convinced I'm
> better off
> with Samba support at samba.org...
> Regards,
> Alex.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gerald (Jerry) Carter [mailto:jerry at samba.org] 
> Sent: Wednesday 12 July 2006 13:22
> To: Alex de Vaal
> Cc: samba at lists.samba.org
> Subject: Re: [Samba] Fedora packages or Enterprise packages of Samba on
> RHEL4?
> Hash: SHA1
> Alex de Vaal wrote:
>> Can somebody of the Samba team explain me the difference of Fedora 
>> packages or Enterprise packages
>> (http://enterprisesamba.com/) of Samba on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4?
> ...
>> First I tried the RHEL4 packages from enterprisesamba.com, but these 
>> packages always ended up with the error message "Segmentation fault" 
>> while I used "net ads join";
> If you need support for the SerNet packages, you will have to contact
> SerNet.
>> Therefore I compiled the Fedora source package on RHEL4; this went 
>> well.
> ...
>> I'd like to continue with the Fedora Samba package on my RHEL4 server, 
>> but I'd like to know why or why NOT to use it! (and why I have to use 
>> the packages of
>> enterprisesamba.com)
> The Fedora specfile provided with Samba is compatible with RHEL4.  I don't
> build RHEL4 packages only because IMO if you pay for support for RedHat,
> installing non-vendor supplied packages would void your support agreement.
> Althought I could provide RPMS for the lates version of CentOS which should
> be binary comatible with RHEL4 systems.
> While I'm at it, is there any pressing need for 64-bit rpms as well?
> cheers, jerry
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