[Samba] Support of Samba on RHEL4?

Aaron Kincer kincera at gmail.com
Wed Sep 20 14:31:32 GMT 2006

Don't get me started on RH9 . . .

Sounds like you have it under control, but I would fully recommend you 
check out Ubuntu 6.06 server. It doesn't load a GUI at all and is CLI by 
default. You could, if you really wanted, install one very quickly with 
apt-get (which compared to RPM is like an automobile to a horse and 
buggy). You can purchase support for Ubuntu if you need it.

Red Hat has great support without a doubt (at least in my experience), 
but they do this often at the expense of using very old (but stable) 
packages. For many applications, this isn't too much of an issue since 
they are primarily in security fix mode with very few bugs and Red Hat 
back-ports the security fixes as necessary. As I understand it, Samba is 
a suite that is still in flux and therefore many bugs are being fixed 
rapidly. In light of this, I've been forced to decide that for the 
immediate future, Red Hat is not the most desirable choice of platform 
for Samba. I'm sure some would disagree and that's fine. I personally 
don't have time to be forced to spend hours on the phone with tech 
support or develop workarounds for bugs that are fixed in current stable 
versions of Samba.

Good luck,

Aaron Kincer

Alex de Vaal wrote:
> Hello Aaron,
> It is always good that people are thinking along and actually you ask right
> questions to me, which I asked myself too.
> To answer your questions:
> 1) No.
> 2) Yes
> 3) No, not yet.
> 4) They do that anyway ;)
> 5) YES!
> I have almost 100 Linux servers running with Red Hat Linux 9, you know, the
> obsolete version. ;) All these servers are running with Samba, which I
> tested and tested in our test environment against a real copy of our Active
> Directory.
> With RHL9 and Samba I have no support anyway and I'm "on my own" for
> support.
> Whenever a new update comes out I test it thoroughly in my test environment
> before I install it on all other servers. Before I roll-out an updated
> version of Samba I test it for a month on 1 or 2 production sites anyway.
> On my production servers I still run 3.0.14a of Samba, because that version
> works great against W2k3 server SP1. As soon as SP1 came out, samba.org
> immediately came up with a patch for Samba and this is the kind of support I
> need... Not how to install and configure it... ;)
> The only reason I stepped into RHEL4 was the hardware support. I have a new
> Dell PE2900 server with SAS drives and for RHL9 no drivers are available, so
> I had to step forward to RHEL4 (which is obvious for me).
> Maybe I have to consider CENTOS instead of RHEL4, because I didn't need
> RHEL4 for support from Red Hat, just for technical reasons. CENTOS4 is a 1:1
> copy of RHEL4, but without the RedHat logo... (and the Red Hat support)
> Regards,
> Alex.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Aaron Kincer [mailto:kincera at gmail.com] 
> Sent: Friday 15 September 2006 18:17
> To: Alex de Vaal
> Cc: samba at lists.samba.org
> Subject: Re: [Samba] Support of Samba on RHEL4?
> Alex,
> 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

More information about the samba mailing list