[Samba] Support of Samba on RHEL4?

Alex de Vaal a.vaal at nh-hotels.com
Wed Sep 20 08:49:00 GMT 2006

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
With RHL9 and Samba I have no support anyway and I'm "on my own" for
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)


-----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?


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
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

Hope that helps.

Aaron Kincer

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