[Samba] Concerns about Samba4

Laurent Pinchart laurent.pinchart at skynet.be
Mon Feb 26 10:56:20 GMT 2007

Hi everybody.

I attended the Samba conference at the FOSDEM yesterday. Jeremy Allison was 
great, and explained very clearly the problems faced by implementing an 
Active Directory controller.

The CIFS protocol is required in heterogenous environments. Jeremy made it 
pretty clear that even in pure Unix environments, CIFS is quite superior to 
NFSv4. Samba is thus a required component of pretty much any network, even 
when using Unix workstations and servers only.

Implementing a Samba Active Directory domain controller requires more 
components than for an NT4 domain controller. Samba will have to integrate an 
LDAP server, a Kerberos server, a DNS server and a DHCP server. It will have 
to implement remote registry access and many Windows-related DCE/RPC calls. 
Those don't make much sense in Unix-only environments. Moreover, the LDAP 
directory schema will have to match the Microsoft AD schema, which is badly 
documented to say the least.

I'm concerned about all the unneeded features that will be introduced by 
Samba4 in pure Unix environments, as well as by the implications that Samba4 
will have on other services. The LDAP directory will have to implement the 
Microsoft AD schema, which is not compatible with any current Unix 
application. How will Samba4 interoperate with groupware softwares for 
instance ? Has anyone thought about how to mix Unix LDAP-aware applications 
with Samba4 ? Aren't we pushing bloated, buggy and badly thought 
Microsoft "standards" to the Unix platform in the name of interoperability 
without thinking about the consequences this will have on other services and 
on the overall stability ?

Thanks in advance to all of those who will prove me wrong and let me sleep 
peacefully again :-)

Laurent Pinchart

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