What is Samba4 meant to accomplish? In simplest terms, Samba4 is an ambitious, yet achievable, reworking of the Samba code. Major features for Samba4 already include:
- Support for the 'Active Directory' logon and administration protocols that support Windows XP, Windows 7, and Mac OS X clients
- Support for Group Policy definitions
- New 'full coverage' testsuites
- Full NTFS semantics for sharing backends
- An internal LDAP server, with AD semantics
- An internal Kerberos server, including PAC support
- An internal DNS server with support for dynamic updating
- Bind9 integration for AD DNS support (with DLS)
- Fully asynchronous internals
- Flexible process models
- Better scalability from micro to very large installations
- New RPC infrastructure (PIDL)
- A flexible database architecture (LDB)
- Python support - used extensively for client and management tools
- Generic security subsystem (GENSEC)
- Over 50% auto-generated code!
One of the goals of Samba4 is to implement an Active Directory compatible Domain Controller. Andrew Bartlett has written an excellent thesis on issues involved in developing an AD DC. This is also a good resource on Samba4's development in this area. The thesis was published on news.samba.org and is available here (in PDF).
Samba4 is now in the final stages of development with the release date of version 4.0.0 scheduled for December 11, 2012. This means that installers who did not have time to participate in beta testing should now consider setting up a test environment in anticipation of a full release.
Volker Lendecke has also written an excellent Advances in Samba4 paper (in PDF), and in May 2005, Tridge gave a Samba4 Progress Report and Roadmap. Since that time, we have implemented an embedded web server, a KDC and made vast improvements to the embedded LDAP server.
In short, you can join a Windows (all recent releases should be supported) machine to a Samba4 domain, and it will behave much as it does in AD, including Kerberos domain logins where applicable.
Samba4 development is moving very rapidly, but there is still much work to be done. A date has not been set for an official release, but the current source is available from our Git repository. To browse the source via a web browser, see Samba4's gitweb pages for the current v4-0-test (replaced by master), v4-0-stable (current branch for 4.x.x release candidates), and master (current Samba development) branches. For more info on available branches, as well how to obtain the sources via a Git client, see the samba.org devel page.
Samba4 is currently moving in a direction where it can replace existing production deployments and you are encourage to try the current release candidate in a test environment.
Andrew Bartlett, Jelmer Vernooij and some other developers maintain a list of short-term plans and achievements.
- Migrating a Samba 3 Domain to a Samba 4
- User Testing
- Smart Card Login (to Windows Clients) HOWTO
- Building Debian packages of Samba4
- Create a Single Sign On VPN with Samba4 HOWTO
- Known/Reported Open Bugs
- An Explanation of the s3fs Architecture for Using smbd in the AD Server
- Development Resources
- BUILDING SAMBA 4.0
- Test Status
- Gtk+ Frontends
- Active Directory Plans
- Domain Member plans
- LDAP Directory Server Backend History Notes
- Samba4 DRS TODO List
- Samba4 AD Plugfest 2010 TODO List
- 4.0.0alpha12 - wasn't released