What is Samba 4 meant to accomplish? In simplest terms, Samba 4 is an ambitious, yet achievable, reworking of the Samba code. Major features for Samba 4 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
- Active Directory DNS integration
- 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 Samba 4 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 its development in this area. The thesis was published on news.samba.org and is available here (in PDF).
Current Version: 4.0.0
Samba 4 is available for download via the Samba Website or from the Git repository. In short, you can join a Windows (all recent releases should be supported) machine to a Samba 4 domain, and it will behave much as it does in AD, including Kerberos domain logins where applicable. The official press release can be found on the Samba website.
Samba 4 development is moving very rapidly. New updates will arrive every six weeks with new release series coming every nine months. The current source is available via the Git repository. To browse the source via a web browser, see Samba 4's gitweb pages for the current v4-0-test (replaced by master), v4-0-stable (current branch for 4.x.x releases), 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.
Samba 4 is now at a point where it can begin replacing existing production deployments, and users are encouraged to try out Samba 4 in a test environment before implementing it in a work 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 Samba 4
- 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
- Samba 4 DRS TODO List
- Samba 4 AD Plugfest 2010 TODO List
- 4.0.0alpha12 - wasn't released