rayk_sland writes "Progress is being made on the long awaited Samba 4 release. On Tuesday the Samba 4 team announced their first beta. Those of us who refuse to have a closed-source server at the core of our networks will be encouraged to see this milestone. Here are a few of the new features: 'Samba 4.0 beta supports the server-side of the Active Directory logon environment used by Windows 2000 and later, so we can do full domain join and domain logon operations with these clients. ... Samba 4.0 beta ships with two distinct file servers. We now use the file server from the Samba 3.x series 'smbd' for all file serving by default. For pure file server work, the binaries users would expect from that series (nmbd, winbindd, smbpasswd) continue to be available. Samba 4.0 also ships with the 'NTVFS' file server. This file server is what was used in all previous alpha releases of Samba 4.0, and is tuned to match the requirements of an AD domain controller. We continue to support this, not only to provide continuity to installations that have deployed it as part of an AD DC, but also as a running example of the NT-FSA architecture we expect to move smbd to in the longer term. ... Finally, a new scripting interface has been added to Samba 4, allowing Python programs to interface to Samba's internals, and many tools and internal workings of the DC code is now implemented in python.'"