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Networking Open Source

Samba 4 Enters Beta 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the progress-is-made dept.
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.'"
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Samba 4 Enters Beta

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  • by Tough Love (215404) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @03:58AM (#40229855)

    Way to school Microsoft on their own technology!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Way to school Microsoft on their own technology!

      Perhaps those are the fruits of the Novell/Microsoft collaboration dedicated to enhanced interoperability ...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It is much more likely that these are the fruits of long years of dedicated and hard work. In my books, the collaboration you mentioned is just the icing of the cake that is samba. When you have a look at, for instance, .Net/Mono you can easilly see how one-sided that collaboration is.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @06:17AM (#40230335)

        Uhh nope. More like the fruits of the Samba team sticking to their guns in the EU and microsoft being forced to open up their protocols.

        • by Bengie (1121981) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @08:25AM (#40230899)
          MS didn't just open up their protocol, they invited the SAMBA team, had 2 SMB/Network lead engineers to answer their questions, and gave them a full Linux+Windows environment to play around and test different things.
          • MS didn't just open up their protocol, they invited the SAMBA team, had 2 SMB/Network lead engineers to answer their questions, and gave them a full Linux+Windows environment to play around and test different things.

            Absolutely true. It's a poorly kept secret - for several weeks there I couldn't get hold of anyone on the Samba team because they were all busy over at Microsoft.

            I think Microsoft has finally realized, at some point, that linux is just not a real threat to their business model. By encouraging

        • by cjjjer (530715)
          Or maybe it had more to do with MS actually inviting the core Samba team to Redmond so they could work on better integration points to AD; they did this around the time Win2k8 was released. They have done this numerous times.

          Microsoft Contributes Code to Samba [lxnews.org]
          Samba Team Visits Microsoft For SMB2.2 Interop Event [samba.org]
          • by TheLink (130905)

            It had more to do with the EU forcing Microsoft to do it.
            http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/12/20/us-microsoft-samba-eu-idUSBRU00620820071220 [reuters.com]

            The Commission ruled in 2004 that Microsoft (MSFT.O) must provide interconnection information letting rival server companies operate as smoothly with Microsoft Windows desktop machines as Microsoft's own server software.

            The deal signed in the United States by the non-profit Protocol Freedom Information Foundation was focused on helping Samba, a non-profit maker of free, open source server software.

            "The agreement allows us to keep Samba up to date with recent changes in Microsoft Windows, and also helps other Free Software projects that need to interoperate with Windows", said Andrew Tridgell, creator of Samba.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @04:31AM (#40229955)

    really? god help us all.. I really hope this doesn't affect performance or memory footprint.

    • by Martz (861209) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @04:36AM (#40229979)

      Why not? It's a new major version which provides new functionality, and is written in python to make it easier for people to contribute.

      Memory and CPU have never been cheaper, if you're still running your samba box on a PIII 450MHz then you'll probably want to stay on Samba 3.

      Otherwise upgrade your hardware and move to Samba 4 when it becomes stable.

      It *WILL* be slower and it *WILL* use more memory, since it's not stable and it's a major new version with new features.

      Sheesh.

      • Give me a break. Samba 4 is not implemented in Python. You're not serious are you? Please tell me you're not serious.

  • by ameen.ross (2498000) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @04:41AM (#40230003)

    I've first tested Samba 4 around alpha 11. It was certainly an interesting learning experience and it was also surprisingly stable for an alpha product. I'd love to play around with it again after 2 years of development.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have an active Samba4 testbed intergrated to a huge AD structure and until alpha17 I've had all sorts of issues. However I now have alpha19 and things have changed considerably - it's working to the point where I have put a Samba4 test controller into production and have seen this Just Work once installed correctly.

      However the official Samba4 install docs are shit. I had to work out a HOWTO that with the help of a few searches to fine tune it, that after a lot of work Just Works as well. You have to insta

      • by AdmV0rl0n (98366)

        I'll be blunt.

        You're an ass.
        And secondly, yes, a W2K/W2K3/W2010 'DROP' in replacement should be clicktard ready. And no, I don't care if you happen to think thats a bad idea.
        And you really need to comprehend what drop in actually means. Being totally unfit for purpose, and requiring a Panatir and a bucket load of black magic does not mean bonus points.

        Its 2012, not 1998.

  • 2002 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lkcl (517947)

    luke howard implemented Active Directory, in XAD, and released a product in 2002 (bought recently by novell). he used samba, freedce, heimdal and openldap, providing patches for each that hooked in the services that he implemented.

    what he *did not* do was implement an entire LDAP server from scratch, implement an entire DCE/RPC runtime from scratch, implement an entire kerberos server from scratch.

    i spoke to someone who used to be a big supporter of samba and was a prominent and active member of the samba

    • Re:2002 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ledow (319597) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @06:42AM (#40230443) Homepage

      I'm sorry, but if you could have done it ten years ago, maybe you should have. And released the product, and get bought out, and made lots of money, and proved everyone wrong. Hell, you still have a lot of time because Samba still has a LONG way to do yet.

      Samba's AD implementation has been a long time coming but personally EVERY prior attempt I've seen, including quite a lot of samba-tng, was horrendously hacky. Having to install and configure perfectly 5-6 entirely independent dependencies is not a good recipe to test or debug code on (one tweak to one config file and samba would stop working for a user and it could take hours to spot that difference and massive amounts of reinstalling, reconfiguring and sending logs and configs back and forth). I took several looks at solutions over the intervening years but nothing was even close to risking the time to install them, let alone test the results. And believe me, I looked at anything and everything that came up.

      From what I saw, most of the patching to get things like samba-tng etc. working code-wise was horrendously hacky and basically the equivalent of rewriting the spec - while Kerberos might be paid lip-service by MS, their variants are quite different and not the kind of thing you want polluting an otherwise independent codebase.

      Trying to get patches to 5+ different projects in order to fix your non-standards-compliant implementation of a protocol sounds like a political nightmare from the start, let alone doing it for the sake of purely Windows hangers-on. At no point did anybody just fork those projects and create their own versions, either, except to rewrite independent implementations. Not reinventing the wheel does not take a genius, and I have no doubt that EVERY step possible to avoid that was taken.

      Without even looking into the details, I would consider it Plan B to have to push massive amounts of patches to five other HUGE projects just to get something close to beginning working so you can start testing, in terms of actually getting something out to others for them to use in stable systems (for testing, debugging, sure, use whatever hacky solutions you like) .

      Fact is that over the last ten years NOBODY else has actually stepped forward and done this work, except for proprietary, closed-source solutions (all of which have problems - hell, even Apple's implementation is basically borked) and Samba.

      Projects forks are ten-a-penny on large OS projects but yet nobody stood up and said "Damn, he's right, let's fork samba-tng to get this stuff going and worry about the politics later!". And at any point, you could suck in the Samba4 work for yourself to help you diagnose, test against, etc.

      I hear a lot of "I could have", but never much "I did". I'm not saying I could do the work at all, but the vast majority of the people who actually stepped up to the plate were in the Samba team. And nobody else, on any other open-source project, "beat" them to it - even with the help of the EU courts and Microsoft itself. That suggests that maybe the task was slightly more tricky than just slapping things together.

      AD implementations are also not the kind of thing you take chances with. If one machine dies because of a dodgy kernel, who cares, you can do something about it. If your AD structure trashes itself mid-day because of a bad failover to a Samba DC, or a long, slow, push of faulty and subtlely-broken packets makes things irrecoverable, you have a lot more to answer for. That means that even the post-Samba-3 solutions to AD's that I tried would have required YEARS of personal testing before I actually trusted them (and would most probably only see deployment on their own isolated network and AD and then slowly, over years, creep to the point where I was confident on just replacing everything with them).

      If alternatives existed, and the work was possible, it takes literally MINUTES to set up a code mirror and post your patches and then you can spam it to hell and let people choose their own prefer

      • by lkcl (517947)

        I'm sorry, but if you could have done it ten years ago, maybe you should have. And released the product, and get bought out, and made lots of money, and proved everyone wrong. Hell, you still have a lot of time because Samba still has a LONG way to do yet.

        Samba's AD implementation has been a long time coming but personally EVERY prior attempt I've seen, including quite a lot of samba-tng, was horrendously hacky.

        welcome to reverse-engineering. samba tng was "version 1" of the "three versions required to make a successful project". from not knowing anything, and not having access to the IDL files in any way shape or form it actually provided pretty stable functionality, and broke the ice for the entire CIFS industry. network appliances, sco/tarantella, luke howard's XAD project - all of them could not have been possible without having that code to look at and understand.

        luke howard *did* do it [the equivalent of

        • luke howard *did* do it [the equivalent of a version 2.0]. he *did* release the product [in 2002]... and he had to hold out for 8 years for a decent offer of a buy-out. everyone kept offering him stupid-money ($100k or less).

          Serious question - why did I never hear of this? Either it didn't really work, it was the worst marketing job of all time, or it wasn't really open source.

          that's why luke howard's work was successful, so quickly, because he leveraged the best available work in the most efficient and le

      • Re:2002 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @07:59AM (#40230761)

        "You're a fool if you're telling the truth"

        I'm sure he's not. He probably isn't outright lying, as in just making something up from scratch, but rather just suffering from Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe Syndrome, as many programmers do.

        I see it all too often, programmers who seem to think they are god's gift to programming. They think they are WAY better than all the stupid "normal" programmers. They can't see why people have so many bugs, can't understand why development takes so long, can't understand why programmers don't "just make this happen," and so on.

        Hence he probably did look at this and say "That'll be easy," not understanding the full complexity of implementing a really good AD server. The Samba team perhaps does understand and wasn't interested in playing around with someone who doesn't.

      • by lkcl (517947)

        - while Kerberos might be paid lip-service by MS, their variants are quite different and not the kind of thing you want polluting an otherwise independent codebase.

        you're not getting it. luke howard's patches to heimdal, samba and openldap were the order of like 100 to 200 lines of code, each. they "outsourced" the required network traffic to XAD's daemons or plugins. for example, to create the PAC, luke howard implemented a well-known DCE RFC which provides a service called "PAULAD" - plugin authentication something something you get the idea - and then plugged that in to both heimdal and openldap.

        the differences are *not* big enough to go spending years writing a

      • Re:2002 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by segedunum (883035) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @08:46AM (#40231029)
        I've got to admit that the length of time Samba 4 has taken has left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Re-implementing all the required services in one package at a cost of many man-years never struck me as the greatest of brainwaves. Yes, there are a huge number of corner cases regarding exact compatibility but Samba 4 could have happened much faster and the drudgery of hard compatibility testing could have happened much, much sooner by reusing existing software.

        As it is, Microsoft got Samba doing exactly what they wanted for the last ten plus years - pointless fire and motion, duck and covering - and the project has now become all but completely irrelevant. Samba 4 really needed to come out not long after the release of Windows XP. Those needing a Windows 2000 DC system gave up on waiting for Samba a long time ago. It might be moderately useful for those who have to use Linux systems in some fashion with Windows, although they will have found ways around that long ago, but the window of opportunity for Linux to replace Windows Server in a lot of places continuing the momentum of Samba 3 has been completely lost.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @06:12AM (#40230327)

    So, I guess our organisation is one of those strange ones that persists with Samba as a domain controller.

    To date, we have around 400 machines (desktops and laptops) running mainly XP (but some with Windows 7 and with a full migration in progress to Windows 7). We run two separate Samba 3 DCs to service out two domains. This setup has served us well for almost 10 years now.

    The main challenge presented to someone trying to run Windows Vista or above on computers attached to a Samba3 domain controller is the lack of group policy options. With XP and below, you can use the 'ntconfig.pol' method to deploy policies to workstations on the domain. With Vista (and Windows 7) this method is no longer supported (and I don't just mean 'not officially supported, but works with some hacks'- it actually does.not.work.at.all). There are ways around this, and I have managed to find a workable solution that will allow us to run Windows 7 exclusively on a Samba3 domain and still have basically the same policy options available to us (this is achieved by working on the local computer policy for non-administrator users on the master image of our standard operating environment, combined with manually mapping samba groups to certain local groups on the workstation). This obviously isn't perfect, but it works for us and saves us a heck of a lot of money compared to the alternative, but I appreciate that what works for us won't work for everyone.

    So for me, the major feature that Samba4 brings to the table is the group policy side of things (I know there's obviously a lot more to it than that, but at present that is the major thing that feels 'missing' from Samba3). Given that I see no reason why we won't end up sticking with Windows 7 until it ends extended support (in 8 years time) I see no reason why we won't be using Samba for quite some time.

    Oh, and other than congratulate the Samba4 team in general, I have to give a personal congrats to Andrew Bartlett- a fellow Aussie and someone I have met personally. Thanks for all your hard work guys!

    • re: manually mapping samba groups to certain local groups on the workstation

      In our large MS 2003/2008r2 network, we are recommending/enforcing mapping Domain Groups to Computer Local Groups on the (XP/W7) workstations.

  • Harsh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @07:18AM (#40230575) Homepage Journal

    SAMBA-nice, has its uses.
    But if you want to do AD, do it with MS. Don't pretend that it can be done with SAMBA (at least not without pain). At the very least, SAMBA trades its own mad ranting about being interoperable while setting everything internally so its not.

    And bottom line, the squeeling, crying and whining about MS interoperability never struck a cord at all with me. SAMBA came about because open source and its structures offered nothing that came close. If Novell and MS can offer a client and a back end server, it seems to me that Linux and open source could have providided a best of breed method of its own.

    Instead, all I ever saw was that MS was evil and Linux and open source had to be given access to it. To my mind this was nothing much more than legally enforced theft of technology and I never thought it was right.

    Several years later - and having had access to all they wanted, this is where we are?
    Given the fuss kicked up, and the legal demands, I think MS should turn round and issue a counter case and state 'where is the interoperable product people put us through a legal case for?' You said we were the case of the failure of this in the market place, we complied and where is the product?

    And no, don't get me wrong, I really like open source, and I like Samba and so on, but I never liked or thought that legal case had any merit, and I never thought open source really got its shit together in providing anything, it just seemed to want to steal someone else's work in this particular area.

    • Re:Harsh (Score:4, Informative)

      by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel.hotmail@com> on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @07:57AM (#40230749) Homepage Journal

      "it (open source) just seemed to want to steal someone else's work in this particular area."

      What a baddass comment. Completely wrong, of course, but badass.

      SAMBA predates Windows SMB server.

      It would be just as accurate to say Microsoft "just seemed to want to steal someone else's work in this particular area."

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        SAMBA predates Windows SMB server.

        Uh what? Lan Manager was a SMB server.

        • by ratboy666 (104074)

          Um..

          Lan Manager 2.0 for Windows couldn't have been released before Windows NT 3.1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT_3.1) which was released in 1993.

          SAMBA was first released in 1992 (http://www.rxn.com/services/faq/smb/samba.history.txt).

          Lan Manager for OS/2 was available, but I did say Windows. Also, OS/2 was seriously impeded by the x86 platform. Servers were Unix boxes (Linux was released in 1991, and wasn't yet ready for prime-time).

          Windows was "peer to peer" networking, or OS/2 server to Windows

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            SAMBA was the first product that allowed "real" servers to serve files to Windows clients.

            On this we are in complete agreement.

          • by AdmV0rl0n (98366)

            LAN Manager was based on the OS/2 operating system co-developed by IBM and Microsoft. It originally used the Server Message Block protocol atop either the NetBIOS Frames protocol (NBF) or a specialized version of the Xerox Network Systems (XNS) protocol. These legacy protocols had been inherited from previous products such as MS-NET for MS-DOS, Xenix-NET for MS-Xenix, and the afore-mentioned 3+Share. A version of LAN Manager for Unix-based systems called LAN Manager/X was also available.

            In 1990, Microsoft a

      • by AdmV0rl0n (98366)

        It may well predate anything.

        They still went to court and made the ludicrous demand 'give us access to your API and code' whine whine whine.
        And your early SAMBA must have been before the days it made claim to mimic an NT4 Server as 'drop in'.

        And on your final point, if MS stole the work, now SAMBA has had clear insight into that, code and API, when shall I expect the lawsuit?

         

        • by ratboy666 (104074)

          Who are "they"?

          SAMBA didn't bring a lawsuit against Microsoft. SAMBA purchased the protocol description from Microsoft for 10,000 Euros. There was also a round of legal discussion needed to keep SAMBA as GPL software.

          The European Commission investigated Microsoft. This was triggered by a request from SUN to Microsoft asking for interoperability documentation for AD. Microsoft refused, SUN entered the complaint -- SAMBA didn't get involved until Microsoft tried to use SAMBA as an example of why protocol doc

        • by ratboy666 (104074)

          Read what I said. I claimed that it would be just as valid.

          I don't think that SAMBA stole from Microsoft, and I don't think that Microsoft stole from SAMBA.

          I just stated that the chronology made the original claim silly.

    • Instead, all I ever saw was that MS was evil and Linux and open source had to be given access to it. To my mind this was nothing much more than legally enforced theft of technology and I never thought it was right.

      Would mod you up if I hadnt already posted-- This never settled well with me. Earlier in the thread someone was ranting about how closed and inoperable AD / MS was-- but it seems like it at the very least got its leg up on its own merits, because if there had been a superior offering from "Open Source" at the time it seems to me that businesses pursuing profit would have found it, used it, and had an advantage.

      Insisting that MS help everyone else compete with them just seems lame. If their product is so b

      • by ratboy666 (104074)

        Bollocks

        The reason for SAMBA was simply that Windows (Windows 3.1 for Workgroups) came with SMB file sharing.

        SAMBA helped integrate these workstations with larger networks and servers.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          The reason for SAMBA was simply that Windows (Windows 3.1 for Workgroups) came with SMB file sharing.

          SAMBA helped integrate these workstations with larger networks and servers.

          Actually, SMB was created by DEC for their Pathworks software suite to connect VAXen to other computers.

          Windows' involvment came later, partly because Microsoft hired a lot of VAX people over to do NT and a lot of Windows' heritage tends to reflect that.

          http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch01.html [samba.org]

          • by ratboy666 (104074)

            History

            3Com 3+Share/MS Net/Xenix Net -> LanManager -> LanManager/X (portable) -> DEC Pathworks -> SAMBA

    • Re:Harsh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:03AM (#40232565) Homepage

      And bottom line, the squeeling, crying and whining about MS interoperability never struck a cord at all with me. SAMBA came about because open source and its structures offered nothing that came close.

      When SAMBA came about, smb was a poor copy of NFS. SAMBA came about because pointy-haired bosses started bypassing the Unix wizards and building Windows for Workgroups based networks in the office and insisting that all the important stuff be stored there because getting a decent TCP/IP stack running on their PCs was too much expense and hassle. Active Directory came much later, when Microsoft decided to patch up the deficiencies in smb in Windows 2000 so it could move beyond the small-medium size offices and into the enterprise. Up until that point, SAMBA was a good, up to date implementation.

      • by AdmV0rl0n (98366)

        I nearly fell off my chair.
        A poor copy of NFS.
        You seem not to understand just how poor NFS (was) and just why so many people chose something else.

        And - well, to be blunt, MS did not just make something that fixed up limits in NT. They created a de facto large scale directory service / server system that no one else really provided. And they made it relatively easy to install, maintain, and qualifiy people to use.

        Note carefully the last part. Because some round here think that its clever, and a road to succe

    • SAMBA-nice, has its uses. But if you want to do AD, do it with MS. Don't pretend that it can be done with SAMBA (at least not without pain). At the very least, SAMBA trades its own mad ranting about being interoperable while setting everything internally so its not.

      If you want all the latest features provided by Microsoft for the SMB/CIFS/AD implementation, then yes by all means use MS servers and pay lots of money for CAL licenses for each server so that you can host everyone, and be prepared to have keep all your workstations in sync with the version on the server because their backwards compatibility sucks.
      If you want a version that works, continues to work through Windows upgrades, and provides login compatibility with Unix/Linux systems, then use SAMBA; or if yo

      • by rev0lt (1950662)

        If you want all the latest features provided by Microsoft for the SMB/CIFS/AD implementation, then yes by all means use MS servers and pay lots of money for CAL licenses for each server so that you can host everyone, and be prepared to have keep all your workstations in sync with the version on the server because their backwards compatibility sucks.

        You are kidding, right? I can probably hookup a W7 with an NT4 domain with less hassle than with samba.

        If you want a version that works, continues to work through Windows upgrades, and provides login compatibility with Unix/Linux systems, then use SAMBA; or if you have Linux/Unix clients that you want to authenticate to a Microsoft server - use SAMBA.

        This one is hilarious. Do you know that you _need_ to upgrade samba to work seamlessly with the latest Windows versions, right? Do you know that, at each release, you get new bugs and unexpected behaviour? Do you know that some releases are actually unusable (with show-stopper bugs in stuff like remote profiles), right? And that many many times, connectivity problems are "solved" by not using TCP/IP, but b

  • by ulzeraj (1009869) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @08:17AM (#40230851) Homepage

    I've tested alpha 16 and 18 and they are quite functional. I just wish they took the external LDAP route. Running on top of LDAP is good but being restricted to their own internal LDAP server isn't.

    Right now if you check their wiki they discourage the use of an external LDAP server. So while they offer scripts to migrate your Samba 3.x LDAP based directory what should I do about the other applications using my directory server? Can I extend the schema? Their default setup doesn't even have the Posix schema attributed to nis.schema.

    • by robmv (855035)

      I am not sure about the current status of the work of the Red Hat team behind FreeIPA, that integrate Samba 4 with other FreeIPA base technologies like 389 LDAP Server (I remember Simo Sorce was working in Samba integration), there is outdated documentation about using Samba 4 alphas with 389 LDAP server backed [freeipa.org], so there is interest in that kind of integration

  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @09:55AM (#40231693) Homepage

    The decade-long focus on playing nice with Microsoft Windows seems to be getting somewhere, but I haven't seen much about letting Linux play too.

    Does CIFS implement SMB2 yet (or is there an "SMB2FS" module that I missed), or is Linux still excluded outside of "smbclient"?

    Can SAMBA4's LDAP server also be used for standard basic LDAP authentication as well "e.g. for web servers, minimalistic *nix boxen, etc) or does it still only permit authentication by clients implementing a full "ActiveDirectory®" stack?

    • by ulzeraj (1009869)

      Official support for SMB2 exists since Samba 3.6. It was present in 3.5 but it was marked as experimental.

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