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Samba with Active Directory: getting closer

Feb 11, 2010, 19:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Don Marti)


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"From one point of view, Samba is open source high drama at its finest: an early adopter of version 3 of the GNU General Public License, and the recipient of an unprecedented release of formerly proprietary Microsoft documentation, thanks to a high-profile anti-trust case. Meanwhile, though, it's the low-profile software that implements the Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing protocol, sometimes known as CIFS. Samba powers every inexpensive NAS device in the computer store—without even a mention on the box—and comes with all the common Linux distributions and with Apple's Mac OS X Server. Today, as Samba comes closer to implementing a key Microsoft directory protocol, the two aspects are being forced together.

"Samba creator Andrew Tridgell, better known as Tridge, posted to his blog, "There has been a lot of progress recently in the development of the directory server capabilities of Samba4." In a half-hour screencast video, he demonstrated a development version of Samba acting as a Microsoft Active Directory domain controller in a mixed environment. "We are making very rapid progress now," he added.

"Active Directory (AD) is a central repository for all the administrative information that a modern Microsoft Windows site needs. Besides user names and passwords, AD functions as a DNS server, stores network configuration policy such as firewall rules, and acts as a back-end for applications' configuration. Microsoft Exchange, for example, is completely dependent on it."

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