New Samba 3.0 Release Tightens Unix/Windows Bond

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This bit of news should put a smile on the face of many IT administrators looking for more capabilities from Samba: The Samba Team, the Open Source developers responsible for Samba, announced the release of Samba version 3.0, which offers many new and enhanced features.

For those of you wondering what Samba is and why you should care: Samba is a technology that allows file and print sharing between Windows PCs and Unix/Linux systems. It is built into Mac OS X, and is why Mac users can operate seamlessly in a Windows environment. This new version of Samba, which is coming from the Samba Team, not Apple, offers even more capabilities, as explained in this lengthy press release from Samba.org:

Windows Domain Migration Release

The Samba Team is proud to announce the release of Samba 3.0, a major new release of the award-winning Open Source/Free Software file and print server suite for Microsoft Windows ? clients.

Replacement of Windows NT4 ? Domains

Samba 3.0 contains the first Open Source/Free Software implementation of Windows NT Primary and Backup Domain Controller functionality. Customers can transparently migrate their existing Windows NT domains to Samba 3.0 whilst keeping their existing user and group account databases. This enables significant cost of ownership savings over a Windows NT4 domain as a Samba 3.0 Domain Controller does not require client access licenses. Existing Windows tools can be used to manage a Samba PDC, allowing customer Windows expertise to be leveraged in a domain migration. A choice of LDAP back-ends allows integration with an existing customer directory service.

Single Sign-on with Active Directory ? Integration

Samba 3.0 seamlessly integrates into a Microsoft Active Directory domain in both native and mixed mode. Samba 3.0 provides single sign-on for UNIX ? / Linux ? clients in an Active Directory environment, allowing both servers and clients to transparently use Active Directory as an authentication and account source. Domain trust relationships are fully supported, allowing Samba 3.0 Controlled Domains to integrate easily into any Active Directory environment.

Complete Integration with Windows Security

Samba 3.0 fully implements Kerberos 5 authentication, SMB signing for tamper-proof file serving sessions, and SCHANNEL security for secure remote procedure calls. Samba 3.0 works "out of the box" with the improved security settings of Windows 2003 Domain Controllers.

A Global File and Print Server

As Samba is a global project, internationalization support is an important feature. Samba 3.0 now implements UNICODE character sets on the wire, allowing clients using any character set to connect to a single file server and store names in their native character sets.

Scalable Printing

Samba 3.0 has been tested in production supporting thousands of print queues with tens of thousands of simultaneous print jobs, providing the most scalable Windows printing solution on the market. Samba 3.0 fully supports the Windows "point-and-print" driver download feature, allowing Samba 3.0 to provide a transparent Windows printing experience.

Comprehensive Documentation

Samba 3.0 ships with the second edition of "Using Samba" by Jay Ts, Robert Eckstein, and David Collier-Brown (OiReilly & Associates ?). Many thanks to the authors and publisher for making "Using Samba" available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

In addition, the Samba HOWTO documentation collection has been updated and improved by John H. Terpstra, Jelmer R. Vernooij and others. As well being freely available in the Samba 3.0 release it will be released in a forthcoming book, "The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide", to be published by Prentice Hall ?.

Stop by Samba.org and learn more about Samba and the enhancements in this update.

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