Changing from a Samba classic domain to Samba 4

Upgrade or Wait

Article from Issue 191/2016

Samba 4 has been around for more than three years, but some users still shy from it. If you are still sitting on the fence, this tour through some of the new features and capabilities might help you decide whether it is finally time to upgrade.

Samba [1] is the tool of choice for providing Windows-like file and print sharing services on a Linux server. If you only need basic file and print services, switching to Samba 4 it not worth the effort because the new Samba is not so much different. Samba 4 still contains the smbd, nmbd, and winbindd components, although it also has the samba service on-board, which Samba needs for the new features. You will also find some limitations. For instance, Samba 4 reduces access to TDBs (trivial databases) to a minimum.

But, if you use Samba in a classic Windows NT4 domain setting, and if you are willing to delve more deeply into the Windows world, some of the new Samba 4 features might come in handy.

What's New?

The main feature of Samba 4 is the possibility of using a Samba server as a full-fledged replacement for a Windows AD domain controller. Samba 4 supports Windows environments as of Windows 2000.


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