Samba 4 storage on the network

Building Bridges

© Lead Image © Jens Stolt,

© Lead Image © Jens Stolt,

Article from Issue 162/2014

Since the release of the final version, Samba 4 has become increasingly significant in IT practice; now it has found its way into Jessie, the next Debian release. We take a look at the new features.

When Samba 3 was released in 2003, it consisted of three services: the file server smbd, the name server nmbd, and the authentication server winbind. In their interaction with the rest of the system, these three services provided a file service and an NT4 domain controller.

The development of Samba 4 [1] completely changed this structure. Samba 4's support for an Active Directory domain means that it needs to provide a wider range of services: Classic NETBIOS name resolution was superseded by DNS, authentication was centralized using Kerberos, and centralized data storage was implemented via LDAP – only the file server remained the same, with changes to match the new structure.

For the first time, it's now possible to use Samba 4 to map a full Windows domain structure on Linux. The Debian Samba packages offer this possibility and prompt you at install time to decide the role the system will play on your network. I provisioned four systems in the lab: a virtual machine as a domain controller (Debian Jessie [2]), an openATTIC system [3] as a domain member (Debian Jessie), and two Windows clients as domain members (Windows 7/8).


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