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25 March 2011, 10:54

Apple removes Samba from Mac OS X 10.7 Server

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Apple Logo Apple has reportedly removed the free software SMB server Samba from the next version of Mac OS X, 10.7 aka Lion. SMB, Server Message Block, is also known as Windows File Sharing. The change was noted by AppleInsider who claim that Apple have also internally announced the replacement of the Samba server software with Windows networking software which the company has developed itself.

The replacement, apparently named SMBX, supports SMB1 and SMB2; the version of Samba Apple were using only supported SMB1 and required configuration changes to work with Windows 7 systems. The new software is believed to lack support for NT Domain Controller based configurations. The predecessor to Active Directory is used in some systems because it is comparatively simple; Apple is believed to be recommending users move to Active Directory for their Windows network directory services.

The report also says that Apple is removing Samba because the GPLv3 licence it is under "prevents Apple from realistically using the software commercially". Samba developer Jeremy Allison disagrees that it is anything to do with the GPLv3, noting that Apple has "been moving away from the GPL in all its forms", and that "they just got around to us". Allison also clarified that the Samba software was used to only provide Windows file sharing in the Server version of Mac OS X. Apple already have their own SMB client for Mac called smbfs which is open source code released as part of Darwin. "I know the engineers who write it, and they're really good and have been working on it for a while" said Allison.

Whether Apple plans to open source its new SMB server is unclear.


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