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01 August 2011, 11:20

Netatalk returns to open source

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Netatalk logo NetAFP, the Netatalk developers, have announced that they are to resume open development of Netatalk and have updated the project's git repository with the latest source. In early July, NetAFP, the Netatalk developers, announced they were only making the source code for Netatalk 2.2.0 available to paying customers. The timing of the move was well chosen as, within weeks of that, Apple released its latest version of Mac OS X, Lion, which uses AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) 3.3. The latest version of AFP mandates support for Replay Cache functionality and this feature is also required by Lion's Time Machine.

The impact of this was that, as Apple's new operating system arrived, a number of NAS makers who used Netatalk but didn't have access to Netatalk 2.2.0 – which implements AFP 3.3 – found their hardware would not work with Lion's Time Machine. Others, like Netgear, who are paying customers of NetAFP, had appropriate updates for their NAS equipment.

This may well have focused the other NAS makers' thinking; a week ago, the NetAFP developers published a supplement to their original letter saying "Thanks to the new commitment of Data Robotics, Western Digital Corporation and QNAP, there’s hope!" – there was no word on the position of other well-known NAS makers such as Synology or Theceus. The NetAFP team announced that they would be reopening development and placed the latest code on their Sourceforge git repository. In recent days, a Netatalk 2.2.0 tarball has also become available.


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