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02 July 2008, 11:14

Samba 3.2 - the free file and print server - is released

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The development team behind Samba has released version 3.2 of its free file and print server, which for the first time is licensed under GPLv3. The new version of the CIFS implementation has been given a thorough overhaul. With revised internal memory management, Samba 3.2 should be less memory hungry that its predecessors, but may be susceptible to bad malloc implementations on some platforms.

The clean up work also means that length restrictions for internal paths have been removed. Samba has also been modularised – in the long term, the developers plan to convert the huge clump of code into a number of different libraries. The first step has been taken with the libnetapi library, which controls domain memberships.

With version 3.2, Samba now officially supports operating file servers as clusters. To achieve this, the developers have implemented a new cluster-capable version of Samba's internal database (Trivial Database, TDB), CTDB. However a distributed file system such as Sun's Lustre, IBM's GPFS or Red Hat's GFS is required for cluster operation.

The development team has of course also improved compatibility with current Microsoft clients and servers, i.e. Vista with Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008. Samba can now encrypt connections in a pure Unix environment. The introduction of a registry-like configuration system in place of a text file should help Samba appliance suppliers.

Samba 3.2 is the first version to be released by Samba's new release manager Karolin Seeger, who has been seconded to the position by Göttingen based SerNet GmbH. Source code can as usual be downloaded from Samba's mirror servers. Compiled packages for distributions should be available within a few days.


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