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10 June 2011, 11:52

Samba 3.6.0 approaching: second release candidate now available

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Samba, the free software implementation of Microsoft's SMB protocol, is nearing a release of version 3.6 as a second release candidate is made available. Samba 3.6 features SMB2 support. SMB2 is the version of the protocol used by Vista, while SMB2.1 is used by Windows 7. This will be the first release where the developers consider the SMB2 protocol implementation to be fully featured, but it will not be enabled by default. The developers hope that users will enable it and test it and once they have sufficient confirmation that it is stable they will enable it in a future release.

3.6 will also see rewritten spooling and printing code, and a new SMB traffic analyser added to the system. A new NFS quota backend for Linux, based on the existing Solaris/FreeBSD version, will allow Samba to send correct disk-free information for samba shares of nfs imported directories. Microsoft's reliance on using endpoint mapping – described as "like a DNS server for ports" – has led the developers to add their own endpoint mapper, though this too, like SMB2, will be deactivated by default as it needs more testing. Security defaults have also been improved with, among other changes, NTLM authentication turned off when operating as a client.

Details of the changes made are available in the release notes. The release candidate is explicitly for testing purposes only and the developers request that users report any bugs that they find. Source code is available to download(direct download, GPG signature). Samba is released on a "when it is ready" model, so no date has been announced for when the final version of 3.6 will be released. Samba is licensed under the GPLv3. The current stable version, 3.5.8, is also available.


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