Notes from SambaXP 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hello, I’m Jeremy Allison, a Google engineer in the Open Source Programs Office and a Samba Team member. I recently returned from SambaXP, the annual Samba Team coding bash and get-together in Göttingen, Germany, held from May 5th - 7th. There were several notable outcomes from the conference, which I’ll share here.

We launched the new look for the web site at the conference, refreshing the Samba web site with a 21st Century design.

We listened to many presentations, had lots of meetings, and drank fine German beer. I gave a presentation on "How to make a product with Samba," (PDF of slides) aimed at helping companies use Samba in commercial products.

The Microsoft engineers who are working on the SMB (Server Message Block) and SMB2 file-sharing network protocols are Samba Team friends and they returned to the conference this year - in fact, Tom Talpey from Microsoft announced a new project to design UNIX extensions for the SMB2 protocol.

The Samba Team is still making great strides on the next release of Samba, Samba4. Samba creator Dr. Andrew Tridgell from IBM (just to be formal for once... everyone still just calls him "tridge") demonstrated two-way replication between a Microsoft Active Directory domain and a Samba4 Domain. There is still much work to be done on the AD domain controller code, but there is starting to be light visible at the end of the tunnel in getting to a "stable" 4.0 release. Maybe by SambaXP next year there will be an exciting new announcement on this subject.

After consultations with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Linux distributions, the Samba Team decided to move to a nine month period between major Samba releases instead of the previous six month release cycle. The strain of keeping to the six monthly cycle was too great on the release process, and nine months should give a better balance between having time for feature development and time for testing of the Samba production release code.

Plans for the merging of the existing file server (smbd) and authentication daemon code (winbindd) with the Active Directory code (samba) were made, and tridge demonstrated Samba4 printing for the first time.

Günther Deschner from Red Hat won the "Code Janitor of the Year" award yet again, for his clean up of the old printing code, and was only just beaten to the post as the top code commit contributor into Samba by Stefan "the Machine" Metzmacher from SerNet.

John Terpstra of Primastasys announced the clean up of the support page as part of the new look for the web site. John will be ensuring all companies offering Samba support on the site are kept up to date for users to contact.

Thanks to Google for sponsoring the event, and SerNet for hosting. The slides from all the presentations are available here. If you didn't go, you were missed - and you should certainly make an effort to be there next year!

By Jeremy Allison, Open Source Team