×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Windows Server Trusts Samba4 Active Directory

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the honey-it's-not-that-you-don't-trust-me dept.

Networking 182

Darren Ginter writes "A group of Samba v4 developers recently spent a week in Redmond to work with Microsoft on Active Directory interoperability(?!). The result? Windows Server will now join, trust and replicate a Samba-based Active Directory using Microsoft-native protocols. Although Samba v4 is still in the alpha stages, this is a huge step for open source. Or it could be a trap."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

182 comments

IT'S A TRAP !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705087)

Haven't I learned you nothing?

Trap? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705125)

Proabably not. If Microsoft helped, then they'd have unclean hands.

Of course it's a trap (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705133)

But the supreme court may void software patents, so it might not spring.

Re:Of course it's a trap (3, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705247)

And then - "Who do you trust and who do you serve?" [notnews.org].

Anyway - you can't be too sure about anything these days, but if Microsoft doesn't cooperate they will have an even lower respect from the open source community than they have today.

In the end Microsoft are probably needing this cooperation.

Re:Of course it's a trap (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705401)

And the DOJ might enforce the antitrust ruling against MS... I am sorry but I think that there is little chance that SCOTUS will do that right thing here.

Re:Of course it's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705795)

And don't forget the small area of The Rest Of The World who doesn't care a crap about American patents. Thank Microsoft for helping Samba devs!

When in doubt, it's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705139)

As any good /b/tard knows, when in doubt it's always a trap [encycloped...matica.com]

Oh, great (5, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705155)

Windows Server will now join, trust and replicate a Samba-based Active Directory using Microsoft-native protocols.

Now I have to get ready for the 4 horsemen, rain of fire and the end of time.

Re:Oh, great (4, Funny)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705171)

...might I also recommend heating up a pot of chocolate fondue in preparation for the locust swarm?

Re:Oh, great (3, Funny)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705359)

In related news, this winter is set for record lows in Hell. Frost is being expected for the first time ever.

Re:Oh, great (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705481)

Hell [wikipedia.org] freezes over annually.

Among English-speaking tourists, one of those popular Norwegian postcards depicted the station with a heavy frost on the ground. The visual joke was that the picture showed "Hell frozen over", though there was no caption to make the point. Temperatures in Hell can reach -20 C during winter.

Re:Oh, great (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705361)

Cocksucker

Re:Oh, great (1)

toopok4k3 (809683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705513)

And here I was thinking we were saved after they announced Duke Nukem: Forever being cancelled...

Re:Oh, great (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706003)

And here I was thinking we were saved after they announced Duke Nukem: Forever being cancelled...

Wait, what?? I never got that memo...

Re:Oh, great (0, Flamebait)

Narpak (961733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705715)

Windows Server will now join, trust and replicate a Samba-based Active Directory using Microsoft-native protocols. then blame all problems on Samba/Linux/OpenSource/Liberals

Fixed that for you.

Re:Oh, great (3, Insightful)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706125)

Can this in any way be related back to the fifth horseman: the EU competition regulators that demanded interoperability from Microsoft?

Re:Oh, great (2, Informative)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706535)

That was actually my first thought. The biggest reason I really don't think MS will submarine .Net/mono is because they haven't pushed back on Samba or WINE for this long. With this, I'm actually pretty comfortable with it.

It is probably a result of the interoperability push from the EU, especially considering the Samba guys were the ones that didn't capitulate to MS when the EU anti-trust trials were proceeding.

It's a nice story... (5, Interesting)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705159)

...and good to know the hard working Samba team came away from Redmond feeling positive about the progress that was made. I don't think it's an earth moving change in the relationship between MS and the free world, but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Re:It's a nice story... (4, Interesting)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705219)

I don't think it's an earth moving change in the relationship between MS and the free world, but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye.

I'll breathe easier if this doesn't result in legal trouble for Linux distributions and the *BSDs down the road. MS has a long, long way to go before I could ever trust them to do something with the open source community for any purpose other than to, eventually, obliterate it as a threat.

Publicly recanting the Halloween Documents, and particularly "embrace, extend, and extinguish" would be a start, if only a start.

OK, it's an MS-created protocol anyway, but I'm still very suspicious about MS management's ultimate motives in allowing this collaboration to take place.

Re:It's a nice story... (5, Insightful)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705345)

I'm kind of surprised you don't get what's going on here. MS sees a way to make money from open source. I doubt they'll trumpet that from the rooftops, but I think it's exactly what's happening lately. This will be a selling point for Server 2008 and another reason for MS customers to upgrade from Sever 2003 to 2008. So this potentially has the ability to increase upgrade sales to existing customers and provide possible sales to new multi-platform customers.

Everyone is so worried about the MS of 10 years ago that I think they're missing the dynamic now. Free and/or Open Source software and platforms aren't going away. If you can't make your competition leave then you might as well capitalize on them and make money. MS has far more to gain from interoperability with Linux, BSD, and other open source platforms than they do from not working together (it's just taking a long time for the boardroom to move it in that direction). FOSS on the other hand has far less to gain, in my opinion, by working together and everything to gain by not making things work together since the main business model of FOSS is support service oriented.

I think what we're seeing with this and their VM offering is to make themselves a viable player with Linux in the server arena.

Re:It's a nice story... (2, Insightful)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705455)

I'm kind of surprised you don't get what's going on here. MS sees a way to make money from open source.

Get back to me in five years, and we'll see how this plays out. I'd love to see MS back away from its old policies, but they actually need to do it before I'll give them credit for it.

Re:It's a nice story... (5, Insightful)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705703)

I think the point here is that Microsoft's behavior is being driven by the market. The market is clearly saying that they like a lot of the FOSS solutions. If Microsoft tries to pretend like these solutions does not exist, then they will allow a software ecosystem to develop in which they have no influence. A dominant player simply cannot allow that to happen.

In the case of FOSS, there is no way to bankrupt or buyout the competition. They still try to compete with marketing FUD, but it is obvious that that is only good for trying to slow the growth of FOSS.

This isn't about Microsoft turning over a new leaf. The real story is that market acceptance of FOSS solutions has grown to the point where none of the major players (including Microsoft) can afford to ignore it. For someone like me who has used Linux seriously for 15 years, seeing this kind of growth and acceptance is amazing. Linux used to be ignored, but now it is respected.

Re:It's a nice story... (4, Insightful)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705801)

In the case of FOSS, there is no way to bankrupt or buyout the competition. They still try to compete with marketing FUD, but it is obvious that that is only good for trying to slow the growth of FOSS.

That leaves the legal route, and that's what I'm worried may be employed here down the road. I hope the Samba developers obtained a rock-solid agreement allowing them to use the results of the collaboration in the Samba project, now and in the future. I'm concerned that the company may attempt, without the knowledge of the MS developers who probably had a blast doing this, to argue that anything in Samba4 written after this project having to do with AD interoperability is covered by patents relating to AD, or that it descends from MS intellectual property accessed while they were at Redmond, etc. IIRC, one of the Linux NTFS coders had to refrain from working on the functionality for some time after working at Microsoft due to contract stipulations, slowing the development of stable write capability (this was years ago, so I could be way off here).

I can see how this is a possible sign of a culture change at Microsoft (and for that company's sake, I hope the EEE culture is withering away), but I can also see a few ways this could go horribly wrong based on the company's past behaviour. Their future behaviour will determine whether this was a good idea, and that's why I remain skeptical.

Re:It's a nice story... (1)

hedrick (701605) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706443)

You're thinking of copyright. Patent doesn't have to do with whether MS cooperated in developing the code. It (unconstitutionally) controls the use of ideas, not expression. Using cleanroom techniques don't help. However if MS help allowed more advanced AD concepts to be used in Samba, it might make it more likely that they could be accused of infringing a patent.

Re:It's a nice story... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706641)

Patents cover inventions, not ideas or concepts.

Abstract ideas/concepts aren't subject to any protections

Re:It's a nice story... (1)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705789)

I think it will be important to watch and see what happens over the next 5 years. One big area, after interoperability, where I think they will have to step up their game will be consistency. There have been a few really cool ideas MS has come up with but after their initial burst of enthusiasm they just let them die with no graceful transition. Their current Live Services are neat, but I'm pretty apprehensive they will continue to support all of those features beyond Hotmail and Calendar or at least provide a good transition from them to newer technologies. This is one of my biggest gripes with close proprietary systems because the user community can't do much if anything at all.

We'll have to see how their commitment to Samba pans out in the longer run. If they see the potential revenue stream go away then I could see them leaving everyone hanging.

Re:It's a nice story... (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706151)

Samba won't be production ready for a while yet so server 2008 isn't compatible with anything right now. Right now what they can say is that if you deploy Server 2008 now when Samba 4 comes out of testing you will be able to... replace your 2008 servers with it?

Re:It's a nice story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29706193)

NO u dont get it.

"FOSS on the other hand has far less to gain, in my opinion, by working together and everything to gain by not making things work together since the main business model of FOSS is support service oriented."

Say it with me, folks... (-1, Troll)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705165)

Embrace, extend, and extinguish.

Re:Say it with me, folks... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705307)

Are you saying the Samba folks are trying to EEE Windows server?

I look forward... (2, Interesting)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705183)

to being able to implement this at home and at work to word towards replacing Windows Server 2003.

Re:I look forward... (4, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705311)

to being able to implement this at home and at work to word towards replacing Windows Server 2003.

For home or small office use, this [snia.org] might be an interesting read. It's the slideshow from Kai Blin's Samba ARMed and Ready: Running an Active Directory DC on 2 Watts talk on an embedded Samba4 DC.

Re:I look forward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29706059)

Obama: "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." Except for those being robbed.

Add to end, "Its not robbery to take back whats yours to start with".

Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705211)

Alright, I must be missing something obvious here, but I fail to see how this could turn out to be a trap ?

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (4, Interesting)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705399)

Folks interested in saving a buck will start using Samba servers to either completely host or participate in Active Directory domains. The trap or catch will come further down the road when Microsoft patches something that breaks the functionality, at which point Microsoft will simply state that if you wanted something reliable you should have used genuine Windows servers. Don't believe me? The samba project is already rife with examples of this. Didn't we see Samba choke when enterprises tightening up security disabled ntlmv1?

I seriously doubt Samba-based AD servers will be fully functional anyway, just like Samba emulating an NT4 domain was just barely functional. Microsoft helped them figure out how to use the native Microsoft protocols to replicate the AD database instead of having to rely on the semi-functional openldap hack they had been using (actually be be more accurate, MS confirmed and correct their reverse engineering of the protocols).

Being able to replicating the AD database/ldap and form working trusts does not make Samba a good substitute for AD. It simply gives it an ability to co-exist with a real AD infrastructure. GPOs and most of the other desirable features of Active Directory are not implemented in Samba. Big businesses will still use MS boxes to ensure all the features work and its stable, since the cost of the software is not the driving factor.

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705555)

The trap or catch will come further down the road when Microsoft patches something that breaks the functionality, at which point Microsoft will simply state that if you wanted something reliable you should have used genuine Windows servers. Don't believe me? The samba project is already rife with examples of this. Didn't we see Samba choke when enterprises tightening up security disabled ntlmv1?

So in essence, the 'trap' here is, when Microsoft decides to stop supporting some aging and long surpassed (version of a) protocol, and make a long-time existing (version of a) protocol the default, that just hasn't been implemented in Samba yet ? Well only the really paranoid would consider calling that a 'trap', all others would call it 'poor interoperability'.

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705987)

http://wiki.samba.org/index.php/Samba4/HOWTO#Implementing_Group_Policy_.28GPO.29_into_samba_4_domain says that GPOs are

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706013)

"I seriously doubt Samba-based AD servers will be fully functional anyway, just like Samba emulating an NT4 domain was just barely functional. "

???

Samba3 emulated Windows DC just fine. In fact, it sometimes worked even better than the Windows Server (particularly, in Win9x interoperability).

Samba4 can already be used to replace AD, and it could already replicate its database using stock OpenLDAP replication support.

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (1, Troll)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706285)

Samba 3 emulated the archaic NT4 domain and later scabbed on support for Kerberos and emulating a Win2k domain. It never fully implemented all the little features and protocols, but it was essentially functional. I could never get NTLMv2 to work consistently, and it broke several times after Microsoft patches. Management frequently required command-line work. I gave up even trying to get pki or integration with Exchange to work. Forget even trying to get file permissions to work seamlessly, including letting your users set granular file permissions.

From a business perspective, you can either pony up the money to buy the MS product and not worry whether it will work consistently, or you pay it in the long run with higher labor maintaining a Linux based solution that is guaranteed to have some speedbumps down the road..

Yes, Samba4 can emulate an AD server, if you don't mind having to maintain two sets of user and group accounts. Samba4 still requires either usermapping, or managing the linux users and groups separately. It simply lacks the nice seamless integration of AD, and does not fully implement GPOs inheritances, etc.

If you read the article, you'd see they barely got it to the point where a Win2008 server would talk to it enough to join the domain (not just replicate the LDAP database). That's a far cry full full interoperability.

If you want to go Linux simply because you don't like Microsoft, or think you might save money in the long runs (doubt it), then Samba is an option. It works fine for many uses. Just don't expect to have all of the features of a true AD server or guaranteed long term compatibility with Microsoft servers. Personally, I would never try to mix the two in a corp environment as it only takes one issue to kill the entire AD and I wouldn't want my ass being out there taking the blame for introducing the Linux box that was responsible.

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706595)

I think a lot of this level of interoperability is to give MS a beach-head into Linux/FOSS shops. Where a given company's servers are already *nix based, but they may want to use a product that requires a Windows Server. This would allow for MS to sell a Windows Server license, they otherwise wouldn't, as without this interoperability it may not even be a consideration.

I've worked at a few places that have both MS and Linux services that interoperate, having Samba4 as an option would have been far better than what was put in place to replicate account management. One of the places is using OpenLDAP as their primary directory structure, and the other is using AD as their primary. Neither is nearly as seamless as allowing for Samba to be the primary, and have Windows servers on the Samba domain.

It's all about MS being able to keep market share as more and more sites move significant portions of their infrastructure to Linux based servers.

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (1)

lamapper (1343009) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706351)

Thank you for pointing that out Cyberax, I have heard of sys admins supporting in excess of 10,000 user and 100,000 users using Samba and not Active Directory. They know AD is a trap to be avoided, but at the same time they have groups with Windows Desktops to support in addition to Unix, Linux and Macintosh desktops. Samba has long been the preferred choice for truly open mixed environments. It always rubs me the wrong way when someone either does not know (possible) or is a shill (more likely) for Microsoft and states things like that. As an intelligent IT Director I would never put in AD in my environment. Of course I would not waste money on IIs licenses either when Linux and Unix servers do more better for less. Total Cost of Ownership will always be lower with Linux. Samba based AD servers work just fine and have for years. To say otherwise is a prime example of FUD!

Re:Just Don't See How This Could Be A 'Trap' (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706253)

You are incorrect. GPOs have been implemented in Samba 4 and they have been there for a while. Why not try to do some more homework? It is basically or will be capable of completely replacing Windows as a Domain Controller. If you are a Windows centric shop, this is some cost savings but you would still use Windows for hosting other Microsoft technologies like Sharepoint. Samba's goal was always to be a file/print server. Now they are adding the basic and important management features of AD. Samba's work makes it possible to build a mini domain controller in a low power appliance for use in a branch small branch office or something of that nature.

A question of trust (1, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705251)

"Microsoft Windows" and "trust", do those two even go together?

Re:A question of trust (5, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705283)

"Microsoft Windows" and "trust", do those two even go together?

only when joined together with the word 'anti'.

Re:A question of trust (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705691)

I was going to ask why MS would be anti-Windows, but then I remembered, Balmer wants to fsking destroy all windows, with which he wages the fight with chairs...

Re:A question of trust (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705357)

Wowsers, if Microsoft is so untrustworthy then why do so many free people around the world make a voluntary choice to purchase their products?

Re:A question of trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705457)

Because there is no magic in majorities - anyone who looks around him/her will find that intelligent and informed people are few and far between.

Re:A question of trust (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705965)

The Ubuntu community being one of the best examples of this.

Re:A question of trust (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705657)

Popularity != trustworthiness, particularly regarding a company with a long, well-documented history of anticompetitive practices and protocol-busting behaviour.

I'm amazed so many people are willing to trust MS management's motives so easily. Maybe after they've gone a few years working with outside, even open-source developers, without pulling any technological or legal stunts to later eliminate those projects, will I be prepared to look kindly upon any effort involving MS.

Perhaps I'm just paranoid, or maybe I'm just the result of a company's past poor products and bad behaviour. It's up to that company to regain a semblance of trust from me.

Re:A question of trust (2, Insightful)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705941)

I have to disagree with your statement about popularity. If the majority of people didn't trust MS they wouldn't keep deploying it. That means that MS hasn't violated the trust of the majority and quite frankly, no one can please everyone.

While I agree that Microsoft shouldn't be trusted I understand that the majority of businesses out there do trust MS and only use basic functionality which in the Windows world simply works. Those of us that try to do unique things run into problems so we like flexible solutions so we ended trying alternatives and become Linux users. I think you would be hard pressed to come up with protocol busting behavior from MS beyond that of IE functionality which at the time all browsers were doing. Remember Netscape 4 and the lovely behavior it gave us? MS was just playing following the leader and since they had a nice install base surprise surprise, they came out on top. NTLM v1 was long considered a bad idea and v2 was clearly an improvement from a security standpoint. Could they have made it more interoperable? Probably but how much should they spend on it? At what point does breaking compatibility make the most sense? Apple does it just fine rather routinely and without backlash but MS seems to get blasted as untrustworthy for the exact same behavior so I say the popularity does determine trustworthiness.

people think "PC == Windows" (2, Insightful)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705821)

Even the Mac vs. Windows commercials, they start out "Hi, I'm a Mac," "And I'm a PC." Microsoft has very skillfully indoctrinated the PC-buying public in the USA to believe that Microsoft operating systems are the only thing that will run on an x86-based, non-Macintosh desktop computer.

"Choice" is anathema to Microsoft. Gates, Ballmer, Mundie, et alia want Windows on every PC in the world, and they are willing to use every means, legal or otherwise, to convince people (especially clueless executives) that there is no other system for a PC. In this, they were very successful for a long time. And, face it, a lot of people tolerate Windows in order to have computers on their desks, but how many actually like it?

Even if Microsoft were to admit openly that PC's can run other OS's, the sheer inertia Windows has today is going to take a while to overcome.

Re:people think "PC == Windows" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29706519)

More than that, free desktops have been able to compete with windows for a little under a decade now. The main advantage of Windows is not the product quality of MS (which I admit is acceptable, except when they put artificial locks in it).

The main advantage of Windows is support from third parties, software and hardware. It is not that Windows supports all hardware, but that all hardware supports Windows. Ditto for software. Linux now supports most hardware, often even when the hardware maker didn't even produce a Linux driver.

The jump from a Windows dominated world to a Linux dominated world only depends on inertia now. Si I can see why MS is worried and cooperating now.

How ever the way they have acted recently about patents indicates me that they *still* want to fight the legal route, MS isn't ready to compete on features yet.

Re:A question of trust (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705913)

why do so many free people around the world make a voluntary choice

Same reason politicians get elected!

EC mandate? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705293)

When I saw this article, my first thought was this was something Microsoft was doing just to show the EU that they would work on outside "vendors" to get them to work with their protocols.

Vendors is in quotes, as an open source project team really isn't a vendor.

Re:EC mandate? (3, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705543)

Vendors is in quotes, as an open source project team really isn't a vendor.

True, but it also gives Microsoft the most bang for their buck, since by working with Samba developers, the information gets out there for everyone to see. If I'm not mistaken, Microsoft requires you to pay for their documentation. Samba's interoperability is documentation in a real sense (and source code is almost always better documentation than something that a technical writer came up with), and this lowers the barrier to getting that information. I think that the EU will view this favorably, which is probably why Microsoft is doing this.

As a side note-- my gut feeling is that nowadays, Microsoft's closed-off protocols are a hindrance to them. At this point in the game, the lock-in is well-known and I think that works against Microsoft with many sysadmins planning new deployments. If, on the other hand, there is a large and open software ecosystem, sysadmins will look on Microsoft products more favorably. E.g., Exchange is quite full-featured as a groupware platform, relatively scalable, and fairly easy to use, but lock-in, cost, and infrastructure requirements are problems. But if someone can set up a Samba4 AD and run Exchange on top of it-- or even better, the other way around-- now we're talking. Microsoft's attitude up to this point, though, has made many people (me included) simply work to ditch the existing Microsoft software we use.

How many years has Samba4 been in development now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705329)

Three years ? Four ? Longer ? And only just *now* have they been able to get Windows Server to join, trust and replicate to a Samba-based Active Directory ? *And* it took them help from Microsoft in order to do it ? This is not a trap, this is Microsoft taking pitty on the Samba4 project...

Re:How many years has Samba4 been in development n (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705421)

I think you mean "this is a sterling example of how poorly documented and understood, even within Microsoft, Windows behavior is".

Microsoft had to dig into Windows kernel source to figure out why Windows didn't like what Samba was doing. How the hell was the Samba team supposed to figure it out from specs?

This is why the OOXML spec is six and a half thousand pages long and even then parts of it still read, simply, "do what Excel does here".

Re:How many years has Samba4 been in development n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705695)

"this is a sterling example of how poorly documented and understood, even within Microsoft, Windows behavior is". Microsoft had to dig into Windows kernel source to figure out why Windows didn't like what Samba was doing.

So what you're basically saying here, is that Microsoft is not purposefully evil, but rather incompetent (like many shops) at documenting their source code and software behavior ?
Move along, nothing to see here, news at eleven...

Re:How many years has Samba4 been in development n (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706195)

So what you're basically saying here, is that Microsoft is not purposefully evil, but rather incompetent (like many shops) at documenting their source code and software behavior ?

What I'm saying is that this is not evidence of *Samba* being incompetent.

However.

You can't rule out both.

I have in the past said that I wouldn't mind Microsoft being the "Evil Empire" if only they were a *competent* Evil Empire.

Re:How many years has Samba4 been in development n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705969)

Get back to us once you've personally attempted to reverse engineer and implement an undocumented and proprietary protocol.

everyone will always quistion (1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705333)

everyone will always question Microsoft, but i think they've had enough with software patents. i know some of the board members from Microsoft are against Software patents, which is sorta ironic from one of the largest patent trolls in history.

How it's different from Mono? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705379)

Honestly?
They are traitors too, IMO.

Re:How it's different from Mono? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705443)

I agree.
Instead of investing in NFS development, they invest in proprietary stack improvements.

Why can't Microsoft be a business too? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705415)

Guys, you're missing a really big point here: The economics. The server license for Windows 2003 runs from $1,000--3,000. But the Client Access License runs about $40 per client. So the most expensive server license is worth the same as about 75 of these CALs. It's my understanding that if you want to use Linux to connect to a Windows server "legally" you'd have to buy one of those licenses. So even though the Linux server is free, each client still nets them $40 a pop.

But even if all that's wrong, my point is this: The protocols still need a license to be legally used. Microsoft is simply moving away from a revenue stream based on selling software to a revenue stream based on selling licenses.

Re:Why can't Microsoft be a business too? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705635)

And how will they sell licenses to people who download free software anonymously?

Re:Why can't Microsoft be a business too? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705663)

Microsoft is simply moving away from a revenue stream based on selling software to a revenue stream based on selling licenses.

Read the EULA's, that's how they've always operated.

Temperature in hell (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705495)

In other news.. the temperature has reached a record low.

Formerly, the lowest temperature was 6000 degrees fahrenheit

But today, the temperature has dropped to 3500 Kelvins, and shows no signs of increasing any time soon.

Also, forecasters indicate a 0.000 000 01% chance of snow this year, a substantial increase from the normal 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 0000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 0000 000 000 000 12% chance in previous years.

To all the doubters (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705511)

Microsoft have been working with the Samba folks for some time [zdnet.com]. I suspect this is more to shut the EU up than because they really want to, but if that's their purpose then starting to enforce patents against the Samba team would almost certainly be a most efficient foot-shooting exercise.

If I am being perfectly honest, the only frustration (and I'm sure it's got more to do with a lack of resources than a lack of talent - Samba probably needs about four times as many developers who know the protocol backwards and inside out, problem is most of them probably work for Microsoft) is the glacial speed this is all moving at. AD was introduced with Windows 2000, the Samba team have been working on getting Samba 4 out for years and it's still only alpha code. Frankly, only being able to provide something equivalent to an NT4 domain looked quaint four years ago. Today it's downright embarrassing for anyone claiming that F/OSS is functionally equivalent to Active Directory.

(note to F/OSS advocacy trolls: I am well aware that AD is little more than LDAP/Kerberos under the hood. When you compose your flames, perhaps you would be so good as to explain exactly how one can manage a network full of Windows workstations with the level of control AD policies offer using nothing but F/OSS software which has reached a reasonable level of stability. NT4 policies are a pretty lousy substitute.)

Re:To all the doubters (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706243)

>I suspect this is more to shut the EU up than because they really want to

Considering pretty much all IT shops are mixed shops, Im sure every MS rep gets an earful about how about a company with a few linux-based NASs or servers dont integrate with AD. MS is now in the position where it needs to embrace a lot of OSS or their customers will revolt. I suspect the MS of the 90s is behind us. The market is just too diversified and competitive now. Fixing SAMBA is something that should have been done years ago. Hopefully, SAMBA4 will really be headache free.

Re:To all the doubters (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706269)

Hopefully, SAMBA4 will really be headache free.

I believe that is the general idea - AIUI the plan is to replicate AD domain controlling/file/printserving with 100% compatibility.

Whether or not it's achievable this side of 2011 I don't know.

Smack!!!! (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705517)

A trap? MS spent a week of developer time in cooperation with a Linux team for the express purpose of allowing interoperability. This is a level of cooperation that has previously been unheard of in the Linux community, with well publicized lawsuits filed in an attempt to get a hint of cooperation. Microsoft working with the Linux community at this level has previously only been dreamed of.

All this and some idiot has the audacity to think it might be a trap? For goodness sake, be grateful that it was possible at all. When someone finally does the right thing, give them credit and stop coming across as a whiny ungrateful brat.

Re:Smack!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705583)

You can't say Microsoft doesn't deserve it...

Re:Smack!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29705629)

It seems you don't have much knowledge about Microsoft's history. Just because they're hugging OSS right now doesn't mean they're not going to stab them in the back later.

Re:Smack!!!! (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705811)

I have watched a complete lack of microsoft support for open source software for over a decade now. I've seen how people struggled with reverse engineering microsoft's products and struggling even more to do so in a manner that Microsoft can't come back on them for stealing code. I've watched products like Wine for years as they have learned about many undocumented features and bugs the hard way. I was not defending Microsoft, I never said they had a good record. I said they finally started to do the right thing and people should applaud now that they have extended meaningful cooperation to the world beyond windows. In the eyes of someone like Microsoft it comes across as a slap in the face and is the kind of behavior that justifies their lack of cooperation to begin with.

Really? (2, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705659)

A whole week? Here'a a nice memory jogger [theregister.co.uk] for you:

Only summer comes, and the code isn't ready. It isn't ready in the autumn, either, and this starts to play hell with Sendo's budgets. December rolls round, and according to Sendo, bugfixes that carriers have requested are being refused by Microsoft. Sendo is in a cash crisis, and a call to VCs is spurned. So Sendo asks Microsoft for a further cash injection, which is declined:

"Microsoft refused with the full knowledge that this refusal would push Sendo to insolvency", claims Sendo in the filing.

How did it know? Well, meet Marc Brown, who was by now acting in his capacity as a Sendo board member while continuing his day job as the director of Microsoft's corporate development and strategy group.

In the end Microsoft winds up with all of Sendo's cellular phone intellectual property as the company is liquidated:

"They were not entitled to such information under the terms of the SDMA" - the precursor to the February 2001 agreement that the two inked in the fall of 2000.

In fact, this SDMA turns out to have been Sendo's death warrant. As the company explains:

"Under the SDMA, in the event of a Sendo bankruptcy, Microsoft would obtain an irrevocable, royalty free license to use Sendo's Z100 intellectual property, including rights to make, use, or copy the Sendo Smartphone to create other to create other Smartphones and to, most importantly for Microsoft, sublicense those rights to third parties."

So... two years, 12 million dollars and a board member, and it does appear that it was a trap the whole time. To anybody who remembers IBM's partnership with Microsoft on OS/2 this tale will sound familiar. If you dance with the devil, you will pay his fee.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705859)

So a company received money from MS after negotiating and signing an agreement and it's MS's fault that they are going under because they refuse to give them more money.

As far as IBM and MS are concerned, it was always an uncomfortable alliance and it wasn't as if the larger IBM wasn't used to playing hardball in the big leagues.

Besides, it was clear that IBM didn't didn't consider OS/2 to be a priority because they were very quiet in their promotion of it. There had more ads for the PC jr (with its chicklet keyboard) than OS/2.

Re:Smack!!!! (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705885)

MS has put an awful lot of time, effort and money into forging a reputation for generally being The Bad Guy. They're particularly known for their ulterior motives. Given this, I don't think anyone can claim to be surprised when MS do A Good Thing and it's generally viewed as a possible trap. Sure, we can't judge purely on these circumstances, but right now there's not a lot to suggest this is any different from the other times MS has done Good Things.

I hope it's not a trap, I really do want MS to become A Good Guy and for Samba to do AD and all the rest. But there's nothing here to particularly convince me that is the case, so the logical thing to do is assume it's history repeating itself.

This is good news (4, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705741)

back in 1995 I ran a small business that did Linux installs for companies to replace Windows NT Server systems with Linux plus Samba. We used Slackware Linux and then later Red Hat, but it did Windows file and printer sharing for Windows clients and saved those businesses thousands in Windows Server licenses.

But when Active Directory came out, companies switched back to Windows Server, because Linux and Samba lacked that. Exchange can be done via OpenExchange and use MySQL or PostgreSQL instead of SQL Server.

Linux has to match Windows Server feature by feature in order to compete with it, and be used. Linux might never replace Windows on the desktop, but it can replace Windows on the server as Unix and Linux are designed as server operating systems.

Re:This is good news (3, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706025)

... but it can replace Windows on the server as Unix and Linux are designed as server operating systems.

Unix (and by extension Linux) makes for an excellent general purpose operating system. Just because it was developed before desktops and graphical user interfaces doesn't mean that it isn't fully capable for such use any more or less than Windows (which was morphed from DOS). Mac OS X is an example of a very capable desktop operating system built on Unix. A general purpose operating system like Linux is "designed for" whatever people have built on top of it, and desktops running on top of *nix and X11 are not recent occurrences. Nowadays, X11-based desktops are extremely capable, and the development gap between Windows and such desktops has essentially been closed in the minds of many users.

So, let's drop the meme that Linux is designed for servers (thereby implying that it isn't designed for desktops or something). Instead, let's acknowledge that it is a good general purpose operating system which scales well from small devices to servers to desktops, and anything in-between. It just doesn't make sense to continue saying Linux was "designed as a server operating system" when it has really been designed for much more than that.

Re:This is good news (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706147)

Is there an implemented open standard that does what Active Directory does?

Re:This is good news (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706261)

So then, the parent talks about operating systems, and you talk about a protocol, that is used by a server.
There is nothing in AD that cannot be implemented on Unix systems, and for all I know it is being developed as we write.

Re:This is good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29706457)

And it is called Samba?

Re:This is good news (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706299)

Linux is still lacking the smoothness of Windows 7 if we want to compare desktops. I love open source and am generally an advocate of it but open source really excels in the server arena. I have found Linux on the desktop to be cumbersome, slow, and kludgey. Each time I try it, I am met with frustration - some of this may be me, I admit but I am good at troubleshooting things. It feels like when something goes wrong with Network Manager, it is a bear to diagnose and fix. When I post questions after legitimate googling, I get RTFM. What happens when TFM is written poorly?

Re:This is good news (1)

lamapper (1343009) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706487)

No its not, stop spreading FUD! You obviously have not purchased a Linux computer from a Linux vendor (i.e ZaReason, System 76) and run Beryl on it. Vista is lame by comparisons. Windows 7 still is lackluster in comparison.

Smooth, lmao, Any Linux distro (there are many) running Beryl on hardware designed to be open (not proprietary) is real smooth. Looks more professional also. Hey another plus, all that extra memory that Vista (and Windows 7 is just Vista +) operating system eats up; is left available for the applications running on the desktop.

Hint to all: Purchase your hardware from a vendor that knows and builds Linux; you can always run Windows if you want too and down the road when Microsoft stops supporting your operating system and/or Windows applications; you are 100% sure that that hardware will run the next version of Linux; and the next; and the next.

The truth is you do not need Windows or Microsoft anymore, if you want to use them fine, but make sure your hardware is 100% Linux compatible and sleep well at night!

Re:This is good news (1)

dickens (31040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706521)

..Windows (which was morphed from DOS).

or rather imitated DOS with tech from VMS (which they've admittedly taken to undreamed-of heights)

EU, Antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29706101)

Having somesort of competition on this part of the Windows services range is a good thing, the EU have fined MS for antitrust issues before. This is basically a CYA action from MS. Invest some time into this or pay a multimillion euro fine for anti competative behavior...

Not a Trap At All (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706357)

The EU forced open much of the Microsoft protocols in their recent ruling. They forced Microsoft to document everything allowing Samba to do its work with much greater ease then simply trying to reverse engineer. Microsoft did not have to provide material assistance but chose to do so even though the documentation of the protocols met the requirements of the EU ruling. And, while other Slashdotters have noted, it is moving at a glacial pace but still has all the latest active directory features and once Samba 4 exits alpha, it will be really quite a quality product and ahead of its time. No doubt, Redmond might also be curious about Samba 4. They might also see some of the innovations by this small group and get some new ideas. It is an informational exchange.

And the reality.. (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706393)

See, I don't like MS and have my itch with Samba for that reason, but most people that like MS are accustomed to the clicky-pointy interface for AD and will have a hard time to accept Samba just because it is too cryptic.

Or differently speaking, bigger organizations (except govt.) will take this new possibility into account because of the cost reduction potential (they only need a few very bright people to keep this running for a very big, otherwise license expensive infrastructure).

For middle class organizations this won't change much. They swim or sink with the rest of the world.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...