Q

Is Samba a stable PDC?

How stable is the new Samba package in regards to it acting as primary domain controller (PDC) in a Windows environment? I know of sites that have been using Samba as a domain controller since Samba-2.0.0 was released. The largest site I know of has 800 Microsoft Windows NT 4 clients. Coming to think of it, they are still running Samba-2.2.2 and have not seen any compelling reason to update. The current stable release is Samba-2.2.7a,...

with 2.2.8 due out within a few weeks. I suspect that 2.2.8 will likely be the last 2.2.x release.

Samba-3.0.0 is due out around April this year. It has the ability to use Kerberos and can join a native Active Directory security context. Samba-3.0.0 also provides new migration tools from NT4 style domains to a Samba environment. It has a new multiple back-end ability that means you can mix a Samba tdb based SAM (Security Account Manager) database, with an LDAP back-end, etc.

Samba-2.2.x can act as a "primary' domain controller, as well as as a "fallback" domain controller. I do not like to call it a "back-up" domain controller (BDC) as it functions quite differently from an NT4 BDC.

Samba cannot at this time act as a BDC to an NT4 PDC, or vica versa. The domain control technology has been very stable for at least two years now.

This was first published in March 2003

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