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New and improved Samba file server released

Do you have a network-attached storage (NAS) device holding your accounts payable, document archives, or just your baby photos? If so, you’re running Samba, the open-source file and print server.

Now, with the Samba 4.6 release, the program has been given a significant upgrade.

Samba Logo

Samba, the open-source Linux/Unix file server has gotten a major update.

Samba is also often used in Linux and Unix servers to provide Server Message Block (SMB) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) file access to Windows and macOS computers. With its support for Active Directory (AD), it’s often used in enterprise networks as well as home and small businesses.

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The Raspberry Pi has found its way in to the hobbyist market for computing, but it is also very capable for other business and personal use as well. An extremely low power draw, small form factor, no noise, solid state storage, and other features make it an attractive solution for a small and lightweight server.

The Samba 4.6 release new features include:

Greater Kerberos client encryption type support: With this Samba’s winbindd can enforce strong or legacy encryption in Kerberos authentication exchanges. This enables Windows systems on networks still using Windows Server 2003R2 and newer Domain Controller (DC) Kerberos authentication systems to login into Samba servers.

Improved Windows 10 printer support: You will now be able to use printer drivers from Windows 10 to Samba-attached printers. The Samba programmers are working on implementing the Microsoft Print System Asynchronous Remote Protocol (MS-PAR). Until then, from your Windows PC’s view point, the Samba server will look like Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2.

AD Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and replication performance improvements: Samba’s LDB — the database holding the AD directory tree, as seen via LDAP — and Samba’s Directory Replication Service (DRS) remote protocol has been given significant performance enhancements. This speeds up AD DC replications. With poorly indexed object searches, other improvements will speed up these searches by 20 percent.

Group membership: Now, when a user logs in to a Samba server, the domain controller correctly calculates the user’s group memberships. Samba can also now assign users to use other groups besides the Windows primary group as their primary group.

What all this means is that Samba servers will fit better into Windows networks. It also means administrators and users will get better access to file and printer resources on both Windows and Linux/Samba servers.

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