Samba, the ubiquitous suite of protocols and utilities for Linux, BSD and others that allow communication with Windows computers and the use of the SMB and CIFS protocols, has a feature-laden preview available
. Version 4.0 of this software will support some very advanced features, such as emulating Active Directory (Microsoft's basis for Windows networking in Server 2000/2003 environments) ID management, authentication, enhanced LDAP support and more. While to a lot of home users this is mostly irrelevant, this is huge news for people using non-Windows operating systems in workplace.
"Samba 4 supports the server-side of the Active Directory logon environment used by Windows 2000 and later, so we can do full domain join and domain logon operations with these clients," the group said in a statement on its Web site, noting this feature was "the main emphasis" for the new software.
Though Samba supports authentication to a domain currently, it doesn't support many of those newer AD features that are integral to many companies networks. This update brings much of those features along. You now have many of the capabilities of a Windows Server 2003 OS in a single software suite, a good selling point. Potentially, this will lead to more and easier integration of Linux/BSD into the workplace.