2-3+4+7+0=10 | SUSE Communities



This equation can be considered mathematically correct. But it also demonstrates how one can easily improve Interoperability between SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 and Windows 7 Active Directory.


With Windows 7, Microsoft not only changed their naming scheme once again (remember Windows 2000, 2008, XP and Vista?), they also added enhanced authentication mechanisms to Active Directory.

3.(0|2) ≅ (2|3)

Up to and including Samba 3.0, Samba has been licensed under the GPLv2. But with the release of Samba 3.2, the software is now licensed under the GPLv3.


Package licenses in SUSE Linux Enterprise do not change during the lifecycle of a major release. Our customers and partners demand that we keep this rule. Looking at our current releases:

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 was released before GPLv3 was available; thus it ships with Samba 3.0, and hundreds of tools and packages licensed under the GPLv2 (and other licenses).
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 ships with packages under both (L)GPLv2 and (L)GPLv3, (e.g. Samba 3.4) among other licenses.


Unfortunately, older versions of Samba 3 (3.0 and before) do not work with the authentication mechanism in Windows 7 and will fail. Workarounds exist, but Windows administrators do not like them and are hesitant to apply this type of backward compatibility. And I don’t blame them!


Have you heard about Samba 4? It has great authentication features, which can easily work together with Windows 7 and its Active Directory implementation. The problem is, Samba 4 has not yet been released.


Luckily, however, the Samba project team devised a way to leverage some of the capabilities of Samba 4 in a Samba 3 environment. While the code is not intermixed, they support a combined build, which enables Samba 3 and Samba 4 to share some of the same infrastructure components and gain better Windows 7 integration. This is called — no, not Samba 7 — Samba 3.4.

3+4 != 10

Reading the above, it may not be apparent that there exists a direct way to provide full Interoperability between SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 and Windows 7 Active Directory. But certainly, you’d expect us to find a way. Wouldn’t you?


And we did. Our solution is to provide two Samba versions: Samba 3.0 with SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, and a newer Samba version (e.g. Samba 3.4) independently of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, but “ready to be used” with it. Starting in December 2010, we began offering separate update channels on the Novell Customer Center: “SLES10-GPLv3-Extras” for the Server and “SLED10-GPLv3-Extras” for the Desktop respectively. These channels contain the same Samba versions which were shipped in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 1, recompiled and appropriately packaged for SUSE Linux Enterprise 10. The YaST2 Samba modules (both client and server) have been adopted and updated to work with either Samba version (e.g. 3.0 and 3.4).


Here are 5 recommended steps to install the latest Samba version on your SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 System:

  1. We assume the system already is registered with NCC
  2. rug sub SLES10-GPLv3-Extras # register new channel
  3. rug ref # refresh
  4. rug in samba-gplv3 # install the GPLv3 Samba
  5. Enjoy!

For more information see also Novell TID 7007836.

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  • Avatar photo geoffc says:

    I like your approach. Very clever.

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