Two men were walking down a dusty road, when one suddenly kicked up a small red stone. It
hurt his toe and lodged in his sandal. He took the stone out and cursed it with a passion
and fury befitting his anguish. The other looked at the stone and said, “This is a garnet.
I can turn that into a precious gem and some day it will make a princess very happy!”
The moral of this tale: Two men, two very different perspectives regarding the same stone.
Like it or not, Samba is like that stone. Treat it the right way and it can bring great
pleasure, but if you are forced to use it and have no time for its secrets, then it can be
a source of discomfort.
Samba started out as a project that sought to provide interoperability for MS Windows 3.x
clients with a UNIX server. It has grown up a lot since its humble beginnings and now provides
features and functionality fit for large-scale deployment. It also has some warts. In sections
like this one, we tell of both.
So, what are the benefits of the features mentioned in this chapter?
Samba-3 can replace an MS Windows NT4 domain controller.
Samba-3 offers excellent interoperability with MS Windows NT4-style
domains as well as natively with Microsoft Active Directory domains.
Samba-3 permits full NT4-style interdomain trusts.
Samba has security modes that permit more flexible authentication
than is possible with MS Windows NT4 domain controllers.
Samba-3 permits use of multiple concurrent account database backends.
(Encrypted passwords that are stored in the account database are in
formats that are unique to Windows networking).
The account database backends can be distributed
and replicated using multiple methods. This gives Samba-3
greater flexibility than MS Windows NT4 and in many cases a
significantly higher utility than Active Directory domains
with MS Windows 200x.