At lot can happen in a year. This is certainly true of IPv6 and Samba. In this article, I summarise the progress made in IPv6 enabling Samba and review the current status of Samba and IPv6 support. Further details can be found in my presentation Configuring Samba 3/4 for IPv6 Operation with Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista.
Last year in my presentation at SambaXP 2007 (see SambaXP IPv6 Presentation) I showed how important it was that Samba catch up with Microsoft Windows in supporting IPv6. Microsoft’s latest operating systems, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (then codenamed Longhorn) are IPv6 enabled by default. The increasing drive to implement IPv6 in various parts of the world meant that Samba risked being kept out of, or dropped from, environments where IPv6 is required.
Since then a lot has changed. Here are some highlights from the last twelve months:
Erion is proud to have carried out each of these firsts and being involved with Jermey Allison in IPv6 enabling Samba 3.2.
Linux CIFS Client
The Linux CIFS client has full support for IPv6 in the Linux kernel. This kernel is now widely available in the latest releases of many Linux distributions. At present, the mount command mount.cifs does not support IPv6 name resolution and the IPv6 address must be specified using a mount option. However, my patch to mount.cifs enables IPv6 name resolution. During Samba XP, I worked with Steve French and Jelmer Vernooij to improve support for IPv6 in mount.cifs. Friday evening found Jelmer still working on rewriting mount.cifs to include IPv6 support.
As Samba 3.2 nears a production release, it has been fully IPv6 enabled. This was a result of my presentation at CIFS Engineering Workshop held at Google last year. Erion has carried out the IPv6 testing for Samba 3.2. This has gone well and very few bugs have been found. During SambaXP Jeremy Allison put in time to investigate and resolve IPv6 bugs in Samba 3.2. Further information on IPv6 enabling Samba 3.2 can be found in our presentations from the Google IPv6 Conference earlier this year.
Support for IPv6 in Samba 4 still relies on my hack (a new version of which can be found here). The interest in IPv6 shown by the Samba team is illustrated by the time I spent with Andrew Tridgell. Andrew was very keen to incorporate my patch into the standard build of Samba 4. This would mean that, where possible, Samba 4 would build with IPv6 support as standard. The work was not completed by the end of SambaXP, but I will be chasing Andrew to complete it over the next few weeks.
In conclusion, SambaXP 2008 was a very positive event for IPv6 support in Samba. Much work still has to be done, but in the very near future there will be a solution for those who wish to upgrade Samba 3.0 to Samba 3.2 in order to get IPv6 support. So far most of the IPv6 testing of Samba has been undertaken by Erion. I would be very interested to hear of anyone else who is testing or even using Samba over IPv6 in live environments. During the conference Jelmer migrated his use of the Linux CIFS client in his home network to operate over IPv6! Now for the rest of the world…