This year I attended SambaXP in Germany to give a presentation on Samba and Vista with IPv6 (see Samba and Vista with IPv6). The talk brought together the two primary specialities of Erion; IPv6 and Windows and Unix/Linux Integration. The presentation was also an opportunity for me to talk about my research into IPv6 on Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn.
Prior to SambaXP, I had spent a lot of time looking at IPv6 in Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn. I will blog about this in more detail at another time as eventually this work will form the basis of a new Windows focussed IPv6 training course. Anyway, I had also attempted to get Samba3 and Samba4 to work with Vista and Longhorn over IPv6. My success was limited for a number of reasons. First of all, IPv6 support in Samba3 and Samba4 is not complete. Despite this, it is still possible to run both as file servers over IPv6 using a couple of different techniques. Again, I will blog about these later!
During SambaXP I worked with a number of the developers discussing how IPv6 should be implemented in Samba and how to resolve a number of the problems stopping IPv6 support being implemented at present.
We achieved a number of key things. First of all, Samba4’s server code was made IPv6 clean. There are still a few things to do, but after a couple of days I was able to make a few simple hacks (which I will also write about later) and Samba4 worked as an IPv6 Active Directory controller and file server over IPv6 for the first time.
Unfortunately, during the testing of this I found that Vista is still unable to join a Samba4 domain over IPv4 or IPv6. The failure mechanism looks the same on both platforms so I am confident that when Vista can join a Samba4 domain over IPv4 it will also work over IPv6.
On the Tuesday evening at the SambaXP conference party, myself and Steve French spent the time working on enabling IPv6 in the Linux CIFS code. The code is largely IPv6 clean, so Steve only had to make a small number of changes in order to make it IPv6 enabled. I then configured a Windows Longhorn Server with a couple of IPv6 shares. Then came an historic moment when Steve pressed the enter key and mounted the first ever CIFS file system over IPv6 on Linux. Steve assures me that the IPv6 changes will be in the mm kernel in the next couple of days. When they are, I will write up what you need to do to try this out yourself.
On the Wednesday I gave my talk. It was good to see the interest in IPv6. One of the main points of my talk, which is worth reiterating here, is that I believe that the deployment of Vista and Longhorn networks will have a huge impact on the up take of IPv6. Vista and Longhorn enable IPv6 by default and use it in preference to IPv4. This is certain to not only increase the awareness of IPv6, but also result in its widespread use. I have talked to a number of Erion’s customers who are looking at deploying Windows Vista and as a result they have begun to look at IPv6. These customers are not companies that I would consider to have any pressing business need to implement IPv6, but despite this they may well implement IPv6 as a result of Vista and Longhorn.
Finally, I was very impressed with the energy and dedication of the Samba team. It was fascinating to see the development process at work and to be involved in making some significant steps forward towards support for IPv6 in Samba.