Yesterday I carried out the first every join of a Samba 3.2 server to a Windows domain over IPv6.
At last year’s CIFS workshop at Google, I spoke about IPv6 enabling Samba (see Preparing Samba for Windows Server 2008 and IPv6). I pointed out that IPv6 enabling Samba would be a critical requirement in 2008. Two key factors make IPv6 enabling Samba by 2008 critical. The first is the mandate by the US Federal government for the use of IPv6 by 2008. The second is the imminent release of Windows Server 2008 which uses IPv6 by default.
Jeremy Allison claimed that he could IPv6 enable Samba 3.2 “in a few weeks”. I was sceptical but Jeremy set out and did indeed IPv6 enable Samba 3.2 in a matter of weeks. Since then I have been testing Samba 3.2 against Vista and Windows Server 2008. Amazingly, only a small number of bugs have been found so far. Of these few were actually IPv6 bugs.
Until a few days ago it was not possible to join Samba 3.2 to a Windows Server 2008 domain over IPv4 never mind IPv6. However, the Samba team (Jeremy, Andreas and Gerry) made a number of patches which eventually made it possible to join over IPv4. All that remained was to test it over IPv6. Once I had tested a join over IPv4 my first test over IPv6 was also successful. This is a major milestone for Samba. It will make it possible for organisations that have to move to IPv6 to continue to use Samba in their networks. It will also allow NAS box vendors to IPv6 enable their products.
Naturally, further testing is required. Furthermore, Samba 3.2 is still to be released for production use. However, I am now confident that an IPv6 enabled Samba will be available early this year. For those who need to test Samba over IPv6 you can begin testing now using the test tree of Samba 3.2. Please let me know if you have any questions.