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Samba team releases version 4 alpha

After years of effort, programmers work to bring Active Directory support to the open-source file-sharing software.

The Samba team has released an early look at a new version 4.0 of the open-source file-sharing software that's geared to mesh more tightly with Windows networks.

Samba reproduces Windows protocols used by file and print servers, letting Linux or Unix operating systems handle some tasks a Windows server ordinarily would. The most notable feature of the Samba 4.0 alpha release is support for Windows Active Directory logon technology used since Windows 2000, project leaders said last week.

The feature has been under development for years. The Samba group released a version of Samba with the Active Directory support more than a year and a half ago, but that was just a "technology preview."

The new version will be developed in parallel with the existing stable 3.0 version.