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Samba steps up Linux/Windows connection

The open-source development team releases an update to its Samba software for connecting Windows desktop PCs with Linux or Unix servers.

Open-source development team Samba on Wednesday released an update to its namesake software for connecting Windows desktop PCs with Linux or Unix servers.

The Samba software allows file sharing and print services to Windows desktop PCs from Linux or Unix servers. The software saves companies money by offering a freely available alternative to a Windows server, according to the Samba Team developers. Corporations can also eliminate the license fees Microsoft charges for each client to access a Windows server, they said.

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The latest Samba software, which is now shipped with the Red Hat Linux operating system, will be shipped with other distributions of Linux shortly, according to the Samba Team.

Samba 3.0 introduces features to allow companies to migrate from Windows NT networks to Samba's file and print services. The update now allows administrators to use Samba software with existing directories, including Microsoft's Active Directory or LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) to store user information.

The updated version also uses Microsoft Windows' security system, which is based on Kerberos 5 authentication. Samba 3.0, which is a global open-source project, also extends support for Unicode, which allows a person to save file names with native language character sets.

"With the release of Samba 3 we are able for the first time to store our files on the computer servers in any language we want. File names in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and scores of other languages used by our staff and students mix without problems," David de Leeuw, Head, Medical Computing Unit at Ben Gurion University in Negev, Israel, said in a statement.