What software is behind Active Directory

Samba server - the solution for a cross-platform network

Servers that use the free Samba software suite are called Samba servers. The GNU-licensed package is used to implement the SMB protocol - which gave the suite its name - in Linux and Unix distributions. The Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol, which is also known in a further developed version as the Common Internet File System (CIFS) Protocol, was originally responsible for file, print and other server services in Microsoft Windows operating systems. The implementation supports the integration of Windows and Linux or Unix computers in the network so that files can be exchanged or printers used without any problems - completely independent of the operating systems used. Regardless of whether it is a Unix or Linux Samba server, since version 4 the software also takes on the role of the Active Directory domain controller, which enables the central authorization and authentication of computers and users in the network.

The Samba server suite consists of several modules so that the SMB or CIFS protocol can be configured. The core consists of the following four daemons (services running in the background):

  • samba: Daemon added with version 4, which enables the role of Active Directory Domain Controller and is configured via smb.conf
  • smbd: File and printer sharing, configuration via smb.conf
  • nmbd: responsible for the resolution of NetBIOS names in IP addresses, can also be configured via the smb.conf file
  • winbindd: dissolves group and user information, makes it understandable for Unix / Linux and offers independent configuration options