Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 26th Mar 2011 02:00 UTC
Mac OS X When you run smbd -V on your Snow Leopard installation, you'll see it's running SAMBA version 3.0.28a-apple. While I'm not sure how much difference the "-apple" makes, version 3.0.28a is old. Very old. In other words, it's riddled with bugs. Apple hasn't updated SAMBA in 3 years, and for Lion, they're dumping it altogether for something homegrown. The reason? SAMBA is now GPLv3.
Permalink for comment 467925
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Apple's Samba is GPL2
by FellowConspirator on Sat 26th Mar 2011 04:40 UTC
FellowConspirator
Member since:
2007-12-13

If you are a corporation, GPLv3 is indeed bad. Not so much for fear the patent clause will require you to license one of your own patents, but because it opens up a bunch of liabilities for you and is an invitation to get sued. Getting sued is expensive. GPLv3 requires each distributor of the the software or patches to indemnify that software against patent violations - including patents held by third parties. This means that, if you do it right, you need to evaluate every bit of code and identify all the patents it may infringe upon and verify that the license terms for those patents is fulfilled. It's possible, but not practical. If you aren small potatoes, you can probably get away with breaking the rules, but bigger fish need to watch out.

This probably doesn't matter for Apple, though, since, as was pointed out, Apple's using an older version of Samba that was released under GPLv2. They could simply use that and fork it if they wanted to.

Presumably, Apple's reasoning is two-fold: they want better SMB/CIFS support, and they don't see GPLv3 Samba or maintaining a GPLv2 fork as being practical. Specifically, Apple wants better performance and better Windows 7 and AD support - none of that was forthcoming or worth the effort to cram into an old version of Samba, so they wrote their own.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lion devs report better performance, and it works with Windows 7's modified authentication.

Reply Score: 2