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Samba

Over the past few years, Windows-only shops have been slowly adding Unix and Unix-like systems to their server arsenal. The reason for this is a piece of software called Samba. Samba provides the Windows sharing services that you've already seen in Tiger, but is capable of much more than just sharing your home directory. It is also capable of replacing Windows NT and 200x servers on your network. Samba offers comparable performance, features, and a price that can't be beat (free, of course). To quote eWEEK:

Samba is capable, flexible, mature, and fairly well-documented; runs on several Unix operating systems; offers web-based configuration and administration; and is free.

Samba is now a viable option as a file and print server for many more Windows shops than before and earns an eWEEK Labs Analyst's Choice award for this remarkable technical accomplishment.

To add this functionality, Samba Team developers (including those who are part of the Samba: The Next Generation project) had to reverse-engineer the proprietary protocols Microsoft Corp. uses to authenticate users and systems over the network, using, in many cases, nothing but a packet sniffer.


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