source: trunk/samba/docs/history @ 22

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Initial code import

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1Contributor:    Andrew Tridgell and the Samba Team
2Date:           June 27, 1997
3Satus:          Always out of date! (Would not be the same without it!)
4
5Subject:        A bit of history and a bit of fun
6============================================================================
7
8This is a short history of this project. It's not supposed to be
9comprehensive, just enough so that new users can get a feel for where
10this project has come from and maybe where it's going to.
11
12The whole thing really started in December 1991. I was (and still am)
13a PhD student in the Computer Sciences Laboratory at the Australian
14National University, in Canberra, Australia. We had just got a
15beta copy of eXcursion from Digital, and I was testing it on my PC. At
16this stage I was a MS-DOS user, dabbling in windows.
17
18eXcursion ran (at the time) only with Dec's `Pathworks' network for
19DOS. I had up till then been using PC-NFS to connect to our local sun
20workstations, and was reasonably happy with it. In order to run
21pathworks I had to stop using PC-NFS and try using pathworks to mount
22disk space. Unfortunately pathworks was only available for digital
23workstations running VMS or Ultrix so I couldn't mount from the suns
24anymore.
25
26I had access to a a decstation 3100 running Ultrix that I used to
27administer, and I got the crazy notion that the protocol that
28pathworks used to talk to ultrix couldn't be that hard, and maybe I
29could work it out. I had never written a network program before, and
30certainly didn't know what a socket was.
31
32In a few days, after looking at some example code for sockets, I
33discovered it was pretty easy to write a program to "spy" on the file
34sharing protocol. I wrote and installed this program (the sockspy.c
35program supplied with this package) and captured everything that the
36pathworks client said to the pathworks server.
37
38I then tried writing short C programs (using Turbo C under DOS) to do
39simple file operations on the network drive (open, read, cd etc) and
40looked at the packets that the server and client exchanged. From this
41I worked out what some of the bytes in the packets meant, and started
42to write my own program to do the same thing on a sun.
43
44After a day or so more I had my first successes and actually managed
45to get a connection and to read a file. From there it was all
46downhill, and a week later I was happily (if a little unreliably)
47mounting disk space from a sun to my PC running pathworks. The server
48code had a lot of `magic' values in it, which seemed to be always
49present with the ultrix server. It was not till 2 years later that I
50found out what all these values meant.
51
52Anyway, I thought other people might be interested in what I had done,
53so I asked a few people at uni, and noone seemed much interested. I
54also spoke to a person at Digital in Canberra (the person who had
55organised a beta test of eXcursion) and asked if I could distribute
56what I'd done, or was it illegal. It was then that I first heard the
57word "netbios" when he told me that he thought it was all covered by a
58spec of some sort (the netbios spec) and thus what I'd done was not
59only legal, but silly.
60
61I found the netbios spec after asking around a bit (the RFC1001 and
62RFC1002 specs) and found they looked nothing like what I'd written, so
63I thought maybe the Digital person was mistaken. I didn't realise RFCs
64referred to the name negotiation and packet encapsulation over TCP/IP,
65and what I'd written was really a SMB implementation.
66
67Anyway, he encouraged me to release it so I put out "Server 0.1" in
68January 1992. I got quite a good response from people wanting to use
69pathworks with non-digital unix workstations, and I soon fixed a few
70bugs, and released "Server 0.5" closely followed by "Server 1.0". All
71three releases came out within about a month of each other.
72
73At this point I got an X Terminal on my desk, and I no longer needed eXcursion
74and I prompty forgot about the whole project, apart from a few people
75who e-mailed me occasionally about it.
76
77Nearly two years then passed with just occasional e-mails asking about
78new versions and bugs. I even added a note to the ftp site asking for
79a volunteer to take over the code as I no longer used it. No one
80volunteered.
81
82During this time I did hear from a couple of people who said it should
83be possible to use my code with Lanmanager, but I never got any
84definite confirmation.
85
86One e-mail I got about the code did, however, make an impression. It
87was from Dan Shearer at the university of South Australia, and he said
88this:
89
90 
91        I heard a hint about a free Pathworks server for Unix in the
92        Net channel of the Linux list. After quite a bit of chasing
93        (and lots of interested followups from other Linux people) I
94        got hold of a release news article from you, posted in Jan 92,
95        from someone in the UK.
96
97        Can you tell me what the latest status is? I think you might
98        suddenly find a whole lot of interested hackers in the Linux
99        world at least, which is a place where things tend to happen
100        fast (and even some reliable code gets written, BION!)
101
102I asked him what Linux was, and he told me it was a free Unix for PCs.
103This was in November 1992 and a few months later I was a Linux
104convert! I still didn't need a pathworks server though, so I didn't do
105the port, but I think Dan did.
106
107At about this time I got an e-mail from Digital, from a person working
108on the Alpha software distribution. He asked if I would mind if they
109included my server with the "contributed" cd-rom. This was a bit of a
110shock to me as I never expected Dec to ask me if they could use my
111code! I wrote back saying it was OK, but never heard from him again. I
112don't know if it went on the cd-rom.
113
114Anyway, the next big event was in December 1993, when Dan again sent
115me an e-mail saying my server had "raised its ugly head" on
116comp.protocols.tcpip.ibmpc. I had a quick look on the group, and was
117surprised to see that there were people interested in this thing.
118
119At this time a person from our computer center offered me a couple of
120cheap ethernet cards (3c505s for $15 each) and coincidentially someone
121announced on one of the Linux channels that he had written a 3c505
122driver for Linux. I bought the cards, hacked the driver a little and
123setup a home network between my wifes PC and my Linux box. I then
124needed some way to connect the two, and I didn't own PC-NFS at home,
125so I thought maybe my server could be useful. On the newsgroup among
126the discussions of my server someone had mentioned that there was a
127free client that might work with my server that Microsoft had put up
128for ftp. I downloaded it and found to my surprise that it worked first
129time with my `pathworks' server!
130
131Well, I then did a bit of hacking, asked around a bit and found (I
132think from Dan) that the spec I needed was for the "SMB" protocol, and
133that it was available via ftp. I grabbed it and started removing all
134those ugly constants from the code, now that all was explained.
135
136On December 1st 1993 I announced the start of the "Netbios for Unix"
137project, seeding the mailing list with all the people who had e-mailed
138me over the years asking about the server.
139
140About 35 versions (and two months) later I wrote a short history of
141the project, which you have just read. There are now over a hundred
142people on the mailing list, and lots of people report that they use
143the code and like it. In a few days I will be announcing the release
144of version 1.6 to some of the more popular (and relevant) newsgroups.
145
146
147Andrew Tridgell
1486th February 1994
149
150---------------------
151
152It is now May 1995 and there are about 1400 people on the mailing
153list. I got downloads from the main Samba ftp site from around 5000
154unique hosts in a two month period. There are several mirror
155sites as well. The current version number is 1.9.13.
156
157---------------------
158
159
160---------------------
161It's now March 1996 and version 1.9.16alpha1 has just been
162released. There have been lots of changes recently with master browser
163support and the ability to do domain logons etc. Samba has also been
164ported to OS/2, the amiga and NetWare. There are now 3000 people on
165the samba mailing list.
166---------------------
167
168
169---------------------
170It's now June 1997 and samba-1.9.17 is due out soon. My how time passes!
171Please refer to the WHATSNEW.txt for an update on new features. Just when
172you think you understand what is happening the ground rules change - this
173is a real world after all. Since the heady days of March 1996 there has
174been a concerted effort within the SMB protocol using community to document
175and standardize the protocols. The CIFS initiative has helped a long way
176towards creating a better understood and more interoperable environment.
177The Samba Team has grown in number and have been very active in the standards
178formation and documentation process.
179
180The net effect has been that we have had to do a lot of work to bring Samba
181into line with new features and capabilities in the SMB protocols.
182
183The past year has been a productive one with the following releases:
184        1.9.16, 1.9.16p2, 1.9.16p6, 1.9.16p9, 1.9.16p10, 1.9.16p11
185
186There are some who believe that 1.9.15p8 was the best release and others
187who would not want to be without the latest. Whatever your perception we
188hope that 1.9.17 will close the gap and convince you all that the long
189wait and the rolling changes really were worth it. Here is functionality
190and a level of code maturity that ..., well - you can be the judge!
191
192Happy SMB networking!
193Samba Team
194
195ps: The bugs are ours, so please report any you find.
196---------------------
197
198---------------------
199It's now October 1998. We just got back from the 3rd CIFS conference
200in SanJose. The Samba Team was the biggest contingent there.
201
202Samba 2.0 should be shipping in the next few weeks with much better
203domain controller support, GUI configuration, a new user space SMB
204filesystem and lots of other neat stuff. I've also noticed that a
205search of job ads in DejaNews turned up 3900 that mention Samba. Looks
206like we've created a small industry.
207
208I've been asked again where the name Samba came from. I might as well
209put it down here for everyone to read. The code in Samba was first
210called just "server", it then got renamed "smbserver" when I
211discovered that the protocol is called SMB. Then in April 1994 I got
212an email from Syntax, the makers of "TotalNet advanced Server", a
213commercial SMB server. They told me that they had a trademark on the
214name SMBserver and I would have to change the name. I ran an egrep for
215words containing S, M, and B on /usr/dict/words and the name Samba
216looked like the best choice. Strangely enough when I repeat that now I
217notice that Samba isn't in /usr/dict/words on my system anymore!
218---------------------
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