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Migrating domains, Samba musings. part 1

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Many who use ClearOS for home servers or gateway services may wonder why so much effort has been placed by me and John Terpstra to the improvement of the Samba services in the core of ClearOS. The reason for me writing this is not to justify or rationalize the work and effort that has already been done and that will yet take place but rather to open your mind to the potential that ClearOS has as a platform for services.

 The strength of the emerging technology capability in ClearOS is not the file services at all but rather the directory which powers the backend, and the authentication processes that occur. When your platform has this capability and does it well, you change a significant dynamic from just being a UTM, or small office server. You now have the power to authenticate, authorize, and provide access control to YOUR data, YOUR services, YOUR resources.

Now we move into possibilities of scalability, portability, inter-operability, and flexibility. The cost that must be paid for these improvements is convenience. When you implement these big business best practices you need to remove features which allow access without security. This causes heartburn for some people who just want to use ClearOS as a simple network USB drive equivalent. To these people, I apologize, there are bad guys who will exploit that and while we're not crippling the underlying software which provides this if you HAVE to have it, we will be making it more difficult to create this behaviour. If you have to have it, you will need to know more than you know about how it works and perhaps when you know more, you will choose not to do it that way. This is why UPnP is something you have to get in the forums and even though it would be trivial to add, we won't do it (not if I have anything to do with it). ClearOS is easy to use. This is its greatest strength and its greatest vulnerability.

 The goal here is to make ClearOS, a distribution tailored for <50 users, capable of doing all the things that big businesses would need. This way compliance, IT best practices, competitive services, and robust architectures are also available for small business ... and homes. Open source makes this possible. ClearOS supports you, and thanks you for your support.


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  • Is was wondering will ClearOS support other platforms as Microsoft? Like Mac OS X from Apple, Linux disributions and in the future Chrome OS. I know Mac OS X also supports Samba, but is there coming support for AFS and HFS?

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  • Nice summary Dave.

    And while it's a ways off still, Dave's comments around his and John's focus in directory services is a good segway (and validation) for thinking about future editions. A ClearOS Home Edition would not be a 'crippled' version of Enterprise would actually be more valuable (useful) than the Enterprise Edition for a home - I don't want to jump through hoops to access my family photos sitting on my home server.

    It actually highlights the strength of the model we've started to embark on...Everyone benefits from having an active, open platform.


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