[Bug 137656] Samba Backport Urgently Needed

Soren Hansen soren at ubuntu.com
Thu Sep 6 16:52:18 BST 2007

On Thu, Sep 06, 2007 at 03:01:08PM -0000, rvjcallanan wrote:
> > First of all: Yelling won't help you a whole lot.
> Very very very very very strong emphasis was the intention. *Asterixes
> don't seem to hack it anymore* ;-) Do we have to be so politically
> correct about a few lines of uppercase?

Unless people are very far away, shouting is not polite. I'm about 60 cm
from my screen. Lower case letters are sufficient.

>>> I understand that much of this work has already been done (see
>>> Enterprise Samba link on Samba web site with Debian packages
>>> available for download)...
>> I don't see that link. Could you point it out for me?
> Here is the link (it seems to be down at the moment but I did access
> it last night) http://enterprisesamba.com

It works now.

> You normally access up-to-date Samba Debian packages from: Samba Home
> Page->Left Pane->Download Info->EnterpriseSamba->Debian->Sarge or
> Woody....

What about Etch?

> I was previously informed (rightly or wrongly) that Ubuntu closely
> tracks Debian.

That's true.

> Now I don't know what the correlation is between Dapper and Debian
> (Sarge? Woody?) but I would assume that if the latest Samba release is
> available in packaged form for both these versions then all (or most
> of) the hard work will have been done for Ubuntu.

That sounds great. It's a shame, though, that they haven't contacted us
about maintaining the packages, triaged the bugs, closed them as
appropriate, etc.

It actually makes me proud and happy that you fail to see why this is a
problem. This means that we are doing a good job making sure that
upgrades work as expected. If you had seen the sort of breakage that
happen when you start installing packages from all sorts of weird
places, you wouldn't be suggesting this. We do the very best we can to
make sure upgrades work. We can't do that anymore if people are
installing packages from other places.

> If there is a serious degree of forking between Debian and Ubuntu, and
> this is therefore an incorrect assumption, then this begs the
> inevitable question:
> "Why should anybody that is serious about Samba choose a Ubuntu distro over Debian?"

I'll give you several:

1) Because one should not base one's choice of Linux distribution on
whether or not any one (1!) upstream chooses to provide non-standard
packages for said Linux distribution? 

2) Because they don't provide Samba packages for the newest Debian
release either?

3) Because we actually offer support for things?

4) Because when you install a released version of Ubuntu, we don't
listen to all the people who suggest that we break their *installed* and
*working* systems by forcing random new software down their throat, but
rather take the responsible approach and cherrypick fixes for *reported*
*bugs* which our users have found to be a problem.

> I accept these points...up to a point...but would you not agree that
> Samba is one of those apps that probably does not lend itself to
> piecemeal backports.

Yes, and that makes my work very annoying from time to time.

> It seems to me that there are so many inter-dependencies within Samba
> itself across releases 

Yes! Exactly! *That* is precisely why we should *not* just put in a new
version, but carefully fix reported problems.

> that it would make more sense to perform backports in chunks that
> correlate closely with Samba releases á la Debian releases by
> Enterprise Samba people (mentioned above).

> Just have a look at the Samba bug fixes between 3.022 and 3.025c and
> you will see what I mean.

Can you guarantee that *everything* that worked in 3.0.22 still works in

> > I'm happy to accept input on the issue, especially if it's
> > 
> > c) not of the form "this is really easy, and I cannot 
> > understand why you
> > are not doing it already"
> You will note from my initial report that I apologised in advance if
> my assumption was incorrect. 

Shouting is not considered apologetic where I come from.

> As for reporting individual bugs...how long is a piece of string?

neither a bug report nor a piece of string. (It is - in fact - a string,
and its length is 63 characters)

"When I try to connect from an up-to-date Dapper to Windows XP with this
command: 'blahbalhbabl'  I get error code 17."  could be a bug report
when it grows up.  For bonus points, you can find a reference to the bug
in the samba bug tracker and then we might find a patch for it.

> Look, don't get me wrong but there is a time for genteel discussion
> and a time when somebody has to stand up and take notice.

Agreed. We need to do something to fix these issues while making
*absolutely* sure that we don't break stuff that already works.
Preferably it will be something that does not cost a full-time developer
backporting tiny fixes from Samba's development tree. I'm not sure what
it is, though.

> You may or may not have noticed that many many well-intentioned people
> have taken the Ubuntu 6.06 LTS/Samba plunge only to go back to Bill
> Gates with their respective tails between their legs.

How many do you think will "run away" if they have been happily running
Dapper for a year and then all of the sudden we go ahead and break it by
providing them with a broken update? I would.

> I am more than willing to assist with testing of any package update.

That's good to know. I'll let you know.

Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team

Samba Backport Urgently Needed
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