Roadmap Zentyal 3.0

On Sunday, 5th of February we held a brief BoF meeting in the FOSDEM 2012 to explain the development status of Zentyal 3.0, that is to be published next September. As many of you are probably interested in knowing what is going on, we thought it would be good to sum up shortly the advances regarding each major new feature/change.

1/5 Upgrade to Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS

As you probably know already, the single most important change in Zentyal 3.0 is the change of the base system form Ubuntu Server 10.04 to Ubuntu Server 12.04. At the moment we have already published 36 alpha packages for Ubuntu Server 12.04, meaning that only two packages are now missing (Remoteservices and Zarafa) and these will be out as soon as possible!

How can you help? Testing help is warmly welcome, check out the detailed instructions and give us your feedback through the Forum or Trac. We estimate that the first Zentyal installer will be available in few days.

2/5 New Samba4 Module

Samba 4, that is currently in beta, is a full replacement for Microsoft Active Directory for users and resource management. We aim at replacing the current Samba 3 module with Samba 4 in Zentyal 3.0 and the Development Team has been working on this for some time already at good speed.

How can you help? We expect to release the first beta version in few days (included in the new Zentyal installer) and you can easily help in testing the module.

3/5 Single Sign-On (Kerberos)

The fully new Single Sign-On feature will allow your network users to gain access to all network services (mail, proxy…) with one-time log in. At the moment the feature has been defined and developing will start in about one week.

How can you help? When the feature is available, besides testing, you can help in defining the group policies that limit, or control the things the user can make on the desktop, e.g. set the wallpaper or prevent him/her changing it.

4/5 Zentyal Desktop for Ubuntu

The aim of this new module is to ease the management of Ubuntu Desktops, an advanced version of the currently available Zentyal Desktop. This is something we still didn´t start working on, but the main features will be 1. Authentication against the Zentyal server and Single Sign-On (user can log in to his/her desktop on any PC in the network and there is no need to authenticate more than once to access to all services) and 2. Auto-configuration of applications (user is given automatically the necessary applications, e.g. email, and access to, e.g. shared folders).

How can you help? Besides testing, auto-configuration of services is based on the idea that we would provide just a framework to interact with Zentyal server, and the Community Members would implement plugins for different applications (Evolution, KMail, Thunderbird, etc.) Zentyal Forum has it´s own Zentyal Desktop board, where you can join the conversation regarding necessary plugins, give feedback, etc.

5/5 Usability Improvements

Each new Zentyal version brings a bunch of usability improvements and this version won’t be an exception. This time our main focus is on improving specially:

1. The speed and responsiveness of the user interface, and
2. The usability of the Master/Slave mode.

We’re already excited about the improvements we have achieved regarding the speed and responsiveness of the UI and when we have finished, we hope that we’ll be able to say that Zentyal is fast as lightning ;)!

As to the Master/Slave mode, we’re working to make it possible to have modules that make use of LDAP in master mode. Until now, if you had a mail server and a file server on two different machines you needed three machines: a master only to manage users and two slaves, one for mail and one for files. In Zentyal 3.0 you will be able to make one of the machines master without any problem. Moreover, you can change a slave to master easily, without having to re-install as until now.

A post by Eloy Crespo