Making eBox rock solid

May 16, 2010

As my few readers may already know, this week we released a new eBox 1.4-2 installer. Although it contains new exciting features like the support for delay pools in squid, that allows to configure bandwidth throttling together with transparent proxy, the real work that I want to emphasize is in the amount of bugfixing we have done.

I think that eBox 1.4 was a pretty stable release since the beginning, but as you know, the community always helps to find issues for some specific corner cases and I want to thank all of them because we really appreciate their work in helping to make eBox a better product every day. Anyway, let me tell you a short story about the samba module (probably one of the most popular modules in eBox) in this 1.4 release.

One of the starred features in 1.4 was the support for Windows 7 clients and we added it by including a new backported version of the samba package (3.4.5). Unfortunately this version had a bug in the full_audit feature, that is required to make the samba logs work, so if full_audit was enabled, the samba module didn’t work at all. Therefore we had to do a sacrifice and temporary disable that feature to include the Windows 7 support which demand was in constant increase.

Later, samba 3.4.6 was released and according to its changelog the full_audit problem was fixed, so after backporting it and making some successful tests we uploaded the new samba package and also a new version of ebox-samba to the 1.4-proposed repository enabling the logs again. Few days later people started reporting that in some cases (only when trying to directly open or create a file instead of copying or moving it) the file sharing feature was broken after the upgrade. We only could give them a temporary workaround (manually disabling the full_audit feature again). Then we hoped to find this bug fixed in the next samba release, but it wasn’t.

So we did more research and finally we found a very simple patch in the samba bugzilla, so we applied it to our backported samba version and uploaded the new package, that has been also included in the new 1.4-2 version. As we have not received any further reports regarding this issue, it seems that we can finally have Windows 7 support and logs working together! Improvements like this, made with the help of eBox users, make us to improve eBox day after day and we’re truly excited seeing how the project is shaping up!