Tridgell told iTWire yesterday on the sidelines of the 12th Australian national Linux conference in Brisbane that the move from Samba 3 to 4 was the biggest shift in the development of the software.
When it is complete, Samba will offer enterprise customers - 80 percent of whom use Active Directory for authentication - the freedom to choose a non-Windows server environment and yet enjoy all the benefits of Active Directory.
At the moment, there are alpha releases of Samba 4 which have been going on since September 2007.
Tridgell said there would be no formal beta release. Once the transition had been made, a production release would be made. At the moment, the Samba team's advice was that the software available was not suitable for use on production.
However, Tridgell (pictured left with Bartlett) said that about two dozen sites were running on Samba 4 and had encountered no problems.
"We get good feedback from these two dozen deployments. There is lots of testing going on and every deployment provides good feedback. We are hopeful of a release this year," Tridgell said.
"Knowing that we are that much closer really does lighten one's mood," Bartlett said. "It's been a long time, we've been working on it for many years."