Many components of Windows Integration work already, but are difficult to configure or require too many steps.

This spec outlines Ubuntu's strategy for improving out-of-the-box network interoperability with Microsoft Windows.

Many components of Windows Integration will become easier with the release of Samba 4. Since there is no estimated release date for this, it is hard to predict whether it is worth working around current bugs or not.


While we would like to see Ubuntu running on every desktop and server in the world, the plan for world domination will not be realized instantly. By working alongside Windows environments and interoperating smoothly, we can subvert the minds of the masses and turn them to the light side of the force. (Evil laughter follows!)

Scope and Use Cases

  • Bill wants to make the pictures on his Ubuntu computer available to his wife's Windows machine.
  • John has a color printer on his Ubuntu machine and Jack has a fast laser printer on his Windows machine on their home network. They would like to be able to see each printer from each machine.
  • Sam is converting from Windows, and uses Quickbooks. Sam would now like to run Quickbooks under Linux and use the data from the Windows partition.
  • Paul has an Ubuntu Desktop, which he'd like to use with his company's Active Directory network.
  • Pauline has an Ubuntu Desktop which she'd like to use with her company's Windows NT 4 domain setup.
  • Beth wants to run Ubuntu as a Windows NT 4 Domain controller.
  • Ben wants to run Ubuntu as an Active Directory server.
  • Sandra's office allows her to VPN in from home. She should be able to do this with either PPTP or L2TP.
  • Ron has imported his old emails from Outlook to Evolution and needs to be able to read old mail encoded in Rich Text Format.
  • Ben has decided that he doesn't like Ubuntu and wants to switch back to Windows. Applications should be able to export to formats that Windows clients will understand.

Implementation Plan

Already done:

  • PPTP patches are in the kernel by default.
  • evolution-exchange is in main.
  • rdesktop and tsclient in main.

High priority for Breezy:

  • Develop test plan for Samba connections and evolution-exchange.
  • Need easy tools and documentation for using Samba LDAP.
    • MattOquist has a hacked up Perl script that deals with Samba LDAP configuration. Although right now the package is targeted to Fedora, could be uploaded to Ubuntu.

Medium priority for Breezy:

  • Create a reasonably simple configuration interface to setup Ubuntu as an NT 4 primary or secondary domain controller.
  • Create a simple GUI for setting up VPNs. This may require features to be added for using /etc/network/interfaces like:

    • Target host
    • VPN Type
    • Client and Host certificates
    • Other VPN Specific details
  • Find a GUI that allows management of samba server features, like promotion / demotion of Domain Controllers.
  • Thunderbird cannot export for Outlook Express.

Waiting on Active Directory support in Samba 4:

  • Need to get list of pam, kerberos and nss packages needed in order to participate completely in an Active Directory setup. These packages should be promoted to main.
  • Setup tasks and configuration GUIs for easy setup of Samba and KDC for use in a Small Office and corporate environments as a full Active Directory master.

Data Preservation and Migration

  • A gradual data migration will be possible when someone uploads a captive-ntfs package into debian or ubuntu, or the linux-ntfs project creates a safe read-write driver. For now, gradual migration can be achieved by installing the debian captive-ntfs package from this page:

Packages Affected

  • samba

  • openoffice.org2

  • ifupdown

User Interface Requirements

  • Gnome dialog for sharing printers built into gnome-cups-print. This may tie into other work in PrintingRoadmap

Outstanding Issues

  • Microsoft Office doesn't have import/export filters for file formats.

  • Novell Linux Desktop (Ximian Desktop) defaults to saving in MS Office formats. Should we do that?
  • Samba 3 has many features that are largely unused because they're too difficult to configure.
  • Does Samba support IPv6-based Windows networks?

UDU BOF Agenda

  • What do Windows users expect?
  • Walk-through connecting an Ubuntu system to a Windows network
  • Create test cases

UDU Pre-Work

  • Arrange for a Microsoft Windows server system to use for testing/demo (this didn't happen)

UbuntuDownUnder/BOFs/WindowsInteroperability (last edited 2008-08-06 16:29:05 by localhost)