What is Netatalk for? What can I do with it?
Netatalk is an OpenSource software package, that can be used to turn an inexpensive *NIX machine into an extremely performant and reliable file and print server for Macintosh computers. Using Netatalk's AFP 3.1 compliant file-server leads to significantly higher transmissions speeds compared with Macs accessing a server via SaMBa/NFS while providing clients with the best user experience (full support for Macintosh metadata, flawlessly supporting mixed environments of classic MacOS and MacOS X clients) Due to Netatalk speaking AppleTalk, the print-server task can provide printing clients with full AppleTalk support as well as the server itself with printing capabilities for AppleTalk-only printers. Starting with version 2.0, Netatalk seamlessly interacts with CUPS on the server After all, Netatalk can be used to act as an AppleTalk router, providing both segmentation and zone names in Macintosh networks.
I use an older Netatalk version. Should I upgrade to 2.0?
Let's have a look at what has changed compared to 1.6.4:
- Netatalk's file server, afpd, now speaking AFP 3.1 allows long filenames, UTF-8 names, large file support and full MacOS X compatibility
- The print server task, papd, can directly interact with CUPS, automagically sharing all CUPS queues
- Kerberos V support, allowing true "Single Sign On"
- Whole rework of the CNID subsystem, providing reliable and persistant storage of file and directory IDs
- Huge improvements regarding product documentation making Netatalk's features accessible more easily
- Tons of bugs fixed compared to all previous versions
To make a long story short, everyone not using symlinks inside Netatalk shares (this violation of AFP specs is not supported any longer) and willing to complete the sometimes extensive upgrade process should switch to 2.0. But be sure to read carefully the chapter about upgrading in the docs first.