Several groups should be interested in the availability of DCE on Linux:
Large organisations using DCE/DFS. There have been few alternatives for inexpensive client platforms: the choice is MS Windows 3, 9x, NT or 2000. Many environments that should be natural for Linux (for example, university computing labs.) will be able to use it for the first time.
Large users of DTPM applications. The weak link in the security of many applications has been at the client. Until NTFS any user with access to a PC had access to all programs and data, including authentication credentials. More users are being converted to MS Windows/NT but this brings other challenges! A reliable, inexpensive Unix-like system may be welcome in applications like trading rooms that need reliability and security. An operating system that can be used in embedded systems could find a home in ATMs.
Independent developers. Several individuals and groups have developed applications that integrate with DCE and related technologies. Some of the DCE-related projects are:
When the Open Group announced the Limited Distribution Rights licence, a group around Jim Doyle at Boston University started the FreeDCE Linux/FreeBSD Port. The project was hampered by US Government restrictions on cryptographic exports on which DCE depends and the rapidly changing threads interface at the time. The project succeeded in getting Linux clients into existing cells.
IVT is a terminal emulator for MS Windows that can use Kerberos or DCE for authenticatication. The latest release supports data encryption.
PAM/NSS-DCE for Linux enables Linux users to authenticate against DCE. PAM/NSS-DCE can also set up the mappings so that DFS data can be accessed through NFS.
The DCE authentication/DFS fileset patch for Samba provides similar functionality for Samba.
FreeDCE and DCOM for Linux (not to be confused with the attempt to port DCE 1.2.2 to Linux) is a project to re-implement DCE RPC and use it to provide DCOM.
DCE should be of interest for any developers looking for a stable base from which to develop large-scale, secure distributed applications.