libsmbclient: Browsing and a URI spec?

Steve Langasek vorlon at
Thu Jan 4 16:55:13 GMT 2001


> People wonder why I'm pedantic.  This is why...

> A "workgroup" in MS terms is simply a grouping of machines on a LAN.  The
> members all share the same workgroup name.  A workgroup becomes an
> ntdomain when a domain controller is added.  The domain controller
> provides a common security database.  It also provides a Domain Master 
> Browser, which can coordinate browse lists across different subnets.

> The problem we get into is that it is convenient to use the term
> "workgroup" when referring to the computers listed under the same
> workgroup/ntdomain name in the browse list.  It is also convenient to use
> the term "domain" or "ntdomain" when referring to the authentication
> service provided by the PDC/BDC.  This, however, is a 90-degree shift in 
> the meanings of the terms.

The problem I have with these definitions of 'workgroup' and 'domain' is that
a Win9x machine is NEVER a member of a domain.  If you have an NT or samba box
configured to act as a DMB, and every other machine on the network is a Win9x
machine, then all you really have is a cross-subnet workgroup.  There is a
domain controller, and it has a security database, but there's no trust
between any of the machines and therefore, you effectively don't have a

The same applies if you have a mix of NT machines in the workgroup who have
joined the domain.  Then you have NT machines that are members of the domain,
and you have Win9x machines which are /not/ members of the domain, but which
are members of the workgroup. :/

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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