libsmbclient: Browsing and a URI spec?

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Thu Jan 4 17:08:50 GMT 2001

> The problem I have with these definitions of 'workgroup' and 'domain' is that
> a Win9x machine is NEVER a member of a domain.

The definitions are Microsoft's, not mine.  You are probably quite right
that there are different distinctions to be made, but we lack useful
terminology and I'm afraid that changing the usage of existing terminology
will simply cause confusion.

If I remember correctly, the W/95 box does what we call passthrough 
authentication.  That is, it tries to authenticate to the server and the 
server passes the request to the DC.  An NT box will go directly to the 
DC and not have to re-authenticate.

...but I am the first to admit that I do not know nearly enough about the 
workings of authentication under CIFS.  This is an area I have not yet 

> 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.  

With Samba you can have a DMB independant of a PDC.  With NT you cannot.  
We have created something that was not in MS' original design.  Again, I 
agree with your distinction, but I think we are at a loss for terms.

> 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
> domain.

In MS terms, the ntdomain is defined by the existance of the DC.  The
domain is "there", but the machines are not capable of using it. 
Essentially, they use it by proxy. 

> 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. :/

This, too, is correct.  The terminology fails to provide us with a
distinction.  As you say, the 9x machines cannot be "members" of the
domain since they do not join the domain itself.  Yet the "workgroup" 
which is their default browsing environment is, in reality, an ntdomain.

I think we understand each other.  Worse, I think we're both right.  

Chris -)-----

Christopher R. Hertel -)-----                   University of Minnesota
crh at              Networking and Telecommunications Services

    Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them
    with your choose them as your guides, and following
    them you will reach your destiny.  --Carl Schultz

More information about the samba-technical mailing list