WINS and international netbios names
Christopher R. Hertel
crh at nts.umn.edu
Thu Mar 29 20:21:03 GMT 2001
> There's lots of information on the web which says "don't do that"
> as netbios names should be able to be resolved as dns names. DNS
> names are only allowed a range of 7-bit ascii characters.
That's not true, I am afraid, for a variety of reasons.
- The only restriction placed on a NetBIOS name in the RFCs is that it
may not begin with an asterisk character. The asterisk is reserved for
use as a wildcard lookup. Microsoft semi-broke this when they
introduced the *SMBSERVER name.
- IBM's docs (the ones I could find) say only that the name may not
contain a NUL byte ('\0'), if I recall correctly.
- Microsoft tossed out the "Best Practices" rules when they put together
W2K DNS. They quote a later RFC that points out that any arbitrary
binary string may be included as either key or data in a DNS record and
used this as an excuse to require names beginning with an underscore.
They are technically correct, but best practices are still best
practices, IMHO. See RFCs 883, 1034, 1035, and 2181.
In theory, *any* octet value can be encoded using RFC 1001/1002 half-ascii
encoding. The restrictions mentioned above are either semantic (in the
case of the asterisk) or a programming limitation (in the case of the NUL
byte, which is typically used as a string terminator).
The mapping of NetBIOS names to DNS names is also a Microsoft-ism. The
RFCs specified that *encoded* names might some day be placed in the DNS.
So... Most likey what you are seeing is a character set conversion
problem or a bug in either Microsoft's WINS or our NBNS (which are you
Christopher R. Hertel -)----- University of Minnesota
crh at nts.umn.edu Networking and Telecommunications Services
Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them
with your hands...you choose them as your guides, and following
them you will reach your destiny. --Carl Schultz
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