DHCP and NetBIOS Scopes

John Terpstra jht at samba.org
Wed May 9 22:45:51 GMT 2001


Please note that I have deployed MS Windows 9X, NT and 2000 in way more
sites than I can number. I have used DHCP as well as hard coded IP
Addressing. I have rolled out Samba into hundreds of sites. NEVER have I
by choice implmented NetBIOS Scope IDs.

Not one of these sites has ever had a browsing problem that specifically
required the setting of a null NetBIOS scope.

In all sites that have used NetBIOS Scopes this has caused more trouble
than it is worth. Unfortunately, even a space, as in " ", is a valid
scope, and you can't see it in the MS Windows IP configuration tool.
NetBIOS Scopes are evil unless the site knows exactly what they are doing.
This is unfortunately not often the case.

When I ran my own consulting business, I made a zillion dollars correcting
NetBIOS Scope problems. The best way to eliminate the problem is to remove
Scopes completely.

Now, if you have no NetBIOS scope information on your MS Windows client
then it makes NO sense to send the DHCP Client a null scope. This is what
your patch to the documentation does. I can not see the sense of that. It
is not needed except to kludge a broken IP configuration. I do NOT
recommend setting up a broken configuration. Therefore, I see you patch as
un-necessary medicine.

No offense meant, but I did not apply your patch to fix a broken scope

I did add the second WINS server address, as there are MS Windows TCP/IP
stacks that reverse the WINS addresses. This results in WINS address 1
being set to WINS address 2 and vica versa. The result is that if one has
one of these old broken IP stacks then browsing will be broken on some
machines. The patch you rovided here is valid for such broken clients,
though I am not aware of anyone who uses one of these today.

If you wish to pursue this then please email me off this list. I am happy
to discuss this further. If you can prove the necessity to apply your
patch, or a substitute, then I am happy to do so.

John T.
John H Terpstra
Email: jht at samba.org

"The only way to make money - is to print it!", anonymous

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