SMB protocol help

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Tue Nov 6 08:22:52 GMT 2001

> Hi.  I'm a seasoned protocols engineer, but new to SMB and Samba.  Two
> questions:
> 1. Where can I find SMB protocol specs?  (This must be a FAQ; I've
>    searched for a FAQ list but can not locate one.)

The closest thing to a spec for SMB is at:

No real "specification" exists as the protocol tends to morph a bit every 
time Microsoft releases a new OS or service pack.

The "classic" underlying session is carried via the NetBIOS API, which has
been implemented on top of lots of "real" transports including TCP/IP. 
See RFC1001 and RFC1002.  See also: for a
description of how this all works.  Note that with W2K, Microsoft
introduced support for SMB over native TCP/IP on port 445...which is

Regarding browsing, there are some good references in the Samba documents 
collection.  I wrote up an overview as part of:

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

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