only the first "wins server" works?

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Tue Apr 1 02:43:53 GMT 2003

On Mon, Mar 31, 2003 at 04:04:30PM -0800, Chere Zhou wrote:
> If I have 2 "wins server" set in smb.conf like the following:
> wins server =,
> I can verify that only the first works, the second does not, because the 2 
> wins servers have different contents in them, one for some domains and the 
> other for some other domains.  I have trusted domains in both of the wins 
> servers.  The domains are w2k domains, so the trust works through DNS, but I 
> joined samba 3.0 as an NT4 server.
> So my question is, is this by design of how WINS suppose to work, or 
> otherwise a problem in samba?  I am using cvs HEAD code of Mar. 19th.

WINS is badly designed.  The original NBNS design was better.  Samba has 
to be compatible with WINS, though, so we're stuck with Microsoft's 

That said...  The 'wins server' parameter handles *two* different new
features.  The first is WINS failover, and the second is multi-namespace.

WINS failover (which is what your line above is using) allows Samba to try 
a second WINS server if the first WINS server fails.  So, the way you have 
things written, if gets crushed by a falling asteroid, Samba 
will use  That only works if the two WINS servers are 
synchronized.  Otherwise, they will have separate (and incompatible) 

The other new feature is multi-namespace.  If you use a colon (":") to 
separate the IP addresses, the second WINS server will be used if the 
first could not resolve the NetBIOS name to an address.

Note that it is dangerous to have a single node using multiple namespaces.  
NBT was not designed to work that way, and conflicts can occur.

Chris -)-----

Samba Team --     -)-----   Christopher R. Hertel
jCIFS Team --   -)-----   ubiqx development, uninq.
ubiqx Team --     -)-----   crh at
OnLineBook --    -)-----   crh at

More information about the samba-technical mailing list