machine names same as usernames -> problems... -- here's a"real world" NetBIOS clusterfsck ...

Richard Sharpe rsharpe at
Thu Feb 6 22:28:14 GMT 2003

On Thu, 6 Feb 2003, Bryan J. Smith wrote:

> Quoting Andrew Bartlett <abartlet at>:
> > Why can't it work?  I've seen this discussed a number of times, but
> > never really been told why it doesn't work.  That $ is there for
> > exactly that reason you know - to make them different.  
> Er, not exactly.  If I remember correctly, the "$" in the passwd file just a
> Samba-specific nomenclature, correct?  Plus CIFS has all sorts of "trailing
> characters" after NetBIOS names that are _not_ part of the unique NetBIOS name
> itself.

No, not really. The \$ in the name of the trust account is an MS thing. 
Samba requires a machine account be backed up on the server with an 
account of that name. However, as far as I can see, we could remove that 
restriction, as we could keep all the needed info in the secrets file or 
another tdb.

However, the issue likely boils down to NetBIOS names being registered 
when the user tries to log on.

When a workstation boots, it registers its workstation name as a NetBIOS 
name. Indeed, it registers several types of NetBIOS names, including a 
<00> name, a <03> name and, if you have enabled sharing, a <20> name.

When a user tries to log on, the workstation also tries to register that 
user's name as a NetBIOS name, with types of <00> and <03>. However, they 
clash with the already registered machine names. SOL.
I imagine that this is not a problem with XP based on some comments from 
Chris Hertel.

Of course, this might not be the ultimate problem, either.

> Understand CIFS itself _requires_ NetBIOS names _must_ be _unique_, otherwise a
> service or resource may be attempting to connect to the address of a NetBIOS
> "user" (impossible) instead of the address of a NetBIOS "system".

You know what, I suspect Andrew knows this.

Richard Sharpe, rsharpe[at], rsharpe[at], 

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