Browsing across subnets without WINS

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Wed Mar 19 03:53:26 GMT 2003

"Alex @ Avantel" wrote:
> It's been a while since I looked at this stuff but at the time, WINS
> replication was not available with samba, and there was no apparent
> solution to browsing multiple subnets when the 'workgroup' name was
> different on each subnet.  That caused a problem for use of samba in WAN
> VPNs as documented at;
> That same problem, as far as I have been able to determine, still exists.
> Any comments/corrections/suggestions welcome.

The first comment/correction/suggestion is that there needs to be a *lot*
better understanding of the workings of the NBT namespace.

You don't need WINS replication (but JF has been working on it).  WINS
replication simply means that you have two WINS servers with the same data.
That gives you redundancy, but that's all.

So how does redundancy help with browsing?  It doesn't.

As for the workgroup name being different on each subnet...  That's the way
Browsing works.  Really.  Promise.

As for the workgroup name being different on different subnets... combining
browse lists from multiple workgroups has *nothing* to do with WINS
replication.  With Windows, the only way that the browse list for workgroup
A gets combined with the browselist for workgroup B is if there is a subnet
somewhere that has a Local Master Browser for A *and* an LMB for B on the
same subnet.  Browselists from separate workgroups are combined when the
LMBs on a subnet exchange information.  That combined lists are then
uploaded to the DMBs and re-propogated.

If all of your DMBs are Samba-based, then you can use Samba's 'enhanced
browsing' and 'remote browse sync' options to improve things.  Read up on
these options in the smb.conf documentation.

I hope that makes a little more sense.  I've seen the Avantel docs and,
well, that's why I am writing a book about how this stuff actually works.

Chris -)-----

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

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