wins support question

John Gerth gerth-samba at
Sun Oct 17 02:41:06 GMT 2004

Igor Belyi wrote:
> Andrew Bartlett wrote:
>> On any NetBIOS network, there should be one, and only one WINS server. 
>> This server should be notified to DHCP clients by setting it in DHCP
>> (dhcpd.conf for the ISC DHCP server), and manually configured on all
>> Samba and fixed-address machines.
>> A Samba server becomes the one wins server for the network by setting
>> 'wins support = yes'. 
>> Andrew Bartlett
> Ok... And what would happen if there's no WINS server at all? Will this 
> result in machines not finding Domain?
  Without a WINS server, the default method available to a client to locate
  the Domain Controller (DC) is to use a local broadcast to ask.   Since
  broadcast packets are by definition confined to the client's subnet, the
  client will fail to locate a DC which lives on another subnet.  Thus,
  only very small enterprises can exist without a WINS server.

  Another way to think of this is to consider that a WINS server performs
  the same function for Netbios names that a DNS server performs for
  IP names.  You wouldn't attempt to run a network of any size without
  a DNS server so likewise you shouldn't attempt to run a domain without
  a WINS server.

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