More cross subnet browsing et al

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at
Wed Dec 10 19:00:32 GMT 1997

On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Peter de Groot wrote:

> I view the WINS server as being layered over the 
> underlying hostname resolution protocol. i.e.  the WINS server
> supplies hostname information PLUS other things -- like which
> machine is the local master browser etc.

i have said this approximately once a month for the last two years: i 
will say it again.  WINS is not browsing.  NetBIOS is not browsing.   
browsing is not NetBIOS.  browsing is not WINS.

microsoft browsing _uses_ NetBIOS to resolve 15 byte names that browsing
happens to present to you in the network neighbourhood.

> I suppose what I am trying to say is.  There should be consistancy in
> the 
> hostname resolution.  When having network problems, it is hard to
> resolve them when hostname resolution appears from thin air.
> Does every nmbd daemon act as a DNS server, unless I dns proxy=off, and
> regardless of the WINS support flag ????

i've had a quick look at the code: this would appear to be a bug: thank 
you for pointing it out.  i'd appreciate it if you could send in a short 
message to samba-bugs, describing this.

> Another Problem.  I have a number of LANS connected into our WAN. These 
> LANs are running IRIX 6.x - Samba 1.9.17p4 and Windoze95 (no NT around).
> We define separate workgroups per LAN, encompassing all of the machines
> at that site (LAN).
> Reading the docs.  I
> 1. Defined a WAN wide WINS server.
> 2. At each site (LAN), I set up Domain master and master browser, for
>    the separate workgroups. Each of these domain masters 
>    pointed to the WAN wide WINS server.  The WINS server was also a
> domain
>    master and master browser on one of the workgroups (domains).
>        LAN 1 (workgroup 1)      LAN 2  (Workgroup 2)     LAN 3(workgroup
> 3)
>  |-----|-------|------|........|-----|-----|-----| ......
> |----|-----|----|
>       Master                     Master                      Master
>       Browser                    Browser                     Browser
>         &
>        WINS server
> I set up a Windows95 client to use the wins server defined above, and
> could only see the samba servers on the local LAN.  I could NOT see the
> other workgroups, which are on other networks.
> I then set up ALL of the samba servers to be in the one workgroup,
> regardless
> of LAN, basically following the doc.  This appeared to work. 

oh, good.

> In my prefered configuration, checking the log file, there appears to be 
> some communication between the master browsers on the various LANS
> and the WINS server, but master browsers are not replicating the
> workgroup
> lists on the other LANS.

that's because they don't know about the other workgroups, because they 
can only find about other workgroups by broadcast-isolated NetBIOS 

microsoft gets round this by having a proprietary communications system 
between its domain master browsers, and also by having a proprietary 
system built in to its WINS server, where a domain master can ask the 
WINS server for a list of other domain masters.

there is a partial fix, which is to create a parameter "other workgroups" and
to manually add these workgroups to the browse lists.  you _can_ do this on
NT server (Control Panel | Network | Browser Service (i think) | Properties |
Add workgroup). 


<a href="mailto:lkcl at"  > Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton  </a>
<a href=""> Samba Consultancy and Support </a>

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