browser problem

Peter Stoddard stoddard at
Tue Oct 27 00:11:45 GMT 1998

The browsing capability in Network Neighborhood disppears periodically. 
Usually, double-clicking on Network Neighborhood gives us a list of all
the NT and Unix/samba boxes on the network segment (i.e. in the
Workgroup).  When browsing disppears, all we see is *Entire Network*,
which has nothing in it. 

We run a unix/NT network with 6 unix servers and about 80 NT clients.  We
are running NT Workstation 4.0 SP3 only ... not NT Server.  All unix
servers run Solaris 2.5/2.6 and Samba 1.9.18p10 with encrypted passwords
enabled.  Here is my smb.conf for our main file server.  I have enabled
preferred master on this one server, and increased the OS level on all
unix servers to values ranging from 45 to 50.

Restarting a unix server solves the problem temporarily, but it returns
after a few days or a week. 


; Configuration file for smbd.
oplocks = no
protocol = NT1 
os level = 50
preferred master = yes
debug level = 1
printing = sysv
printcap name = /usr/local/samba/lib/myprintcap
load printers = yes
guest account = nobody
security = user
wins support = yes
server string = Samba %v on %h
workgroup = WORKGROUP
preserve case = yes
;  Next line added for Mac DAVE compatibility (24 June 98, js):
short preserve case = yes
case sensitive = no
mangle case = no
alternate permissions = yes

message command = /bin/mail -s 'message from %f on %m' root \
                  < %s; rm %s

log file = /usr/local/samba/log.%m
dead time = 15 
update encrypted = no
encrypt passwords = yes
include = /usr/local/samba/lib/smb.conf.%U


When I run smbclient -L for any of the unix servers, here are the last few


This machine has a browse list:

Server              Comment
---------           -------
EMPM            Samba 1.9.18p10 on empm

This machine has a workgroup list:

Workgroup     Master
---------     -------


Note JOHNSON is one of the NT Workstation clients.

My hypothesis is that these NT clients are participating in master browser
elections, and they are winning the elections, becoming the master browser
and then cannot actually perform the duties of master browser.  Based on
this hypothesis I have tried to skew the elections in favor of the unix
boxes with higher OS levels and by enabling preferred master on one of
them.  It doesn*t seem to be working. 

Restarting one of the unix serves solves the problem.  Browsing returns to
the network neighborhood and smbclient -L servername results in the


This machine has a workgroup list:

Workgroup     Master
---------     -------


Now the main file server *empm* is seen as the *Master* (Master Browser?). 
As I mentioned before, browsing has returned to the network neighborhood. 

Is my hypothesis correct?  If so, how can I get my servers to win the
browser elections? 

Peter Stoddard  <stoddard at>
System Administrator
Environmental Monitoring and Pest Management Branch
California Department of Pesticide Regulation
(916) 730-0490, (916) 324-4168 or (916) 324-4078

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