Can Samba act as WINS with NT4 Servers ?

Stan stan at
Tue Sep 29 22:52:04 GMT 1998

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am writing to ask if Samba (1.9.18p4) is able to act as a WINS for
NT servers ?

We observer the following pathology :-

With Samba operating as WINS (wins support = yes) on a LAN
containing NT4 SP3 servers and Win 95 PCs, seperated by a router
from another LAN containing a WIN NT4 SP3 server and a small number
of Win 95 PCs (as drawn in Mr Blairs superb book p 211 vi)

-----NT4 --- Samba ------ Win 95 ... ------X X is a router
-----NT4 -- Win 95 ... --------------------X

While the Samba server is a WINS it is *not* a master browser; we
would like the NT4 servers to be the master browsers and on the
LAN containing Samba, one of the NT4 servers should become the
Domain master browser.

While the NT servers register the name Domain<1b>, so that an
nmblookup on the server shows something like

doing parameter guest account = nobody
doing parameter default service = reference
doing parameter domain master = no
doing parameter local master = no
doing parameter prefered master = no
doing parameter os level = 0
doing parameter max log size = 10240
doing parameter share modes = yes
doing parameter wins proxy = yes
doing parameter wins support = yes
doing parameter username map = /usr/local/samba/lib/
doing parameter security = server
doing parameter password server = IPA01 IPA02
pm_process() returned Yes
adding IPC service
Added interface ip= bcast= nmask=
bind succeeded on port 0
Socket opened.
Sending queries to
Got a positive name query response from ( ) ipa01<00>
Looking up status of
received 9 names
     IPA01           <00> -         M <ACTIVE>
     IPA01           <20> -         M <ACTIVE>
     IPAUSTRALIA     <00> - <GROUP> M <ACTIVE>
     IPAUSTRALIA     <1c> - <GROUP> M <ACTIVE>
     IPAUSTRALIA     <1b> -         M <ACTIVE>
     IPAUSTRALIA     <1e> - <GROUP> M <ACTIVE>
     IPA01           <03> -         M <ACTIVE>
     IPAUSTRALIA     <1d> -         M <ACTIVE>
     ..__MSBROWSE__. <01> - <GROUP> M <ACTIVE>
num_good_sends=0 num_good_receives=0

, the critical name of the Domain Master browser, IPAUSTRALIA<1b>is *not*
repeat not registered with the WINS so that cross subnet browsing does
not work.

The name IPAUSTRALIA<1b> is not found in
. wins.dat
. namelelist.debug
or using nmblookup -R -U wins_name IPAUSTRALIA#1b

The WINS is registering other names such as IPAUSTRALIA#1e, and all the
messenger and workstation names of the WIN 95 p-node (point-to-point, 0x2)

Further when the NT servers are restarted, log.nmb contains messages like

wins_process_name_registration_request: Unique name registration for name
1d> IP
wins_process_name_registration_request: Ignoring request to register name
1d> from IP Group
name registr
ation for name ^A^B__MSBROWSE__^B<01> IP

Does this means it registers MSBROWSE instead of the local master browsers
name ?

The Samba documents are littered with remarks like "If you have a computer
running NT Server on your network you will probably be better off
configuring it to act as your WINS Server".

Since I have rational (Unix is easier to manage remotely,
the databases are easy to export to the Web etc) and irrational
prejudices against NT, I prefer Samba as WINS. Does
"probably better off" mean certainly better off ?

Thank you,

Yours sincerely

S Hopcroft

shopcroft at IPAustralia
IP Australia

1 Samba Integrating UNIX and Windows, Blair JDi, SCS 1998

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