I dont see my Server Samba in an NT explorer !

Rob Tanner rtanner at linfield.edu
Tue Oct 3 05:35:53 GMT 2000


You're problem is that your trying to make complicated something that is 
really simple-minded.

The problem with Microsoft software is three-fold:  it's poorly written, 
it's practically undocumented (reams of paper and billions of words that 
provide little to no useful/helpful information is not documentation), and 
the design is simple-minded (not simple and elegant, but simple as in naive 
like a 13 year old who thinks he knows everything).  The reason Microsoft 
networking is such a pain is that we're constantly trying to make it work 
in the real world which is something it really knows nothing about.  To add 
to all that, rather than junking the old and rewriting from scratch, 
Microsoft patches their systems.  Thus the bizarre character of browsing is 
really how you make something designed to work on a small isolated LAN work 
in the real world of enterprise networks -- it's a temporary patch sold to 
the unsuspecting public as state of the art high technology.

Okay, now that I've ragged on Microsoft (I usually have better things to 
do, but every once in a while... ), let's get to figuring out what's going 
on.  First of all, NT networking was degned to work with NETBUI, a 
non-routed, non-routable protocol running over ethernet.  Ethertalk 
(AppleTalk on ethernet) is at least a generation ahead of NT -- so keep 
that in mind while you're cursing out that [censored] EtherTalk.  Since NT 
is designed to work on a small-scale isolated network, it does everything 
by broadcasts.  I forget whether the NT broadcasts "I'm up" when it comes 
on line of whether the browser continually broadcasts "who's out there" and 
the NT just answers, but in either case, that's how the master browser 
knows who is up and running on the segment.  Now, if I'm on another 
segment, my master browser won't see any of the broadcasts on your segment, 
and I won't see any of your machines.

For the sake of argument, let's assume the two segments are two different 
Class C networks connected to two different ports on a router.  So, in 
order for me to see the NT machines on your segment and for you to see 
mine, the master browsers have to share the information back and forth, and 
they each have to know who the other is by IP address so they can send TCP 
packets back and forth containing their respective browse lists, and WINS 
servers, unless they're doing DNS proxy, have to do the same thing (like I 
said, a temporary patch in lieu of doing it right, except that Microsoft 
concludes that the patch is doing it right).  Fortunately, I work with 
UNIX/Linux, but the NT folks I know all call it the same thing, "job 

Samba, being of superior design to anything Microsoft is capable of doing, 
give you an option.  You can either let Samba work in a strict NT mode and 
let the master browsers share the data, or you can configure Samba to 
communicate its whereabouts directly to the browsers in other subnets.  The 
Samba config option is "remote announce" and it goes in the "global" 
section.  You can specify eith the exact IP of the foreign browser, if 
known, or send to the broadcast address of the foreign subnet -- but be 
sure that "enable directed broadcasts" is turned on in the router.

A lot of words, a lot of time spent ragging on Microsoft.  But at least I 
hope they're more helpful the an equal volume of Microsoft documentation.

-- Rob

--On 10/03/00 12:31:12 AM -0400 Marty Leisner <leisner at rochester.rr.com> 

> I found the way they get the browsing to be truly bizarre.
> It seems indeterminate when it would "see" the machine
> (I've seen this at home on one cable)
> I'd advice:
>	 1) check the lan with ethereal or tcpdump on port 138 (I think)
>	 2) go eat or have a cup of coffee
> I've also seen the problem at home with a samba machine and an NT
> machine... sometimes it takes the NT a long time to see it...
> Also you can do a
>	 net view \\sambahost
> to see if you have connectivity.  But it still may take a while to show
> up in the network neightborhood.
> Marty

       _ _ _ _           _    _ _ _ _ _
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  /\/_/ \/_/  /\/_/_/\/_/    /\/_/         (Whatever is said in Latin
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  Rob Tanner
  UNIX and Networks Manager
  Linfield College, McMinnville OR
  (503) 434-2558 <rtanner at linfield.edu>

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