Multiple workgroups : Multiple Subnets

David Collier-Brown David.Collier-Brown at
Tue Sep 5 11:48:37 GMT 2000

"Alex H. Vandenham" wrote:
> I am still trying to make samba work over a WAN with multiple workgroups
> although I am just about to throw in the towel.  I had hoped to find a solution
> that would permit a Windows PC to browse a (MS) workgroup (ie retrieve the
> browse list from the workgroup master browser for a remote (MS) workgroup when
> that MB is NOT a samba server).  Since WINS only provides the broadcast
> address of the remote LMB and that broadcast will not reach the remote LAN,
> here are some of the other things I have tried;
> 1) force samba to use lmhosts before wins (resolv order), and
> put the name of remote workgroup LMB (other than the remote samba server)
> in the lmhosts file (since lmhosts permits the use of that 16th host type byte)
> -However, it appears that samba does not refer to the lmhosts files for WINS
> requests - only for local name resolution (is that correct?)
> 2) Add an entry in the Local (Win) PC lmhosts file of the type
> <ip address> hostname#1d #PRE #DOM:<workgroup>
> -That doesn't work either
> My question(s) :
> (1) When a windows PC is used to browse the network, and the
> user clicks on a (MS) workgroup name, does that result in a broadcast netBIOS
> request or a WINS request (or both) or something else?

	It results in a name lookup, via wins or broadcast, for
	the workgroup's local master browser.  Having found
	the machine, it sends a query to it for a browse list.

> (2) If a samba server receives a request such as the one from (1) above, does
> it respond, and if so, where does it obtain the information for the response.
> (Intuitively, there's no point for samba to respond to a broadcast request
> with a broadcast address.)

	Samba replies to the name query with a name list, and to
	the browse query with a list of machines in the workgroup,
	unicast to the requestor
> (3) Since (obviously) DNS and/or a "hosts" file can not help in
> retrieving a browse list from a remote LMB (resolving a (MS) workgroup name?),
> if there any other way that an lmhosts file can be used to provide the info
> required for the problem above(either on the local samba server or on the
> local PC).

	DNS, hosts and lmhosts files provide name-address
	mappings, a small part of the initial name lookup
	(yes, I'm oversimplifying)
> (4) Has anyone successfully implemented a "broadcast forwarding" solution that
> addresses this problem.
> OR, is it that every workgroup must have a samba LMB on the local LAN and a DMB
> somewhere on the WAN. 

	The general case is that there will be a local browse master
	per subnet and a master master somewhere (;-))  Thses need
	not be sambae.

David Collier-Brown,  | Always do right. This will gratify some people
185 Ellerslie Ave.,   | and astonish the rest.        -- Mark Twain
Willowdale, Ontario   | //
Work: (905) 415-2849 Home: (416) 223-8968 Email: davecb at

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