Multiple login failures problem

David L. Jarvis David at
Thu Jan 11 23:10:04 GMT 2001

I believe I may have solved my problem and I wanted to
share my results with the list.

> From: Nelson, John P. [mailto:NelsonJP at]
> Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2001 5:32 PM
> >So you're saying I can put IP's -without- hostnames
> >in /etc/hosts?
> I don't know about THAT.

Apparently it does indeed work (at least on RH6.2).
I took the advice of a several people and added the
ip's to /etc/hosts with no name and it seemed to
clear up the problem (only time will tell for sure though).

However - the question remained "WHY was Samba not
resolving using WINS"?  All those DHCP clients were
registering with a WINS server so I shouldn't have had
to mess with /etc/hosts.

> >  Samba doesn't care if it comes back with
> >a blank hostname, or a hostname that doesn't match the
> >incoming login request?
> The latter is OK.

My tests confirm this, as well as the log files I read (ugh).
The log files read "UNKNOWN" and Samba doesn't seem to care.
Perhaps someone can explain why it does the lookup if it
doesn't care about the result(?).

> >Second question: Since my smb.conf file specifies a
> >name resolve order with wins being first, why can't
> >Samba do it's lookup there?  I made the change just
> >yesterday and already today several workstations have
> >had the same "Network is busy" problem.
> I don't know.  I'm sorry.

Well as it turns out, it's sysadmin error (mine).
Diagnosing with nmblookup I found the broadcast (and thus
the netmask) were class c instead of class b.
In my own defense, that classless notation in smb.conf
makes it a little less obvious (and I was -sure- I had
fixed it long ago when clients couldn't get connected).
It was /24 instead of /16.  Yuk.

Now my question is - how was Samba able to work at all
with it wrong?  We never had any problems other than
intermittent login failures.

I guess the lesson to be gained (and shared) here is
"Just because the clients can read/write files on your Samba
shares doesn't mean it's configured correctly!"

(Side note: This also doesn't explain why the "Network is busy"
error happens with shares on NT servers as well, but that's
not a Samba issue)

> Probably because the easy questions are getting answered by members of the
> user community, while the really hard questions require a
> response from one of the samba maintainers.
> They are occasionally busy with other things.

Got me there.
I also suspect most people unsubscribe from the list after
they've had their question(s) answered.  Guess I can't blame them,
it's not like the good old days when news traffic was tolerable
and you could monitor and participate in a small handful of
groups on a regular basis.  These days the volume is so great
it's hard to imagine having the time to participate much.

Thanks for the insights
David L. Jarvis
David at

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