Windows machines can (only sometimes) not see the linux samba servers (after 35 days)

David L. Jarvis David at
Wed Jan 17 13:22:10 GMT 2001

> [Maro Hartmann wrote:]
> Dear all,
> 1. I am running two linux boxes in a heterogeneous tcp-ip / ipx network.
> 2. Samba 2.0.7 is running on both linux machines.
> 3. Kernel 2.2.16
> 4. The problem now is that really ONLY SOMETIMES the windows 9x 
> machines in
> the network cannot see samba shares.
> 5. After rebooting the linux machines everything is fine again.
> Has anybody seen this problem before?
> Why does this appear only SOMETIMES (after 35 days of constant good
> service).
> Does any know what is going on here. The 35 day phenomenon is now
> consolidating.
> Thank you very much in advance if any has any idea.
> Regards
> Maro Hartmann

I can't comment on the part about 35 days, but other than that
it sounds like the same problem I had - workstations would
sometimes not log into & map to samba shares, but after a
reboot or two or three, it would eventually map.
Turned out to be that Samba was BROADCASTING to do a reverse
netbios name lookup, despite the "name resolve order" line
in smb.conf. It completely ignored the WINS server, and since
I didn't have all the workstations (whose ip's are handed out
by an NT dhcp server) listed in /etc/hosts, Samba would
broadcast, and of course, sometimes receive an answer quickly
enough, and sometimes not.  Hence, logins would arbitrarily fail.

An easy way to test to see if you're having the same problem
is to add entries in /etc/hosts for every ip that your workstations
will ever have.  The hostname is irrelevant, you can put anything
or nothing in for it and Samba doesn't care.  Restart smb and
see if your problems go away for good.

PS: Many thanks (not) to the Samba maintainers for responding
to my questions regarding this issue.  So far as I can tell,
Samba doesn't communicate with WINS on NT (at least not for logins)
and it's of concern to no one.  Also, Samba doesn't seem to care
what it finds for a hostname in /etc/hosts, which seems odd as well.
I would hope that these strange and disconcerting behaviors are
part of Micro$oft's specifications and that the Samba team is just
implementing it for consistency, but since nobody will answer
my repeated queries here, we'll never really know.

David L. Jarvis
David at

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