[Samba] nmbd woes (still)

John H Terpstra jht at samba.org
Sun Apr 20 15:42:08 GMT 2003

On Mon, 21 Apr 2003, James wrote:

> Hi John,
> I'm not trying to be a critical or even complain, but since you asked you
> must at a minimum be watching this (now aged thread).

Yes. I do watch the samba mailing lists carefully. I do try to help as
many people as I can. I have just flown back grom Germany to the USA and
have been a little jet lagged, and that has caused some delays in my
responsiveness. But I will try to assist since you have written to me
directly for assistance.

I am updating the HOWTO documentation in preparation for the release of
Samba-3.0.0 so I also have to balance my time so that the document will be
sufficiently complete. We are updting this document every few days at the
moment so it would help to keep checking for updates.

FWIIW: If anyone wishes to pay for support I can guarrantee them 100%
satisfaction and 100% attention until their problem is completely solved.
I am sure that in this situation they and I would be completely happy as
the paying person would get a relatively painless solution and I can pay
my rent. :) I would not make this comment except that you wrote to me
directly asking for help.

> My specific problem with the nmbd documentation is that it's relationship to
> configuration options in the smb.conf file are not well documented/clear.

If you care to use SWAT (the Samba Web Admin Tool) you will find the
smb.conf parameters reasonably well laid out. nmbd handles name resolution
and does browse list handling for samba. The configuration parameters
involved in nmbd's operation are:

Browsing options:
	* os level
	  lm announce
	  lm interval
	* preferred master
	* local master
	* domain master
	  browse list
	  enhanced browsing

Name Resolution Method:
	* name resolve order

WINS options:
	  dns proxy
	  wins proxy
	* wins server
	* wins support
	  wins hook

WINS Server and WINS Support are mutually exclusive options.

Those marked with an '*' are the only options that commonly MAY need to be

I should point out that even if not one of these parameters is set nmbd
will still do it's job. The details of how browse list handling works is
documented in the Samba-HOWTO-Collection. The current version of this
document is available from the Samba web site. I would refer you to (for
example): http://us1.samba.org/samba/docs/ for a collection of documents
that might help you. In particular I would refer you to:


Please read carefully chapters: 3, 23, 24

I hope helps to answer your question.

I agree that the Samba-HOWTO-Collection is still a crappy piece of work,
after all, that is the feedback we have been getting. I'll bet that those
giving this type of feedback have not checked how this document has grown
since samba-2.2.x!

It clearly needs input from someone who can better organise the
information so that evreyone will be able to find the answers they are
looking for. I would value your feedback and contribution. If someone
would just help out we would all appreciate their effort and give them
abundant credit for their contribution.

I am doing my best to try to rearrange this document to improve it's value
- but I am an expert and not a novice - so I have no trouble locating
information I need. That makes me a bad editor and you the very best
source of feedback - if only more people like you would offer some help.

The type of help we need is in the form of concrete recommendations,
preferably with details on what to re-arrange, where and how, what
headings to use, what information is missing. My crystal ball is worn out.

Samba is user supported software. That means you can make a difference. In
the least it would help a great deal if you could document in detail how
you went about solving your problems. If I could get some indication of
the approach people take then I can re-write and add documentation that
will be better organised to meet user needs.

> For example:
> I am having difficulty in that my samba host is not appearing in my network
> neighbourhood workgroup.  I can clearly see that nmbd is running with
> appropriate options as a daemon.  I have certain assumptions about a system
> in this state one of them is if it's running (nmbd) it should be working
> assuming my configuration is correct.  This was not the case so my next
> assumption was that I had misconfigured nmbd in the smb.conf file.

So have you used a tool like ethereal (see www.ethereal.com) to see what
information nmbd (udp ports 137 and 138) is sending out?

Have you followed chapter 33 of the above document to find a possible
explanation for the problem you are seeing?

> The first question I ask myself then is, what is the minimum
> configuration required to make nmbd work.  The nmbd manpage doesn't tell
> me this, neither does the smb.conf manpage.  I would like to see such
> information documented somewhere clearly and out of the context of smbd
> (for nmbd) and vice versa for smbd.

The minimum configuration is:

	workgroup = WORKGROUP

	path = /tmp

> Anyway, I'm still experiencing this problem and if I knew for certain
> that my minimum configuration was correct I could at least start to
> point my finger at other causes.  Of course I have already tried to do
> this but have not been successful thus bringing me back to possibly
> broken configuration or broken binary.

The most common cause of browsing problems is inconsistent or broken
TCP/IP configuration on either the samba server or on the MS Windows
network clients.

The second most common problem today is that most Linux systems come with
some sort of firewall enabled that effectively filters out all samba

Samba is a complex application, but it's default settings are carefully
chosen so that even the above minimal configuration should work. If you do
not see your samba server in the client browse list after a 45 minute
period then somethings is sadly broken - and that is most unlikely to be
samba itself.

I hope this answer points you at the solution. More so, I hope I will
receive your edits to the Samba-HOWTO-Collection that will make your pain
and agony and the need for me to write a custom reply like this totally
unnecessary in the future. Will you help me please?

- John T.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John H Terpstra" <jht at samba.org>
> To: "Matthew Western" <mwestern at affairs.net.au>
> Cc: <samba at lists.samba.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 10:01 PM
> Subject: RE: [Samba] nmbd woes (still)
> > On Wed, 16 Apr 2003, Matthew Western wrote:
> >
> > > >  I wish nmbd was
> > > >more thoroughly
> > > >documented.  The manpage offers no help.
> > >
> > > me too.  i believe that version 3 of samba has replication between
> servers
> > > as one of the new features, lets hope that it has a decent stack of docs
> as
> > > a new 'feature'.  :)
> >
> > As the samba-team person who is working on updating our documentation I'd
> > appreciate a little more information that helps me to understand exactly
> > what you believe you would like to see.
> >
> > Should I understand that you have checked the latest
> > Samba-HOWTO-Collection.pdf file that is in the current SAMBA_3_0 CVS tree
> > branch?
> >
> > Your feedback on this document while I am updating it is much more
> > helpful than criticism after samba-3.0.0 ships. If you can see opportunity
> > for improvement then I need that information now. Better still, give me
> > documentation updates for review for inclusion - we welcome any
> > information that you believe may help answer someone else's questions.
> > After all, samba is a community effort.
> >
> > - John T.
> > --
> > John H Terpstra
> > Email: jht at samba.org
> > --
> > To unsubscribe from this list go to the following URL and read the
> > instructions:  http://lists.samba.org/mailman/listinfo/samba

John H Terpstra
Email: jht at samba.org

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