[Samba] Browsing with duplicate names in multiple workgroups/subnets and multihome machines

Thomas M. Skeren III tms3 at fsklaw.com
Tue Mar 29 02:25:21 GMT 2005

Jonathan Johnson wrote:

> You can see by the subject I've got an ugly problem. Even though I 
> don't have a Samba server anywhere near the network in question, 
> nobody understands browsing as well as the folks on the Samba team. :-)
> Here's the situation: I've got two workgroups, FLINTSTONE and RUBBLE 
> which are on physically separate networks. FLINTSTONE has a Windows 
> 2003 Active Directory domain controller; RUBBLE is a simple workgroup. 
> All workstations are either Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional.  
> There is no routing between these networks. However, there are two 
> workstations which are multihomed. More on that in a minute.
> Here's the logic (illogic?) of the network:
> Segment 1:
> * FLINTSTONE domain
> * PEBBLES (Windows 2003 Small Business Server Active Directory domain 
> controller)
> * FRED Windows XP Pro workstation (multi-homed to Segment 2, member of 
> * WILMA Windows XP Pro workstation (also multi-homed to Segment 2, 
> member of FLINTSTONE)
> Segment 2:
> * RUBBLE workgroup
> * BETTY Windows 2000 Pro workstation (single-homed, member of RUBBLE)
> * BARNEY Windows 2000 Pro workstation (single-homed, member of RUBBLE)
> * FLINTSTONE Windows 2000 Pro workstation (single-homed, member of 
> The reason that FRED and WILMA are multi-homed is that they both must 
> be able to access the workstations in the RUBBLE workgroup on Segment 
> 2. As you can see, we've got a name conflict: a workstation named the 
> same as the domain. This is, apparently, causing browsing problems for 
> the multi-homed workstations.
> Unfortunately, it's not as simple as renaming the FLINTSTONE 
> workstation to BAM-BAM. This network on Segment 2 was set up by 
> another vendor (who, we might add, seems to be rather clueless about 
> Windows networking), and they are afraid to change the name for fear 
> of what it would break. That vendors requirements do not allow routing 
> to other networks. This network is the automation system for a radio 
> station, and "it cannot go down." The domain of Segment 1 cannot be 
> changed, as Small Business Server doesn't allow that.
> At this point, I'm not really seeking solutions, but perhaps a 
> technical explanation of what might go on in this situation. Even if 
> there were no naming conflicts, what are the implications of having 
> two multi-homed non-routing Windows machines on common networks?

Hmm it's a pickle.  Try resolving netbios via DNS for the W2k3 domain 
and WINS for the other.  That's where I'd start poking around.  I have 
something of a similar problem on my VLAN.  I inherited a server named 
server that's w2k SBS with w2k pro server on another node named server.  
They have different domains.  I use bind9 and have both servers use it 
on the vlan, but the inherited domain uses a different WINS (itself) as 
do the clients.  When I join machines to the inherited domain over the 
VLAN I use the FQDN of that domain and set WINS manually.  I haven't had 
any conflicts yet.

The reason for allowing this is that the office my company acquired 
leased the computers in the office.  The lease ends in August.  I have 
reccommened returning the equipment, so I need to limp along until 
then.  But it works.  Something like this might work for you.  Dunno for 

> --Jonathan Johnson
> Sutinen Consulting, Inc.
> www.sutinen.com

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