[Samba] Cross-Subnet Browsing Problem

Todd Pytel tppytel at sophrosune.org
Sat Jul 15 00:42:43 GMT 2006

Hi all,

I've had cross-subnet browsing working in Samba in the past, though I 
tend to struggle with it each time I set it up. For whatever reason, I 
can't seem to get things working this time.

Summary: Only my desktop, not the file server, shows up in the desktop's 
Network Neighborhood. (I have left the machines running for several 
hours, in case there's a time-to-sync issue involved.)

Details: The Samba server (ARISTOTLE) is in the 172.16.0.x subnet and my 
XP desktop (TIMAEUS) is in 192.168.0.x. There is no NAT or firewall 
running in between the subnets. Aristotle acts as a WINS server and is 
recognized as such in Timaeus' ipconfig output. Name lookups work fine, 
as verified by MS's nblookup tool. Also, I can browse shares on 
Aristotle using \\aristotle, so the problem is just that the server 
doesn't register for browsing.

I ran a capture using ethereal, and everything in there looks OK. The 
desktop boots up and registers its name with WINS on the server. Shortly 
thereafter, the desktop looks up the DMB against WINS (which is the 
server - it's the only one on the network), and sends it a "Backup List 
Request" to which the server sends a "Backup List Response" naming 
itself as the backup server. And that's it. Now, from what I can tell 
from reading the SMB protocol specs, the desktop is supposed to contact 
the named backup server in order to sync up its browse list. But that 
doesn't happen - there's nothing else in the packet capture, and no 
errors anywhere in the level 3 Samba logs or in the desktop's event 
logs. So it seems like everything works except for the very last step. 
Any idea what's going on?

What I'm guessing to be the relevant parts of smb.conf follow. If I can 
provide any more info, let me know.



workgroup = SOPHROSUNE
server string = File/Print Server
security = user

guest account = guest
(this account exists on the server)
local master = yes
os level = 99
domain master = yes
preferred master = yes

domain logons = yes
(last time I set this up, this seemed to be needed for cross-subnet 
browsing, but I don't really know. Something about IPC$ connections?)

wins support = yes

     comment = Home Directories
     browseable = no
     writable = yes
     valid users = %S
     hosts allow = 192.168.0.
     hosts deny =

     comment = Network Logon Service
     path = /usr/local/lib/samba/netlogon
     guest ok = yes
     writable = no
     share modes = no
(Like domain logons, prior experiments seemed to show that this was 
needed, but I don't really know.)

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