[Samba] Network browsing

Chris Smith smb23 at realcomputerguy.com
Tue Sep 18 16:33:52 GMT 2007

On Tuesday 18 September 2007, James Perry wrote:
> I'm sending a DNS query to the outside  
> world, and after some hunting around through various DNS servers, it  
> gives up and comes back empty, so then the clients have to resort to  
> broadcast.

They shouldn't resort to broadcast unless WINS for some reason isn't working. 
Check the wins.dat file on the server and see if it is properly propagated 
with the clients information.

> So just having Samba act as a WINS server with the 'wins   
> support = yes' option set isn't enough, even if the clients are  
> specifically told that the Samba server is also a WINS server...

Make sure the clients also have NetBIOS over TCP/IP enabled. Do a testparm and 
make sure that "smb ports" has 139 enabled (445 is optional, the default is 
both which is just fine). Also verify that nmbd is running.

It's good to have a local DNS server and cache but it shouldn't be necessary 
for doing NetBIOS browsing as long WINS, or its static counterpart, lmhosts 
files, which you can try in place of hosts file entries - and like hosts 
files they need to be replicated on every system, is working properly.

Clearly a combination of WINS and DNS are to be preferred over their 
respective lmhosts and hosts files. For NetBIOS browsing WINS and lmhosts are 
to be given preference, especially with older clients.

One problem with many DSL/Cable routers is that there is no way to reserve IP 
address assignments and therefore your systems might different IP addresses 
from time to time, especially after power outages. WINS, being dynamic can 
handle this, whereas lmhosts (and hosts) have to be edited. Best to also run 
a proper DHCP server as well or statically assign addresses, unless you set 
your DNS server to do dynamic updates as well.

Bottom line is that I think your WINS server, and or clients are not working 


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