[Samba] WINS name resolution doesn't work

Volker Lendecke Volker.Lendecke at SerNet.DE
Fri Jul 18 15:19:46 GMT 2008

On Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 04:50:46PM +0200, kissg wrote:
> I've set up my Samba PDC to act as a WINS server, because I need remote
> access to it (through a VPN connection). I put "wins support = Yes" into the
> smb.conf file. As far as I know, WINS doesn't use a unique port number, so
> enabling the usual NetBIOS ports (137/udp, 138/udp, 139/tcp) on the firewall
> should be enough to make WINS work. I did this already.
> I tried to connect to a share on my PDC through a VPN connection. My VPN
> server properly sends the address of the WINS server, that's sure, I can see
> the correct address in the output of "ipconfig /all". smdb and nmdb are
> bound to the wildcard address to accept connections from ppp interfaces
> created on the fly. Everything seems to work correctly, but my clients
> cannot use NetBIOS names, when connecting to a share. Connecting to the
> server by its IP address works with no problem.
> I am creative, so I decided to disable WINS and use DNS instead. After that,
> name resolution worked wonderfully.
> But it's not that easy... by using DNS, my PDC is not able to resolve the
> netbios names of remote clients, because they don't register their names in
> DNS when connecting. Is there any way to use WINS on VPN clients? It seems,
> that Windows silently ignores my WINS server and only tries to resolve names
> with broadcasting, which is of course not possible through a PPP connection.
> Do you have any ideas?

If I was you I would try to reproduce the problem without
the VPN client active. If you connect the Windows client
directly to the LAN it should make use of WINS correctly if
configured to do so. You can check this with a sniffer, or
if you have it available, use a routed LAN separate from the
one where your PDC is located. If that works fine, then the
VPN client software is very likely the one breaking WINS.

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