[Samba] recognizing netbios name

Robert T McQuaid rtmq at fixcas.com
Sat Jul 25 01:25:43 MDT 2009

    July 25, 2009

    samba at lists.samba.org
    Subject: [Samba] recognizing netbios name

    The problem of getting samba to allow a windows network
    to recognize a Fedora system was solved using the
    following steps:

    1.  yum install samba

    This seems to be necessary, in spite of the fact that
    many network functions already work as the system is
    installed.  Maybe cifs is completely separate from

    2.  start samba manually

    This required navigating to /etc/rc.d/init.d
    and typing in
        nmbd restart
        smbd restart
    With these commands, the network did not work, but Samba
    did produce a log file.  Once the log file can be
    examined, the rest is easy.

    Robert T McQuaid


    previous correspondence:

    July 10, 2009

    François Legal
    devel at thom.fr.eu.org
    samba at lists.samba.org

    Subject: [Samba] recognizing netbios name

    You responded:

  > I think samba can't really work without smb.conf
  > Most parameters have default values, but things like
  > workgroup don't.
  > Do you have any kind of firewall present on the samba
  > machine or selinux policy in the way ?
  > When wins support is set to yes in smb.conf, can you see
  > the samba processes in ps-ef and the samba processes
  > listening on the correct net work interface
  > (netstat -lnp) ?
  > François


    I also find it remarkable that Samba runs without smb.conf,
    but it worked on two different tries.

    I already eliminated firewalls without improvement.
    As for selinux, I have not mastered it.  I hope it is not
    necessary to spend a month understanding it just so I can
    connect a LAN.

    When running Samba as well as possible, including

       wins support = yes

    ps -ef reports two processes containing smb in their name:

    netstat -lnp reports lots, too much to interpret.  The only
    entry with smb in its name is:

    unix 2 [ ACC ] STREAM LISTENING 14588 2716/gvfsd-smb-brow

    (Its all one line in the report).

    Experience with this kind of problem suggests that an
    elementary switch somewhere has not been turned on.
    There seem to be no tools that assist in locating it.


    I decided I was making little progress, so I decided to
    spend $80 buying Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  It comes
    with support through your configuration.  A call to to
    the US, after a half-hour listening to "your call is
    important to us", got a referral to a Canadian
    distributor.  When he asked me how to spell L-I-N-U-X, I
    new I was out of luck.  Conclusion:  There is no way for
    an individual user, even one with decades of computer
    experience, to set up a Linux LAN.

    Robert T McQuaid
    Mattawa Ontario Canada


    earlier communication:


    July 8, 2009

    Nick Pappin      npappin at latahfcu.org
    François Legal   devel at thom.fr.eu.org
    samba at lists.samba.org

    Subject: [Samba] recognizing netbios name

    F Legal suggested:

  > If there is a router between your samba machine and your
  > windows machines (which all 3 are on the same subnet if
  > I understood correctly), then you probably need some
  > sort of name resolution service (either WINS as provided
  > by samba or DNS), as the broadcast packets used by the
  > machines to announce themselves to the network probably
  > won't traverse your router.  Another option is building
  > an lmhosts file and distributing it all over the
  > machines.  However, I think wins should work fine in
  > your case, so just add wins support = yes in smb.conf
  > then setup your windows machines to use the wins at the
  > address of your samba machine.

    W Nick Pappin asked:

  > Is the linux system and the windows boxes on the same
    subnet and network.


    The hardware configuration is a router connected to a
    modem and the outside internet, and also connected to
    each of four computers by ethernet cables, so all
    computers are on the same subnet.

    Enabling WINS in smb.conf made no difference.
    Establishing an lmhosts file on a windows computer
    associating with dell allowed ping dell to
    produce the same result as ping, but
    otherwise there was no improvement.

    One more drastic test.  After becoming skeptical of
    smb.conf because no log files showed up where specified,
    I made a backup and deleted it entirely --
    rm /etc/samba/smb.conf .  On rebooting, there was no
    change, the Linux system could still read all windows
    computers, though they could not see the Linux system.
    So it seems Samba is paying no attention to smb.conf.
    Is there a way to communicate directly with Samba to
    find out what it is relying on?

    Robert T McQuaid


    original request below:

    July 6, 2009

    samba at lists.samba.org

    Subject:  recognizing netbios name

    I have a Fedora 10 Linux system connected through a
    router to three windows computers (XP+XP+Vista).  The
    Linux computer seems unable to present a netbios name to
    the rest of the network.  The Linux computer can read
    files from all of the Windows computers, but the windows
    computers cannot see anything on the Linux system.

    The following diagnoses have already been made:

    I shut off the modem connecting to the internet, then
    disabled all firewalls.  No improvement.

    I looked in the router for its table of attached
    devices.  It lists a device name for the windows
    computers, a blank for the Linux computer.  The device
    name is what windows puts after \\ on a remote file
    name, and what Samba calls netbios name.

    The only communication from a windows computer that
    responds is ping .  A ping with a netbios
    name fails with the diagnostic:

        A ping request could not find host Dell.
        Please check the name and try again.

    File /etc/samba/smb.conf (with most comments omitted)
    looks like:


    # Generated by authconfig on 2009/07/04 13:50:55
    # DO NOT EDIT THIS SECTION (delimited by --start-line--/--end-line--)
    # Any modification may be deleted or altered by authconfig in future

       workgroup = GLORP
       security = user
       idmap uid = 16777216-33554431
       idmap gid = 16777216-33554431
       template shell = /bin/false
       winbind use default domain = false
       winbind offline logon = false


       server string = Samba Server Version %v
       netbios name = Dell
       hosts allow = 127.

       log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
       max log size = 50
       log level = 3

       passdb backend = tdbsam

       load printers = yes
       cups options = raw

       comment = Home Directories
       browseable = no
       writable = yes

       comment = All Printers
       path = /var/spool/samba
       browseable = no
       guest ok = no
       writable = no
       printable = yes

    <end of smb.conf>

    What does it take to get windows to recognize the Linux

    Robert T McQuaid
    Mattawa Ontario Canada

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