[Samba] Browing in Samba4 AD domain

Rowland penny rpenny at samba.org
Fri Apr 1 19:21:14 UTC 2016

On 01/04/16 19:51, Jason Voorhees wrote:
> If AD domains are based on DNS and WINS relies on NetBIOS, what 
> protocol(s) are used by computers to create and see (browse) all the 
> machines of the domain?

As far as Samba is concerned it uses both, DNS & NetBIOS, but instead of 
using WINS, it uses DNS to find the machines and then 'nmbd' produces 
the browsing list (this is how I understand it works)

I have two DCs and a domain member running as a server, I do not uses 
WINS (well not as a setting in smb.conf) but the other Linux machines 
(including the member server) show up if I browse the network, the two 
DCs do not.

This is down to the 'nbt' portion of the 'samba' daemon not having the 
required code to browse the network. You should also be aware that you 
cannot run 'nmbd' on a DC, it will conflict with 'nbt'


> While it's clear to me that a hostname will resolve to an IP address 
> through DNS queries, I'm not sure how is the browsing list created and 
> maintained. In old NT style domain, any computer of the domain could 
> be selected to act as a master browser, and the use of WINS could just 
> simplify this by having all the machines registered to the WINS server 
> based on NetBIOS names.
> So now in a Samba4 AD domain, does it make sense the concept of master 
> browser yet? Who maintains a browsing list? If any, how is this 
> browsing list maintained? is it based on NetBIOS or DNS or both? I'm 
> asking this because regardless of the fact that I have 2 Samba4 AD 
> controllers without browsing features built-in, I am still being able 
> to see certain machines in my network. So I guess "someone" is in 
> keeping some kind of browsing list active.

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