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Samba HowTo Guide
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WINS Server Configuration

Either a Samba server or a Windows NT server machine may be set up as a WINS server. To configure a Samba server to be a WINS server, you must add to the smb.conf file on the selected Server the following line to the [global] section:

wins support = yes

Versions of Samba prior to 1.9.17 had this parameter default to yes. If you have any older versions of Samba on your network, it is strongly suggested you upgrade to a recent version, or at the very least set the parameter to “no” on all these machines.

Machines configured with wins support = yes will keep a list of all NetBIOS names registered with them, acting as a DNS for NetBIOS names.

It is strongly recommended to set up only one WINS server. Do not set the wins support = yes option on more than one Samba server on a network.

To configure Windows NT/200x Server as a WINS server, install and configure the WINS service. See the Windows NT/200x documentation for details. Windows NT/200x WINS servers can replicate to each other, allowing more than one to be set up in a complex subnet environment. Because Microsoft refuses to document the replication protocols, Samba cannot currently participate in these replications. It is possible that a Samba-to-Samba WINS replication protocol may be defined in the future, in which case more than one Samba machine could be set up as a WINS server. Currently only one Samba server should have the wins support = yes parameter set.

After the WINS server has been configured, you must ensure that all machines participating on the network are configured with the address of this WINS server. If your WINS server is a Samba machine, fill in the Samba machine IP address in the Primary WINS Server field of the Control Panel->Network->Protocols->TCP->WINS Server dialogs in Windows 9x/Me or Windows NT/200x. To tell a Samba server the IP address of the WINS server, add the following line to the [global] section of all smb.conf files:

wins server = <name or IP address>

where <name or IP address> is either the DNS name of the WINS server machine or its IP address.

This line must not be set in the smb.conf file of the Samba server acting as the WINS server itself. If you set both the wins support = yes option and the wins server = <name> option then nmbd will fail to start.

There are two possible scenarios for setting up cross-subnet browsing. The first details setting up cross-subnet browsing on a network containing Windows 9x/Me, Samba, and Windows NT/200x machines that are not configured as part of a Windows NT domain. The second details setting up cross-subnet browsing on networks that contain NT domains.

Samba HowTo Guide
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