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Samba HowTo Guide
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Name Resolution Order

Resolution of NetBIOS names to IP addresses can take place using a number of methods. The only ones that can provide NetBIOS name_type information are:

  • WINS the best tool.

  • LMHOSTS static and hard to maintain.

  • Broadcast uses UDP and cannot resolve names across remote segments.

Alternative means of name resolution include:

  • Static /etc/hosts hard to maintain and lacks name_type info.

  • DNS is a good choice but lacks essential NetBIOS name_type information.

Many sites want to restrict DNS lookups and avoid broadcast name resolution traffic. The name resolve order parameter is of great help here. The syntax of the name resolve order parameter is:

name resolve order = wins lmhosts bcast host


name resolve order = wins lmhosts (eliminates bcast and host)

The default is:

name resolve order = host lmhost wins bcast

where “host” refers to the native methods used by the UNIX system to implement the gethostbyname() function call. This is normally controlled by /etc/host.conf, /etc/nsswitch.conf and /etc/resolv.conf.

Samba HowTo Guide
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