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Samba HowTo Guide
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Technical Overview of Browsing

SMB networking provides a mechanism by which clients can access a list of machines in a network called browse list. This list contains machines that are ready to offer file and/or print services to other machines within the network. It therefore does not include machines that aren't currently able to do server tasks. The browse list is heavily used by all SMB clients. Configuration of SMB browsing has been problematic for some Samba users, hence this document.

MS Windows 2000 and later versions, as with Samba-3 and later versions, can be configured to not use NetBIOS over TCP/IP. When configured this way, it is imperative that name resolution (using DNS/LDAP/ADS) be correctly configured and operative. Browsing will not work if name resolution from SMB machine names to IP addresses does not function correctly.

Where NetBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled, use of a WINS server is highly recommended to aid the resolution of NetBIOS (SMB) names to IP addresses. WINS allows remote segment clients to obtain NetBIOS name_type information that cannot be provided by any other means of name resolution.

Samba HowTo Guide
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