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Samba HowTo Guide
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/etc/nsswitch.conf

This file controls the actual name resolution targets. The file typically has resolver object specifications as follows:

# /etc/nsswitch.conf
#
# Name Service Switch configuration file.
#

passwd:		compat
# Alternative entries for password authentication are:
# passwd:	compat files nis ldap winbind
shadow:		compat
group:		compat

hosts:		files nis dns
# Alternative entries for host name resolution are:
# hosts:	files dns nis nis+ hesiod db compat ldap wins
networks:	nis files dns

ethers:		nis files
protocols:	nis files
rpc:		nis files
services:	nis files

Of course, each of these mechanisms requires that the appropriate facilities and/or services are correctly configured.

It should be noted that unless a network request/message must be sent, TCP/IP networks are silent. All TCP/IP communications assume a principal of speaking only when necessary.

Starting with version 2.2.0, Samba has Linux support for extensions to the name service switch infrastructure so Linux clients will be able to obtain resolution of MS Windows NetBIOS names to IP addresses. To gain this functionality, Samba needs to be compiled with appropriate arguments to the make command (i.e., make nsswitch/libnss_wins.so ). The resulting library should then be installed in the /lib directory, and the wins parameter needs to be added to the “hosts:” line in the /etc/nsswitch.conf file. At this point, it will be possible to ping any MS Windows machine by its NetBIOS machine name, as long as that machine is within the workgroup to which both the Samba machine and the MS Windows machine belong.

Samba HowTo Guide
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