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openSUSE 11.1 GNOME User Guide
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3.1 General Notes on File Sharing and Network Browsing

Whether and to which extent you can use file sharing and network browsing on your machine and in your network highly depends on the network structure and on the configuration of your machine. Before setting up either of them, contact your system administrator to make sure that your network structure supports this feature and to check whether your company's security policies permit it.

Network browsing, be it SMB browsing for Windows shares or SLP browsing for remote services, relies heavily on the machine's ability to send broadcast messages to all clients in the network. These messages and the clients' replies to them enable your machine to detect any available shares or services. For broadcasts to work effectively, your machine must be part of the same subnet as all other machines it is querying. If network browsing does not work on your machine or the detected shares and services do not match with what you expected, contact your system administrator to make sure that you are connected to the appropriate subnet.

To allow network browsing, your machine needs to keep several network ports open to send and receive network messages that provide details on the network and the availability of shares and services. The standard openSUSE is configured for tight security and has a firewall up and running that protects your machine against the Internet. To adjust the firewall configuration, you would either need to ask your system administrator to open a certain set of ports to the network or to tear down the firewall entirely according to your company's security policy. If you try to browse a network with a restrictive firewall running on your machine, Nautilus warns you about your security restrictions not allowing it to query the network.

openSUSE 11.1 GNOME User Guide
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