[olug] Samba, Windows clients, and pulling my hair out

Bill Brush bbrush at gmail.com
Wed Jan 23 05:47:43 UTC 2013

I may be mis-remembering, but I think Netbios names have to go in the
LMHosts file, not the Host file.  If that is true, that would explain why
Windows isn't finding it.

I think the method of using the full DNS name is probably the better way to
go regardless.  NETBIOS is a relic and should be consigned to the dustbin
of networking technologies like Token Ring, and ArcNet.


On Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 10:18 PM, Lou Duchez <lou at paprikash.com> wrote:

> Mostly I'm posting this in case anyone else is having trouble with Samba.
>  I think I got it worked out.
> I set up a Samba share, I gave it a NetBIOS name, I figured out how to let
> it allow guest access (no particular authentication).  So far so good.
>  Then I tried setting up another share, but requiring authentication.  No
> matter how much I tried, I couldn't get a Windows computer to authenticate.
>  When I tried to connect from the Windows command line, after entering the
> password, I would get the super-helpful message "System error 5 has
> occurred".
> My first clue as to what was going on was the fact that I could
> authenticate if I used the server's IP address rather than the NetBIOS name
> I'd assigned it.
> Here is the long and short of it: I was trying to get to my Samba share
> via its NetBIOS name -- "\\TERWILLIKER\protectedshare" or whatever -- and
> that's not a good move.  Windows has trouble keeping track of the Samba
> share via NetBIOS, such that it may be able to find the share and try to
> authenticate, but then it gets all confused.  If you're going to rely on
> NetBIOS, you also probably have to go to the trouble of setting up a WINS
> server to support your NetBIOS name, otherwise your clients are going to
> connect inconsistently at best.  You can't even get around it by putting an
> entry in \Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\**Hosts, because that depends upon
> Windows being bright enough to consistently recognize your NetBIOS name as
> such and not just a zone to prepend to your domain name.
> What you CAN do is assign a FQDN to your server; that's something Windows
> and Linux see eye-to-eye on.  You can even put the FQDN in your
> \Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\**Hosts; it'd look something like this:
> terwilliker.com
> So after that you'd access your share like:
> \\terwilliker.com\**protectedshare
> or even
> \\\protectedshare
> After that, Samba seems to work per the documentation.
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