Identifying the Server

The first task you must undertake when configuring a Samba server is setting various identification options. SMB/CIFS was designed for non-TCP/IP networks and includes server identification tools that are independent of common TCP/IP naming systems, such as DNS hostnames. SMB/CIFS machines are identified by NetBIOS names, and computers belong to workgroups or NT domains (an NT domain is simply a workgroup with some extra features). Although most recent SMB/CIFS clients can contact servers using DNS hostnames or raw IP addresses rather than NetBIOS names, you must give your Samba server a NetBIOS name and a workgroup (or NT domain) name for interaction with older clients, such as DOS and Windows 9x systems. You may also want to adjust a few additional identification options, which tell the system what operating system to pretend to be, among other things.

NetBIOS Name Options

A NetBIOS name is similar to a computer’s DNS hostname (without the domain name component). It’s a string of up to 15 characters that can contain letters, numbers, and various punctuation marks. (Using punctuation can be confusing, though, and so is usually best avoided.) NetBIOS names are case-insensitive, although I generally present them in all-uppercase in this book to distinguish them from DNS hostnames, which I present in lowercase.


Technically, the NetBIOS name as just described is only the base of the NetBIOS name. The full NetBIOS name includes a one-byte code that identifies ...

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