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Linux in a Windows World by Roderick W Smith

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Setting Master Browser Options

In order to handle local network browsers like the one shown in Figure 3-1, SMB/CIFS requires one computer to be designated a master browser . This computer collects data on the computers on the network and provides it to any computer that asks for the information. The clients then present the data to users in one form or another (Figure 3-1 being one example).

Tip

In the context of SMB/CIFS, a network browser is a tool that provides information about, and typically a way to access, SMB/CIFS file and printer shares. Typically, it’s integrated into the OS’s local file manager. In Windows, it’s called either My Network Places or Network Neighborhood, depending on the version of Windows. SMB/CIFS browsers use different protocols from web browsers. Although some programs, such as the K Desktop Environment’s (KDE’s) Konqueror, can serve as both SMB/CIFS and web browsers, the two protocols are entirely unrelated.

In fact, two types of SMB/CIFS master browsers exist. A local master browser handles browsing tasks on a single subnet. A domain master browser helps integrate multiple subnets. The local master browser is selected automatically by the computers on a network using a process known as an election . Samba provides options that influence how it participates in elections; you can “rig” an election so that Samba wins or loses it, as you see fit. Domain master browser status is acquired based on server configuration, and Samba provides options to control ...

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