March 25, 2019

Sharing a Samba File and Print Server Across Subnets, Part 2 - page 2

Sharing is a Virtue, Even With Windows

  • January 17, 2008
  • By Carla Schroder

You need one local master browser per subnet. The various Windowses on a subnet will duke it out amongst themselves for who gets to be the master browser. If you prefer more correct terminology, Windows calls it the Computer Browser Service, and if there is more than one Windows PC they will have elections every 15 minutes or so to elect a master browser. The newest Windows usually wins, and its address is reported to WINS. You can turn this off in Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Computer Browser, but it's not necessary unless you're trying to isolate a problem. Leaving it enabled in all of your Windows PCs means you'll always have a LMB available.

You may prefer to use Samba as a LMB. All you need is a Linux PC running Samba server, and this smb.conf:

   netbios name = freya
   security = share
   domain master = no
   preferred master = yes
   local master = yes
   wins support =no
   wins proxy = no
   wins server =
   os level = 65

That's all you need; you don't need to define any other shares. The preferred master directive forces an election when Samba starts up, and setting the os level to 65 ensures that it will always win elections.

You don't need a Samba LMB when you have Windows PCs on the same subnet. However, all Linux clients need Samba server running with this minimal configuration:

   netbios name = uberpc
   security = share
   domain master = no
   preferred master = no
   local master = no
   wins support = no
   wins proxy = no
   wins server = 
   os level = 0

You now have a fully-functioning cross-subnet Samba server that is available to all members of a single workgroup.

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