Saturday, August 3, 2013

[Ubuntu] Can access samba network share by IP but not Netbios name from Windows

After whole long day of troubleshooting why we cannot resolve samba shared folders using the NetBIOS Name defined in smb.conf.. finally I have figured out the root of the problem:
Hostname CANNOT equal to NetBIOS name!!!
A bit of background...

  1. our server hostname is server1
  2. our NetBIOS name is server1 (defined in smb.conf)
  3. IP-address is

From Windows 7 / OSX we can access the samba shares using \\\share, as well as \\server1.local\share (the .local is a result of running avahi-daemon). We can also ping or server1 or server1.local, but we simply cannot access with \\server1\share

By changing the Hostname in /etc/hosts & /etc/hostname to any name other than "server1", or change the NetBIOS name in smb.conf to any other name, we can now get it work.

This is rather weird for a Windows user like me, where only hostname need to be set and we can access directly from other PC in the network without bothering what is NetBIOS. Linux is indeed too tricky!

Anyway, kind of fun when able to figure out what's wrong. It makes me love and hate Linux at the same moment!

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