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12. Using Samba Across Routed Networks

Andrew Tridgell states that SMB host browsing across routers is problematic. Here are his suggestions to allow this:

-------------------------------------------------------------- For cross-subnet (ie. routed) browsing you should do the following. There are other methods but they are much more complex are error prone:

1) all computers that you want visible should use a single WINS server (Samba or NT can do this)

2) the master browser for each subnet must be either NT or Samba. (Win9X doesn't communicate cross-subnet browse info correctly)

3) You should use the same workgroup name on all subnets. This is not strictly necessary but it is the simplest way to guarantee success. If you can't arrange this then you must organise for a way for browse info to propogate between subnets. (It does *not* propogate via WINS). It propogates via two mechanisms: i) each browse master notices workgroup announcements from other browse masters on the same broadcast domain ii) each non-Win9X browse master contacts the global DMB for the workgroup (typically the domain controller or a Samba box marked as the domain master) and swaps full browse info periodically. --------------------------------------------------------------

Also, Rakesh Bharania points out that Cisco routers can be configured to forward SMB traffic in a way that allows browsing. His suggestion is to configure the router interface which hosts SMB clients with a command like this:

ip helper-address x.x.x.x

where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the SMB server.

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