Tuesday, September 19, 2006

ping using netbios name from Linux box

I have a linux box in a LAN with almost other boxen are MS Windows ME/XP. This Linux box acts as a WINS server serving request from LAN for netbios information. I can get the name of pcs in my workgroup using smbclient -L mywinsserver but I didn't know the ip address of each client. I would like to ping the name of a client pc using netbios names. How to overcome this? I got this simple solution from the net. Put wins in /etc/nsswitch.conf like this:

hosts:          files dns wins

This line says, try looking in /etc/hosts files and then dns server and then wins server for the ip address of the name. This is only applicable if there is a WINS server in your network. If not, you're out of luck.

tips : to speed up netbios name resolution, try putting wins in the front like this

hosts:          wins files dns

I don't recommend this unless you access clients on your network frequently. Otherwise, the default should be enough.

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