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Published by: Nurul Istiqomah on Dec 14, 2010
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Internally,eachclient communicating over NetBIOS holds a number representing the
type of NMB machine it is. The higher the value of this number,the more chance the
machine has of winning the browser elections. This number is represented by Samba
in the [global]section of the smb.conffile by the parameter os level.

With Samba version 2,this value defaults to 0,which means Samba will always lose
the browser election against any other machine. This setting is normally what you would
desire in a network where NT servers (and notably PDC or BDC machines) are present.

Setting this value to 2means that Samba will win over Windows or DOS/LAN Manager
clients but lose to Windows NT machines. Setting the value to 65means that Samba will
always win the elections and gain control as the browse master.

Making Sure NT Wins the Election

Before you see how to prevent NT from winning browser elections,let’s briefly look at
preventing Samba from competing in any way. The following entries in the smb.conffile
will make Samba never attempt to participate in browser elections (this would be the
desired setting on any network with PDCs or NT Server machines running WINS):

domain master = no
local master = no
preferred master = no
os level = 0

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Making Sure Samba Wins the Election

To make sure that Samba wins the browser elections,set the following parameters in
your smb.conffile and restart the Samba service:

domain master = yes
local master = yes
preferred master = yes
os level = 65

The parameter os level = 65means that Samba will beat all current types of NT servers.
You should only make Samba compete and win elections if it’s running in a network where
there are no other NT servers (for example,a network of Windows NT Workstation and
Windows 9xclients with one or more Samba servers). You should never set more than one
Samba server to this os levelparameter either because it will result in a continuous battle
for control and generate a lot of network traffic and possibly spurious browser results.

Probably the most common Windows network that Samba is added to is one where
there’s a primary domain controller (PDC) and possibly other BDCs and NT servers.
In this environment,it’s critical that Samba abandon any ideas of having control over a
domain or browse lists. There are three essential reasons for this:

•Windows NT Server expects to win browser elections against any other machine
except other NT Server machines.

•There can only be one PDC in any domain. Because Samba cannot currently
support BDC functionality,promoting Samba to a PDC will have disastrous results.

•Samba cannot perform WINS replication; therefore,Samba should never be
configured as a WINS server when NT WINS servers are present.

Forcing a Browser Election from NT

The browstatcommand(available with the Windows NT 4 Resource Kit) provides sta-
tistics and information regarding the status of the browse lists and masters on a Windows
NT network. It can also be used to force browser elections.

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