Using Linux with Trumans DNS system

Truman State University currently uses a Microsoft Windows DNS server. This server integrates with our WINS server. In order to obtain a DNS entry which maps your computer’s name to its IP address, you need to run a piece of software called Samba. The Samba suite contains a program called nmbd. This portion of Samba is the part that communicates with a WINS server to register your computer’s name. Once your computer’s name is registered with the WINS server, your DNS entry will be created automatically. Most Linux distributions come with this software, or can be installed very easily. Exact directions on how to do this are outside the scope of this document, but numerous resources on the Internet explain this procedure.

Once you have samba installed on your machine, you need to modify the configuration of the software so that it knows how to communicate with Truman’s WINS server. The file you need to modify is usually located in /etc/samba/ and is called smb.conf. The lines that you should check to make sure are set correctly in order for nmbd to function are as follows. (Note: The comments in parentheses following the options is not part of the configuration. They are there to tell whether or not the option is absolutely required to make the system work properly at Truman)

In a terminal window, run:

$ sudo service smbd start
$ sudo service nmbd start
$ gksu gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

Then edit your smb.conf file to match the file shown below.

#======================= Global Settings ===========================


# netbios name is the name you will see in “Network Neighbourhood”,

# but defaults to your hostname

netbios name = your_computers_hostname

(not vital)

# set local master to no if you don’t want Samba to become a master

# browser on your network. Otherwise the normal election rules apply

local master = no

(not vital)

# OS Level determines the precedence of this server in master browser

# elections. The default value should be reasonable

os level = 3

(not vital)

# Domain Master specifies Samba to be the Domain Master Browser. This

# allows Samba to collate browse lists between subnets. Don’t use this

# if you already have a Windows NT domain controller doing this job

domain master = no


# Preferred Master causes Samba to force a local browser election on startup

# and gives it a slightly higher chance of winning the election

preferred master = no

(not vital)

# Enable this if you want Samba to be a domain logon server for

# Windows95 workstations or Primary Domain Controller for WinNT and Win2k

domain logons = no


# WINS Server – Tells the NMBD components of Samba to be a WINS Client

# Note: Samba can be either a WINS Server, or a WINS Client,

# but NOT both

wins server =


# WINS Proxy – Tells Samba to answer name resolution queries on

# behalf of a non WINS capable client, for this to work there must be

# at least one WINS Server on the network. The default is NO.

wins proxy = no


# DNS Proxy – tells Samba whether or not to try to resolve NetBIOS names

# via DNS nslookups. The built-in default for versions 1.9.17 is yes,

# this has been changed in version 1.9.18 to no.

dns proxy = no

(not vital)

There are two components of the Samba Suite.  One is the nmbd program, and the other is the smbd program.  Each performs a specific task.  The nmbd program controls the name service component of samba, and the smbd program controls the sharing of files.  If you wish to have a DNS record at Truman, but do not wish to share files using samba, you can choose to just run the nmbd program with “nmbd -D”.  You should put this command in one of your startup scripts to have it run automatically when your computer boots.

After editing the file, run:

$ sudo service smbd restart
$ sudo service nmbd restart

Do not run the smbd command if you don’t want to share files using samba.

If you have any questions or comments on these instructions, please contact the helpdesk at x4544.