Name Resolution - What's the Solution? :)

Posted on 2009-12-27
Last Modified: 2013-12-19
Hi there, I've got a fairly diverse network at home, and I really would like all of the machines in my network to be able to see each other without issues when referred to by name.  I have a Synology (running linux), several Windows 7 PC's, a Mac, and some entertainment devices like TiVo's, etc.  It's pretty spotty as to which computer can see what.  Most of my machines are using static IP's so at least I have one reliable way to get to the others.

What do you guys suggest to get reliable name resolution across all of these different machines without a bunch of archaic issues with NetBIOS and modifying HOST files, etc.?  I'm using a D-Link router too.
Question by:Gonthax
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution


    depending on the exact type of your router you could set it up as a DNS server (or you could run a DNS server on any of the computers). If you're familiar with Linux, it won't be a great challange to set up BIND, although that is also said to be quite much hassle.

    LVL 38

    Assisted Solution

    It appears like DNS is already working.

    So, here's the skinny. Netbios translation needs to be manually configured on the MAC. Linux boxes have it already configured as well as Microsoft boxes. However, the default these days is microsoft enables Netbios over DHCP. Instead you want to enable Netbios over TCP/IP.

    The Linux box will try to become the domain master browser. This sounds like a LAN without a Domain. Domain master browser means a Broadcast domain, not an Active Directory domain.

    Draw out your lan, as these computers connect to the swiitches, and that switch is connected to the router. Now, circle all of the nodes that are behind the router. That is your broadcast domain. In each broadcast domain, a domain master browser is elected. It will be the newest operating system. And if you have an active directory domain controller with FSMO roles, that will also be a part of the election process. The winner of a browser election is considered the domain master browser. To be more specific, it is the BROADCAST domain master browser.

    The reason I emphasize BROADCAST domain is Netbios translation is NOT routeable. This means it will not go over NAT (network address translation), It will NOT tunnel through a VPN connection or through IPver 6. So, this may be another part of your problem. Windows 7 may be using IPver 6 out of the box.

    Do not configure a HOST file, or a LMHOST file. I believe all of your needs can be handled by netbios broadcasts. Configuring a HOST file will mess up DNS. Configuring an LMHOST file will mess up Netbios translation.
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    on linux boxy use dnsmasq to provide dns to all other machines.
    you can then maintain one list of name to ip mappings in dnsmasq
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you guys - all of this helped, and what I ended up doing was installing dnsmasq on the Synology (linux box) and had it also manage DHCP because my router didn't have any decent settings for changing what computer was handling name services, etc.  Turned off DHCP on the router, and reboot the computers, and it worked like a champ. Thanks for your help!

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