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How To Find All SMB File Servers In Your Network?

For those who are using Linux workstation, there is a Perl script in Linux-Samba installation which allows one to easily discover all SMB file sharing services in a network, regardless the shared resources are hosted by Windows, Linux, SCO Unix, etc.

While trying to configure a simple Samba server to share photos taken during annual dinner with my gang within the corporate network (to reduce Internet access / to avoid from being top Internet users in the weekly proxy access report), I stumble upon this findsmb program for finding active file servers in corporate network.

According to man findsmb, this Perl script uses both nmblookup and smbclient to obtains information about machines that respond to SMB name queries on a subnet, which information includes IP address, NetBIOS name, Workgroup name, operating system, and SMB server version.

Besides, there might be a “+” or “*” in front of workgroup name, in which the plus sign indicates local master browser role (LMB) and the asterisk sign indicates domain master browser role (DMB).

What is LMB / DMB? – CF How Browsing Functions:

During the startup process, an election takes place to create a local master browser (LMB) if one does not already exist.

On each NetBIOS network one machine will be elected to function as the domain master browser (DMB) serves the role of contacting each LMB (found by asking WINS or from LMHOSTS) and exchanging browse list contents. This way every master browser will eventually obtain a complete list of all machines that are on the network.

Every 11 to 15 minutes an election is held to determine which machine will be the master browser. By the nature of the election criteria used, the machine with the highest uptime, or the most senior protocol version or other criteria, will win the election as DMB.

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