About Us Documentation

Contact Site Map




This file contains a list of tests you can perform to validate your
Samba server. It also tells you what the likely cause of the problem
is if it fails any one of these steps. If it passes all these tests
then it is probably working fine.

You should do ALL the tests, in the order shown. I have tried to
carefully choose them so later tests only use capabilities verified in
the earlier tests.

I would welcome additions to this set of tests. Please mail them to

If you send me an email saying "it doesn't work" and you have not
followed this test procedure then you should not be surprised if I
ignore your email.


In all of the tests I assume you have a Samba server called BIGSERVER
and a PC called ACLIENT. I also assume the PC is running windows for
workgroups with a recent copy of the microsoft tcp/ip stack. The
procedure is similar for other types of clients.

I also assume you know the name of a available share in your
smb_conf. I will assume this share is called "tmp". You can add a
"tmp" share like by adding the following to smb_conf:

 comment = temporary files 
 path = /tmp
 read only = yes

These tests also assume version 1.9.14 or later of the samba suite. If
you have version 1.9.13 then see "NOTE 1" below.


run the command "testparm". If it reports any errors then your
smb_conf configuration file is faulty.


run the command "ping BIGSERVER" from the PC and "ping ACLIENT" from
the unix box. If you don't get a valid response then your TCP/IP
software is not correctly installed. 

Note that you will need to start a "dos prompt" window on the PC to
run ping.

If you get a message saying "host not found" or similar then your DNS
software or /etc/hosts file is not correctly setup. It is possible to
run samba without DNS entries for the server and client, but I assume
you do have correct entries for the remainder of these tests.


run the command "smbclient -L BIGSERVER -U%" on the unix box. You
should get a list of available shares back. 

If you get a error message containing the string "Bad password" then
you probably have either an incorrect "hosts allow", "hosts deny" or
"valid users" line in your smb_conf, or your guest account is not
valid. Check what your guest account is using "testparm" and
temporarily remove any "hosts allow", "hosts deny", "valid users" or
"invalid users" lines.

If you get a "connection refused" response then the smbd server could
not be run. If you installed it in inetd.conf then you probably edited
that file incorrectly. If you installed it as a daemon then check that
it is running, and check that the netbios-ssn port is in a LISTEN
state using "netstat -a".


run the command "nmbd -L __SAMBA__ -B BIGSERVER". You should get a
bunch of info back including the string "got a positive name query
response". You should also see a message "got a positive node status
response" and below that a list of netbios names. The name BIGSERVER
should be included in that list.

If you don't then nmbd is incorrectly installed. Check your inetd.conf
if yu run it from there, or that the daemon is running and listening
to udp port 137.

One common problem is that many inetd implementations can't take many
parameters on the command line. If this is the case then create a
one-line script that contains the right parameters and run that from


run the command "nmbd -L '*' -B ACLIENT"

You should get a "positive name query response" from the PC. If you
don't then the client software on the PC isn't installed correctly, or
isn't started, or you got the name of the PC wrong. Note that you
probably won't get a "node status response" from the PC due to a bug
in the microsoft netbios nameserver implementation (it responds to the
wrong port number).


run the command "nmbd -L '*'"

This time we are trying the same as the previous test but are trying
it via a broadcast to the default broadcast address. All Netbios/TCPIP
hosts on the network should respond, although Samba may not catch all
of the responses in the short time it listens.

If this doesn't give a similar result to the previous test then nmbd
isn't correctly getting your broadcast address through its automatic
mechanism. In this case you should experiment with the -B option which
allows you to manually specify the broadcast address, overriding the
automatic detection. You should try different broadcast addresses
until your find the one that works. It will most likely be something
like a.b.c.255 as microsoft tcpip stacks only listen on 1's based
broadcast addresses. If you get stuck then ask your local networking
guru for help (and show them this paragraph).

If you find you do need the -B option (ie. the automatic detection
doesn't work) then you should add the -B option with the right
broadcast address for your network to the command line of nmbd in
inetd.conf or in the script you use to start nmbd as a daemon. Once
you do this go back to the "nmbd -L __SAMBA__ -B BIGSERVER" test to
make sure you have it running properly.

If your PC and server aren't on the same subnet then you will need to
use the -B option to set the broadcast address to the that of the PCs


run the command "nmbd -M -" 

this should find a master browser on your network. If you don't have
one then browsing won't work with samba. See the file BROWSING.txt for
details. Note that you may need the -B option to the command if the
previous test showed that the default broadcast is incorrect.


run the command "smbclient '\\BIGSERVER\TMP'". You should then be
prompted for a password. You should use the password of the account
you are logged into the unix box with. If you want to test with
another account then add the -U <accountname> option to the command

Once you enter the password you should get the "smb>" prompt. If you
don't then look at the error message. If it says "invalid network
name" then the service "tmp" is not correctly setup in your smb_conf.

If it says "bad password" then the likely causes are:

- you have shadow passords (or some other password system) but didn't
  compile in support for them in smbd
- your "valid users" configuration is incorrect
- you have a mixed case password and you haven't enabled the "password
  level" option at a high enough level
- the "path =" line in smb_conf is incorrect. Check it with testparm

Once connected you should be able to use the commands "dir" "get"
"put" etc. Type "help <command>" for instructions. You should
especially check that the amount of free disk space shown is correct
when you type "dir".


On the PC type the command "net view \\BIGSERVER". You will need to do
this from within a "dos prompt" window. You should get back a list of
available shares on the server.

If you get a "network name not found" or similar error then netbios
name resolution is not working. This is usually caused by a problem in
particular, make sure your "hosts allow" line is correct (see the man

- fixup the nmbd installation
- add the IP address of BIGSERVER to the "wins server" box in the
  advanced tcp/ip setup on the PC.
- enable windows name resolution via DNS in the advanced section of
  the tcp/ip setup
- add BIGSERVER to your lmhosts file on the PC.

If you get a "invalid network name" or "bad password error" then the
same fixes apply as they did for the "smbclient -L" test above. In
particular, make sure your "hosts allow" line is correct (see the man

TEST 10:

run the command "net use x: \\BIGSERVER\TMP". You should be prompted
for a password then you should get a "command completed successfully"
message. If not then your PC software is incorrectly installed or your
smb_conf is incorrect. make sure your "hosts allow" and other config
lines in smb_conf are correct.

It's also possible that the server can't work out what user name to
connect you as. To see if this is the problem add the line "user =
USERNAME" to the [tmp] section of smb_conf where "USERNAME" is the
username corresponding to the password you typed. If you find this
fixes things you may need the username mapping option.

TEST 11:

From file manager try to browse the server. Your samba server should
appear in the browse list of your local workgroup (or the one you
specified in the Makefile). You should be able to double click on the
name of the server and get a list of shares. If you get a "invalid
password" error when you do then you are probably running WinNT and it
is refusing to browse a server that has no encrypted password
capability and is in user level security mode.

Still having troubles?

Try the mailing list or newsgroup, or use the tcpdump-smb utility to
sniff the problem.


NOTE 1: 

If you have version 1.9.13 of Samba then the "nmbd -L ACLIENT -B
ACLIENT" test may fail if your client doesn't export any shares. To
fix this either export a share or change the "lookup_type" in
nameserv.c from ' ' to 0 and recompile.

Also the "wildcard" lookup capability used in the command "nmbd -L
'*'" was only added in 1.9.14. If you have 1.9.13 then use a clients
netbios name instead (for example "nmbd -L ACLIENT").



Email addresses listed on this site may  NOT be used for unsolicited commercial email.

Ready-to-Run Software, Inc Privacy Statement

Portions (c)Copyright, 1996-2005 by Ready-to-Run Software, Inc
(All rights reserved.)
212 Cedar Cove
Lansing, NY 14882
Phone: 607 533 UNIX (8649)
Fax: 607 533 4002