The purpose of this chapter is to create familiarity with key aspects of Microsoft Windows network computing. If you want a solid technical grounding, do not gloss over these exercises. The points covered are recurrent issues on the Samba mailing lists.
You can see from these exercises that Windows networking involves quite a lot of network broadcast traffic. You can look into the contents of some packets, but only to see some particular information that the Windows client sends to a server in the course of establishing a network connection.
To many people, browsing is everything that happens when one uses Microsoft Internet Explorer. It is only when you start looking at network traffic and noting the protocols and types of information that are used that you can begin to appreciate the complexities of Windows networking and, more importantly, what needs to be configured so that it can work. Detailed information regarding browsing is provided in the recommended preparatory reading.
Recommended preparatory reading: The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, Second Edition (TOSHARG2) Chapter 9, "Network Browsing," and Chapter 3, "Server Types and Security Modes."
16.2.1. Assignment Tasks
You are about to witness how Microsoft Windows computer networking functions. The exercises step through identification of how a client machine establishes a connection to a remote Windows server. You observe how Windows machines find each other (i.e., how browsing works) and how the two key types of user identification (share mode security and user mode security) are affected.
The networking protocols used by MS Windows networking when working with Samba use TCP/IP as the transport protocol. The protocols that are specific to Windows networking are encapsulated in TCP/IP. The network analyzer we use (Ethereal) is able to show you the contents of the TCP/IP packets (or messages).