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man pages section 8: System Administration Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022

nmbd (8)


nmbd - NetBIOS name server to provide NetBIOS over IP naming services to clients


nmbd [-D|--daemon] [-F|--foreground] [-S|--log-stdout]
[-i|--interactive] [-V] [-d <debug level>] [-H|--hosts <lmhosts file>]
[-l <log directory>] [-p|--port <port number>]
[-s <configuration file>] [--no-process-group]


System Administration tools                                            NMBD(8)

       nmbd - NetBIOS name server to provide NetBIOS over IP naming services
       to clients

       nmbd [-D|--daemon] [-F|--foreground] [-S|--log-stdout]
        [-i|--interactive] [-V] [-d <debug level>] [-H|--hosts <lmhosts file>]
        [-l <log directory>] [-p|--port <port number>]
        [-s <configuration file>] [--no-process-group]

       This program is part of the samba(7) suite.

       nmbd is a server that understands and can reply to NetBIOS over IP name
       service requests, like those produced by SMB/CIFS clients such as
       Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and LanManager
       clients. It also participates in the browsing protocols which make up
       the Windows "Network Neighborhood" view.

       SMB/CIFS clients, when they start up, may wish to locate an SMB/CIFS
       server. That is, they wish to know what IP number a specified host is

       Amongst other services, nmbd will listen for such requests, and if its
       own NetBIOS name is specified it will respond with the IP number of the
       host it is running on. Its "own NetBIOS name" is by default the primary
       DNS name of the host it is running on, but this can be overridden by
       the netbios name in smb.conf. Thus nmbd will reply to broadcast queries
       for its own name(s). Additional names for nmbd to respond on can be set
       via parameters in the smb.conf(5) configuration file.

       nmbd can also be used as a WINS (Windows Internet Name Server) server.
       What this basically means is that it will act as a WINS database
       server, creating a database from name registration requests that it
       receives and replying to queries from clients for these names.

       In addition, nmbd can act as a WINS proxy, relaying broadcast queries
       from clients that do not understand how to talk the WINS protocol to a
       WINS server.

           If specified, this parameter causes nmbd to operate as a daemon.
           That is, it detaches itself and runs in the background, fielding
           requests on the appropriate port. By default, nmbd will operate as
           a daemon if launched from a command shell. nmbd can also be
           operated from the inetd meta-daemon, although this is not

           If specified, this parameter causes the main nmbd process to not
           daemonize, i.e. double-fork and disassociate with the terminal.
           Child processes are still created as normal to service each
           connection request, but the main process does not exit. This
           operation mode is suitable for running nmbd under process
           supervisors such as supervise and svscan from Daniel J. Bernstein's
           daemontools package, or the AIX process monitor.

           If specified, this parameter causes nmbd to log to standard output
           rather than a file.

           If this parameter is specified it causes the server to run
           "interactively", not as a daemon, even if the server is executed on
           the command line of a shell. Setting this parameter negates the
           implicit daemon mode when run from the command line.  nmbd also
           logs to standard output, as if the -S parameter had been given.

           Print a summary of command line options.

           Display brief usage message.

       -H|--hosts <filename>
           NetBIOS lmhosts file. The lmhosts file is a list of NetBIOS names
           to IP addresses that is loaded by the nmbd server and used via the
           name resolution mechanism name resolve order described in
           smb.conf(5) to resolve any NetBIOS name queries needed by the
           server. Note that the contents of this file are NOT used by nmbd to
           answer any name queries. Adding a line to this file affects name
           NetBIOS resolution from this host ONLY.

           The default path to this file is compiled into Samba as part of the
           build process. Common defaults are /usr/local/samba/lib/lmhosts,
           /usr/samba/lib/lmhosts or /etc/samba/lmhosts. See the lmhosts(5)
           man page for details on the contents of this file.

           level is an integer from 0 to 10. The default value if this
           parameter is not specified is 0.

           The higher this value, the more detail will be logged to the log
           files about the activities of the server. At level 0, only critical
           errors and serious warnings will be logged. Level 1 is a reasonable
           level for day-to-day running - it generates a small amount of
           information about operations carried out.

           Levels above 1 will generate considerable amounts of log data, and
           should only be used when investigating a problem. Levels above 3
           are designed for use only by developers and generate HUGE amounts
           of log data, most of which is extremely cryptic.

           Note that specifying this parameter here will override the log
           level parameter in the smb.conf file.

           Prints the program version number.

       -s|--configfile=<configuration file>
           The file specified contains the configuration details required by
           the server. The information in this file includes server-specific
           information such as what printcap file to use, as well as
           descriptions of all the services that the server is to provide. See
           smb.conf for more information. The default configuration file name
           is determined at compile time.

           Base directory name for log/debug files. The extension ".progname"
           will be appended (e.g. log.smbclient, log.smbd, etc...). The log
           file is never removed by the client.

           Set the smb.conf(5) option "<name>" to value "<value>" from the
           command line. This overrides compiled-in defaults and options read
           from the configuration file.

       -p|--port <UDP port number>
           UDP port number is a positive integer value. This option changes
           the default UDP port number (normally 137) that nmbd responds to
           name queries on. Don't use this option unless you are an expert, in
           which case you won't need help!

           Do not create a new process group for nmbd.

           If the server is to be run by the inetd meta-daemon, this file must
           contain suitable startup information for the meta-daemon.

           or whatever initialization script your system uses).

           If running the server as a daemon at startup, this file will need
           to contain an appropriate startup sequence for the server.

           If running the server via the meta-daemon inetd, this file must
           contain a mapping of service name (e.g., netbios-ssn) to service
           port (e.g., 139) and protocol type (e.g., tcp).

           This is the default location of the smb.conf(5) server
           configuration file. Other common places that systems install this
           file are /usr/samba/lib/smb.conf and /etc/samba/smb.conf.

           When run as a WINS server (see the wins support parameter in the
           smb.conf(5) man page), nmbd will store the WINS database in the
           file wins.dat in the var/locks directory configured under wherever
           Samba was configured to install itself.

           If nmbd is acting as a
            browse master (see the local master parameter in the smb.conf(5)
           man page, nmbd will store the browsing database in the file
           browse.dat in the var/locks directory configured under wherever
           Samba was configured to install itself.

       To shut down an nmbd process it is recommended that SIGKILL (-9) NOT be
       used, except as a last resort, as this may leave the name database in
       an inconsistent state. The correct way to terminate nmbd is to send it
       a SIGTERM (-15) signal and wait for it to die on its own.

       nmbd will accept SIGHUP, which will cause it to dump out its namelists
       into the file namelist.debug in the /usr/local/samba/var/locks
       directory (or the var/locks directory configured under wherever Samba
       was configured to install itself). This will also cause nmbd to dump
       out its server database in the log.nmb file. Additionally, the signal
       will cause reloading nmbd configuration.

       Instead of sending a SIGHUP signal, a request to dump namelists into
       the file and reload a configuration file may be sent using
       smbcontrol(1) program.

       The debug log level of nmbd may be raised or lowered using
       smbcontrol(1) (SIGUSR[1|2] signals are no longer used since Samba 2.2).
       This is to allow transient problems to be diagnosed, whilst still
       running at a normally low log level.

       This man page is part of version 4.13.17 of the Samba suite.

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | service/network/samba |
       |Stability      | Volatile              |

       inetd(8), smbd(8), smb.conf(5), smbclient(1), testparm(1), and the
       Internet RFC's rfc1001.txt, rfc1002.txt. In addition the CIFS (formerly
       SMB) specification is available as a link from the Web page

       The original Samba software and related utilities were created by
       Andrew Tridgell. Samba is now developed by the Samba Team as an Open
       Source project similar to the way the Linux kernel is developed.

       Source code for open source software components in Oracle Solaris can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This software was built from source available at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.  The original community
       source was downloaded from

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.samba.org/.

Samba 4.13.17                     06/28/2022                           NMBD(8)