Samba hostname length

Asked by Johan Fornander


This is really a question about how samba is affected by the ubuntu installer, when it chooses a hostname for the user. In my case, the user name is five characters appended by the parsed output from dmidecode's product name. All in all this gave me the hostname "johan-aspire-3820". That's 17 characters.

Now, when I turn on samba file sharing through nautilus, the same hostname is used without checking the boundary. For some reason the samba hostname can only be 15 characters or less, or else you cannot browse the host from e.g. an OSX system. It will be visible on the network but totally opaque. I think this is a bug leaving too many frustrated users in the dark. How are you supposed to know how to fix a problem like this if you are using ubuntu for the first time? Even for advanced users like me it took me half a year to realize the root cause...

I have filed a bug but I really need to know what project it should be under so that someone can have a look at it:

Thanks in advance,

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Best Jeruvy (jeruvy) said :

You should also link this question to the bug using the 'link existing bug'.

I think your idea has merit as a 'Hundred Paper Cut' issue[1], since this name is built as derived via the installer.
You could also look at adding it to the installer package, but I'm afraid I do not know what that is offhand.
Since SAMBA is enforcing the 16-byte limit, this cannot be a bug with Samba, but with the choice of hostname during installation.[3]

Given that many SMB/CIFS programs are installed by default (smbclient for example) I'd certainly look at the installation packages directly. I would also have to admit, I've used Samba a long, long time and it took me a bit to remember what the name limit was.

Thank goodness for RFC's :)[2]


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Johan Fornander (fornander-johan) said :

Thanks Jeruvy, that solved my question.