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Get linux samba shares to show up in windows again

I have a media server that runs ubuntu, and today I wanted to copy some files off of it from my windows laptop. But the samba shares weren't showing up in file explorer (but they showed up on fine on my macbook).

I thought the whole point of Samba was compatibility with windows, so I was confused why this doesn't work now.

After a bit of googling, it seems like this compatibility might have stopped working after the 2017 wannacry vulnerability was discovered.

In the past windows used a broadcast protocol called NetBIOS for discovering samba shares. When windows removed support for earlier versions of the SMB protocol (vulnerable to wannacry) they also switched off this discovery mechanism.

Apparently WINS is another mechanism for discovering network shares, and you can configure samba to use it, but it's a bit shit as it requires you to set up a separate server that resolves names to hosts on the network (a bit like DNS).

The solution I found was to use a newer protocol called "WS-Discovery" (WSD).

This is not built into samba, but there is an open source package you can use called wsdd. I followed the ubuntu/debian installation instructions and then ran it with wsdd -v. My samba share instantly appeared on the windows machine.

I don't know if this is the best long term solution, but as a quick fix to let me copy some files, it worked!

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