Question about OSX networking

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Question about OSX networking

Postposted on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:24 pm

If this is too much of an Apple question please feel free to move it.

Im having some trouble with mac networking in a Windows environment. We give all of our computers short names like PC001 that then of course automatically gets the rest of our domain added to it to make a FQDN like PC001.net.domain.com but that's really a reachable address from across the web. From a Windows computer I can ping PC001 by just pinging PC001 without the rest of the name because of DNS. I can also map a a shared drive from PC001 using \\PC001\share. But my problem is that using our Macs I cannot ping PC001 or map a share from it. Trying to ping PC001 just returns unknown host. Same with trying to map a smb:// share. I know OSX relies heavily on Bonjour to handle things like this, but we have multiple buildings which each have their own subnet which breaks bonjour. The macs can see other macs in their building but not in other buildings.

All of these computers are using DHCP and I have the DNS and WINS servers configured the same for both. My question is why can I ping PC001 from a windows box no problem but the mac cant seem to find it. I thought macs worked fine with TCP/IP and DNS but I guess I'm learning that's not quite the case. BTW all the Macs are either 10.5 or 10.6
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Re: Question about OSX networking

Postposted on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:38 pm

And just to further show my problem, If I try to map a share even from a mac to another mac that is on a different subnet I cannot map the share if I type afp://Mac001 but I can if I type afp://10.10.100.6

Its like the Mac doesn't know what Mac001 is even though a PC would.
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Re: Question about OSX networking

Postposted on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:54 pm

The ability to ping by computer name is functionality that Windows layers on top of DNS and TCP/IP; it's definitely not part of the protocol. I'm not sure exactly what the compatibility is with Macs trying to use stuff like this, though.
Just a guess, but have you tried connecting to Macs using the full nice name that is displays in the Sharing pref pane? Usually looks something like mac-mini.local.
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Re: Question about OSX networking

Postposted on Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:09 pm

Well, afp://Mac001 isn't a FQDN- it's just a portion of it. try connecting to PCs from the macs using the FQDN: PC001.net.domain.com. <---That is a full hostname, and the part you are looking for is just the machine name (publicized by NetBIOS? that part isn't my strength here). Stick with the full hostnames and you'll be fine. the machine name though isn't anything other than a simple identifier, but until its paired with other info (the rest of the domain name) it really isn't anything at all (i.e. are you looking for mac001.ny.domain.com or mac001.la.domain.com- both are mac001 as a local machine name, but are two different hostnames. See if something in Applications/Utilities/Directory Utility may help out. Hopefully that will point you in the right direction.
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Re: Question about OSX networking

Postposted on Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:16 pm

SNM wrote:The ability to ping by computer name is functionality that Windows layers on top of DNS and TCP/IP; it's definitely not part of the protocol. I'm not sure exactly what the compatibility is with Macs trying to use stuff like this, though.
Just a guess, but have you tried connecting to Macs using the full nice name that is displays in the Sharing pref pane? Usually looks something like mac-mini.local.

The problem with the .local is that uses Bonjour (or tries to use bonjour) which doesn't help because not all of the machines are on the same subnet. So .local only works for machines on the same subnet.
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Re: Question about OSX networking

Postposted on Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:22 pm

Yup. I'm not convinced that your PCs really are registered in DNS when they DHCP a name, it's more likely doing some other form of NetBIOS name resolution.

When mapping an smb share you should be able to get OS X to use the same NetBIOS name resolution as it is basically Samba underneath the GUI.

Getting AFP and Bonjour to work across the subnets is a little more complicated, a quick Google found this PDF but that's from 2006 so not sure if things have changed since then.
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