AlmaLinuz server cannot ping nor browse other servers nor PCs by name

I cannot find a solution no matter how many articles I read. I need help going step by step to check this. I have a peer-to-peer network with 1 AlmaLinux 9.2 new installation server, older CenterOS 8.5 server, a few Windows 10 PCs. Problem is name resolution is not working right:


  1. I cannot get either server to ping nor browse each other nor the PCs by name. They can ping and browse by IP address just fine so permissions are OK.
  2. Servers and PCs DO show up in Windows Network Neighborhood.
  3. PCs CAN ping and browse both servers and each other by name just fine. Odd it is just the Linux boxes that cannot see the names.
  4. AlmaLinux server’s “Windows Network” is empty when double clicked.
  5. Entering ‘smb://centos/share’ in AlmaLinux’s Files>Connect to Server field brings up the box for user/domain/password and when I enter those I get error
    ‘Unable to access location
    Failed to retrieve share list from server: Invalid argument’.

Setup is:

  1. Running on both servers are Samba, wsdd, Avahi
  2. Firewall ports and SE linux settings for all services are configured. If I turn firewall and SE Linux off then it doesn’t help so I don’t think this is a firewall nor SEL problem.
  3. Workgroup name set in smb.conf, using SMB3+. smbuser is configured. smb and nmd running.

This is my first experience with AlmaLinux. I have a bit of knowledge from setting up 2 CentOS boxes in the past. I installed and configured it using several articles I searched as I went because I couldn’t find a comprehensive article after I got through AlmaLinux’s basic setup instructions. I may have missed steps so if there is a comprehensive article on setting up Samba with workgroup name resolution + wsdd + Avahi + ? please point me toward that and I will check the setup. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

What is in /etc/resolv.conf?



The first line is the router.

The system resolver sends a query to the first server on the list. If that does not respond, then it sends the query to the next, and if that is down too, then to the third. That is repeated for every query.

However, if a server responds, the reply is the answer. If the answer is “unknown name”, then that is it. At least I guess that that is how things go with DNS.

Your nameservers do not know the names, apparently.

The first DNS server is the router. On “home” systems the router is usually also the DHCP server that hands network config (including nameservers) to the clients. If DHCP and DNS servers are implemented in the router with dnsmasq, then the names of the clients are told to the DNS server part. If that would be possible, then the router’s DNS server could resolve those names.

The resolve.conf is not necessarily the only truth. The /etc/nsswitch.conf has entry for hosts.
One of the possible values is files. If that is the first value (or at least before dns), then entries in file /etc/hosts are used too. One could have there a static list of IP-address to name(s) mappings.

The Samba might offer an additional value for hosts that makes system query a Samba service about names, but I do nothing about that.

Thanks for taking a look. I am way beyond using static lists on each machine for resolution. I am using mdns and wsdd for multicast automatic name resolution without using the old, insecure Netbios Windows methods. What I need is to get it setup so it works Linux to Linux. It is already working Linux to Windows, it appears.

In /etc/nsswitch.confmdns is first in the host list.

On my home subnet the (Ubiquiti) router hands out the names, knows them, and (DNS) resolves them, for all clients (including Windows). (I don’t even know what the mdns and wsdd are.)

Understood. These 2 servers have static IP addresses. The router hands out DHCP addresses to the Windows systems. This is a business workgroup type setup, different from a simple home type system.

All my home machines do have static addresses, handed out by the DHCP.

Anyone else have a good how to on setting up a AlmaLinux server to work on a Linux/Windows peer-to-peer network?