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I was trying to get Samba to start sharing a directory. I couldn't seem to get it working, got frustrated, and gave up. Then I checked back later, and it had started working with the configuration I gave it.

Why does it sometimes take quite a while for Samba to start sharing things, and is there something I can do to fix this?

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I don't think your issue was Samba. I think your issue was the machine you were trying to access Same from. Windows caches some SMB parameters, so if you make changes, Windows may be confused for a minute or so until it retries and refreshes the cached incorrect data. – David Schwartz Sep 24 '11 at 5:24
    
Have no answer but I have experienced the same thing. – Nifle Sep 24 '11 at 8:00
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There are multiple things that can be the cause of this.

It sometimes takes a while for machines to find each other with NetBIOS if that is what you're using. This is usually the case if you don't have a domain controller.

See also http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/NetworkBrowsing.html

Setting up your samba server as a WINS server, and having your windows machines use that might be a way to fix this.

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