Document History

This document has been revised from time to time. In August 2001 a change history was added. Some of the changes to the document are listed below:


How this documentation came to be written is described below:

During the 1990s there was a move towards distributed networked systems from traditional centralized systems; "down-sizing" and "right-sizing" were some of the "buzz-words" of the time. There was a considerable growth in PC Networks including those using the Server Message Block protocol.

During this time I was in the Network group of the organization I worked for. It seemed sensible to find out a little about the protocols such as NetBIOS and SMB that were being discussed at that time. As I tried to discover a little about these protocols, I found considerable confusion and very little documentation or reliable information.

During the late 1990s there were many books on other protocol suites such as TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, AppleTalk and others but there seemed to be none dedicated to NetBIOS or SMB. Eventually I found "Inside NETBIOS, 3rd Edition", by J. Scott Haugdahl, Architecture Technology corporation and later I obtained the official documentation from IBM: "IBM LAN Technical Reference: IEEE 802.2 and NetBIOS Application Program Interfaces, Second Edition (May 1996) SC30-3587-01."; these were (and as far as I know still are) the only books specifically describing the NetBIOS Frames Protocol. While there are now several books that include sections on the protocol the above mentioned books are the only ones that are dedicated to the topic. The situation with SMB seems to be worse; apart from "Protocols for X/Open PC Interworking: SMB, Version 2: The Open Group, X/Open Document Number: C209, ISBN 1-87263-045-6.", I am not aware of any book that exclusively describes SMB.

I decided to post references to information I had found on a web site in the hopes that it might be useful to others and that this might prompt others to point me in the direction of useful information. As it became apparent how little documentation existed, I made some documentation available as a collection of web pages.

Over the years a number of people have been kind enough to let me know that they found the documentation useful and so I have continued to develop it on an ad-hoc basis. One request that I consistently received was for the documentation in another format, preferably as a single file, and typically as a PDF document. The most sensible approach seemed to be to convert the documentation to xml format as a docbook document that could then be converted to whatever format was desired for which converters were available.