This just saved me a lot of annoyance
If you use Debian or Ubuntu, do yourself a favour. Run this command:
- apt-get install winbind
Then edit your /etc/nsswitch.conf and change the line that looks like this:
- hosts: files dns
- hosts: files dns wins
Now even if your computer is on a network with fantastically stupid DNS, you can be happy like Windows users already are: your programs will do broadcast/wins lookups to find a hostname if it's not found in DNS.
(I had a really hard time finding out from google how to do this, so if you'll forgive me some redundancy: winbindd is part of samba. It can use WINS for hostname lookups (to augment or replace DNS). It provides nss_wins (libnss_wins) for NSS. It finds Windows hostnames automatically using samba on your Linux system.)
Lazyweb: anybody know how to do this in MacOS X?