Before I upgraded to Ubuntu 17.04, the following allowed me to ping another computer connected to the same network:

  • sudo apt install winbind libnss-winbind
  • Modify a line in /etc/nsswitch.conf to hosts: files mdns4_minimal wins dns

After applying the above changes in Ubuntu 16.04, I could ping my Windows 7 laptop by its name alone:

charlie@server ~ $ ping charlie-pc
PING charlie-pc ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from charlie-pc ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=128 time=2.13 ms

Now when I do the same in Ubuntu 17.04, I get the following error:

charlie@server ~ $ ping charlie-pc
ping: charlie-pc: System error

I can still successfully ping my laptop by its IP address, however, I would like network names to be automatically resolved again...without adding them to /etc/hosts.

  • Problem corrected itself after package "windbind" was marked for upgrading, so I upgraded it. – charlie Sep 22 '17 at 22:51
  • I think I have the same problem, only I updated from 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS (Ubuntu-Server). Unfortunately nothing has been marked for upgrading. I actually uninstalled and reinstalled winbind and other related packages. So far nothing has helped. :-( – AudioDroid Jun 2 at 16:31
  • Try pinging windows-pc.local instead as I believe this is the designed way of accessing local computers (works in Debian Buster). – charlie Jun 3 at 17:58

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