In a small windows network you can contact (i.e. ping etc.) one windows computer from another using their name even if there isn’t a DNS server in the network. However, from a computer running linux, you would need to know the ip address of the computer you want to contact. The “computer name” the windows computers use in this instance are their netbios names which other computers discover using WINS resolution. Linux computers are usually not set up to use this.
The most common solution is to just add just add the PCs to your hosts file. But that would become tiresome if you have more than a couple of computers, and would not work at all if your computers use dynamic IPs.
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