Ubuntu File Sharing

This article is relevant to Ubuntu Feisty (7.04), Gutsy (7.10) and perhaps others.

It seems that Ubuntu now almost has very simple file sharing for Windows machines. I could not find a way to do everything from the Desktop GUI, which was sad, because command line prompts don't cut it for the command-line fearing masses.

Still, it was pretty easy.

On Ubuntu

  1. Browse to the folder you want to share, right click and select "Share Folder".
  2. If Samba is not installed, you'll get a box that asks if you'd like to install file sharing. Select "Windows networks support" and click "Install services"
  3. After the service is installed, give the share a name and a comment if you like. Select whether to make it read-only or not.
  4. Now you need to drop to the command line and give your user a Samba password. Open a terminal and type sudo smbpasswd -a [username] - where [username] is your normal Ubuntu username
  5. Follow the prompts to enter a password to be used from Windows

On Windows

Now, on the Windows machine, browse to your Ubuntu machine by going to Start->Run and entering \10.0.0.1, where the 10.0.0.1 is the IP address of the Ubuntu machine. You should be able to access the share using the username and password you entered.

Possible problems

  1. If you toggle read only for a folder, you need to restart SAMBA for the changes to take effect. In a terminal type /etc/init.d/samba restart
  2. You need basic IP networking up before this will work. That is you'll need to know the IP address of your Ubuntu machine and be able to ping it from the Windows machine. Your Ubuntu machine's IP address can be found under System->Administration->Networking. Your Windows machine will need an IP address in the same range. To ping, go to the Windows command line (Start->Run->cmd), and enter "ping 10.0.0.1", where 10.0.0.1 is the IP address of the Ubuntu machine.

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