ComTech: IT Support Stirling

How to configure file sharing on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Today I will show you how to configure file sharing on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.  This tutorial works for both the desktop and server variations.

First thing is to install the packages we need – Samba and smbfs. So open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install samba

Type your root password when prompted.  Then install smbfs by typing:

sudo apt-get install smbfs

and then type your root password again.

We now have to configure the smb.conf file which contains all the samba settings. In a terminal type:

gksu nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

Locate the line WORKROUP = WORKGROUP and change it to the name of your network.  So for instance mine would be changed to WORKGROUP = Ubuntu_home.

Now at the end of the file add the following text:

[sdc] (This is the name of your share – change as appropriate)
path = /media/dev/sdc (This is the network path to your share – change as appropriate)
available = yes
browsable = yes
public = yes
writable = yes
comment = shared files

Save the file and exit.

If you prefer GUI’s (Desktop Ubuntu only) then you can install the Samba gui instead and share your folders that way.

Now we have to add users to the smbpasswd file which is located at /etc/samba/smbpasswd.  Only users specified in the smbpasswd file will be able to access your samba shares.  Open a terminal and type:

sudo smbpasswd -a user (where user is the name of the person allowed to access the shares)

When prompted enter their new password twice.

We now need to restart the samba service so in a terminal type:

sudo service smbd restart

Now we have to check the configuration so far.  In a terminal type:


Testparm will tell you if there are any errors in your configuration.  If everything is Ok then type:

smbclient -L (where is the ip address of your samba server).

This will show you the list of all your available samba shares.  At this point if you have no errors your server is configured correctly.

Linux Clients

Install samba and smbfs either using the package manager or the terminal.  We need to edit the Workgroup field in smb.conf to the name of your network (e.g Ubuntu_home).

Then we have to mount the available shares.  First decide where you are going to mount them.  I will mount them in /media/dev/share but first I will have to make the directory dev so:

cd /media

sudo mkdir dev

and then ls which should show us the new dev directory in media.  Now time to mount the shares.

sudo mount -t smbfs // name) /media/dev/share where is the ip address of your samba server.  This will mount the share but only as long as you are logged in.  To make the link persistent you need to enter the following line into /etc/fstab.

//   /media/dev/share      cifs       username=user,password=pass,user,rw,noatime     0              0

Windows Clients

We have to change the workgroup to Ubuntu_home and then add the ip address of the samba server to the hosts file (must open as administrator).

Once this is complete map the shares to your computer.

Word of warning here about firewalls.  Either turn them off or add exception rules for traffic on ports 137-139 and 445.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


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