Sunday, September 12, 2010

Creating a Windows share on Ubuntu (and accessing it from Windows)

Files and folder sharing with Ubuntu couldn't be simpler. Simply right click on the folder you wish to access from Windows and select “Sharing Options”. Enable “Share this folder” and “guest access”, configure the share name with an optional comment describing the shared folder. If you want write access to the folder contents enable “Allow others to create and delete files in this folder” and you're ready to go.

Folder sharing options
 Ubuntu will offer to install samba for you if it's not already setup.

On my computer I wasn't able to immediately access the share from Windows and needed to restart Ubuntu. So try restarting Ubuntu if you can't access your shared folder from Windows after enabling Windows shares.

In typical Windows fashion browse to \\hostname\share in My Network Places (Windows XP) or Network (Windows Vista/7) to access your shared folder content. Replace hostname with your computer's name. If you don't know (or remember) your Ubuntu computer's name, then fire up a terminal and run the following:

~$ hostname

That should print out the name of your computer.

Windows shared folder authentication

A login window may pop up the first time when you try to access the network share. With guest access enabled just key in “guest” (sans the quotes) in the user field and leave the password field alone. Let Windows remember the password if you want or don't plan to change anything afterwards.