Share Ubuntu folders with Windows (samba)

I just bought a Asus Eeepc 900 yesterday and had to settle for the Windows version.

Since these netbooks come with limited hard drives (ssd actually)  I have to access my music and videos from my Ubuntu desktop.

I already have a ssh server running for my other laptop but setting up ssh in Windows isn’t all that.

In comes Samba.

The last time I tried Samba (Ubuntu Feisty) I had some trouble setting it up, but luckily this has changed.

(this will for for Xp and Vista, I’m using Ubuntu 8.10 RC for this but Hardy should work exactly the same)

Right click any folder and you’ll see the option to share it. When you do this the first time you’ll be prompted to install the service.

After it’s installed you’ll be asked to log out and back in.

When you are back in, you would think that you’ll just right click the folder and share it, but that isn’t the case.

I only got it working when I started nautilus as root.

So press “alt + f2” and enter “gksudo nautilus”.

You now started nautilus as root, in the left plane press “file system” press the home folder and you’ll see your usual folders.

Now you can right click them and share them.

Close the file browser now, don’t use the root file browser for normal tasks.

That’s it.

Now for the windows side, the easiest thing to do is create a desktop shortcut.

Right-click your desktop, press new and create a new shortcut.

The location you are going to enter is


If you are not sure what your host name is, simply open a terminal (applications, accessories, terminal) and you’ll see your hostname after the @ sign.

(note: can also enter that command from the cmd if you don’t like shortcuts)

Now press the icon on your Windows desktop and you’ll be prompted for a username and password. Those are the same ones you log into Ubuntu with.

Easy, no?

  1. I’ve got a far easier way.

    For a start you don’t need to go into root at all. I did this just yesterday. Just do the right click whichever folder and set the appropriate sharing options (although I’m using Intrepid).

    In Windows XP, go to network places. There should be an option for add a network location, then go through the menus and it should show you a list of the network places. Choose the appropriate network group (Samba has it as “workgroup” for default), it’ll show your Ubuntu computers name, and then the shared folder/s.

    Without requiring username and password (unless you set one in the samba preferences), terminal or odd shortcuts – all through simple gui’s.

  2. You don’t have to use Windows, though. A custom-made install disc is available to install Ubuntu eee on your Asus.

    It includes the Netbook Remix and it’s really slick (it uses Gnome but it takes 2-3 GB to install, plus the files and apps you add to it).

    Personally, I store my music and photos on my website powered by my LAMPP (Linux server), which is really easy to set up (just don’t use port 80). I installed Ubuntu eee on an Acer Aspire One and it’s sick. Keep in mind for the SSD, you cannot use a journaling filesystem (after running the updates, the partition will corrupt), meaning for now you’re stuck with ext2 (which isn’t bad…still better than NTFS).

    • linuxowns
    • October 30th, 2008


    Thanks for sharing.

    However I wouldn’t call your way easier, but that depends from person to person I guess.


    I know, I’m planning to or upgrade to ubuntu 8.10 or Arch.

    Most likely it will be Ubuntu because of the netbook remix stuff I can install.

    • RndmGuy06
    • November 12th, 2008

    Whoever you are…Thank you! I’ve been searching the web since I updated to 8.10 and was trying all sorts of things to edit smb.conf. All to share my files from a nfts drive.

    I’m a newbie to Linux and what exactly did I just do? Entering a root, nautilus? lost me…Thanks though!

    • linuxowns
    • November 12th, 2008

    Nautilus is the file browser.

    You just opened it with admin (root) privileges.

    • manekineko
    • December 2nd, 2008

    wow this was very helpful, worked great. Thanks alot!

    • Bill Goldberg
    • December 2nd, 2008

    No problem.

  3. Please check if you allow “others” to at least “access” all files that shared directory is contained in. I’ve found the proble that my “home” was not accessible by “others”.

  4. I’m not a Linux noob really – Folder sharing is something I’ve been consistently stuck on with Ubuntu for about 3 years.
    With the most recent versions of Ubuntu it certainly looks like a smoother process, but I still never succeed.

  5. It worked! Thank you so much!!!

    • janaka
    • August 23rd, 2011

    me new to ubuntu… if the partition is fat32(ubuntu) would that be a prob to access from windows?

    i am able to see the shared folder.. but cant seem to access it, gives an error

    “share is not accecible you might not have permission……….”

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