Samba is a re-implementation of the SMB/CIFS networking protocol, it facilitates file and printer sharing among Linux and Windows systems as an alternative to NFS. Some users say that Samba is easily configured and that operation is very straight-forward. However, many new users run into problems with its complexity and non-intuitive mechanism. It is strongly suggested that the user sticks close to the following directions.
- 1 Server configuration
- 2 Client configuration
- 3 See also
The Samba server is configured in
/etc/samba/smb.conf. Copy the default Samba configuration file to
# cp /etc/samba/smb.conf.default /etc/samba/smb.conf
testparmto check the validity of samba configuration file.
/etc/samba/smb.conf, scroll down to the Share Definitions section. The default configuration automatically creates a share for each user's home directory. It also creates a share for printers by default. There are a number of commented sample configurations included. More information about available options for shared resources can be found in . Here is the on-line version.
On Windows side, be sure to change
smb.conf to the Windows Workgroup. (Windows default: WORKGROUP)
smbd.socketso the daemon is started on the first incoming connection. Don't forget to disable
"Usershare" is a feature that gives non-root users the capability to add, modify, and delete their own share definitions.
This creates the usershares directory in
# mkdir -p /var/lib/samba/usershare
This makes the group sambashare:
# groupadd sambashare
This changes the owner of the directory and group you just created to root:
# chown root:sambashare /var/lib/samba/usershare
This changes the permissions of the usershares directory so that users in the group sambashare can read, write and execute files:
# chmod 1770 /var/lib/samba/usershare
Set the following variables in
smb.conf configuration file:
... [global] usershare path = /var/lib/samba/usershare usershare max shares = 100 usershare allow guests = yes usershare owner only = yes ...
Add your user to the sambashare group. Replace
your_username with the name of your user:
# usermod -a -G sambashare your_username
Log out and log back in. You should now be able to configure your samba share using GUI. For example, in Thunar you can right click on any directory and share it on the network. If you want to share pathes inside your home directory you must make it listable for the group others.
Adding a user
Create a Linux user account for samba user. Substitute
samba_user with preferred name if desired:
# useradd samba_user
Then create a Samba user account with the same name:
# pdbedit -a -u samba_user
Changing Samba user's password
To change a user's password, use
# smbpasswd samba_user
Onlyis required to access files from a Samba/SMB/CIFS server. It is available from the official repositories.
Shared resources from other computers on the LAN may be accessed and mounted locally by GUI or CLI methods. Depending on the desktop environment, GUI methods may not be available. See also #File manager configuration for use with a file manager.
There are two parts in sharing access. The first is the underlying file system mechanism, which some environments have built in. The second is the interface which allows the user to mount shared resources.
For a lighter approach without support for listing public shares, only install
To list public shares on a server:
$ smbclient -L hostname -U%
Create a mount point for the share:
# mkdir /mnt/mountpoint
Mount the share using the
mount.cifs type. Not all the options listed below are needed or desirable (ie.
# mount -t cifs //SERVER/sharename /mnt/mountpoint -o user=username,password=password,workgroup=workgroup,ip=serverip
- The Windows system name.
- The shared directory.
- The local directory where the share will be mounted.
- See for more information.
- Abstain from using a trailing
//SERVER/sharename/will not work.
- If your mount does not work stable, stutters or freezes, try to enable different SMB protocol version with
vers=option. For example,
vers=2.0for Windows Vista mount.
The simplest way to add an fstab entry is something like this:
//SERVER/sharename /mnt/mountpoint cifs username=username,password=password 0 0
However, storing passwords in a world readable file is not recommended! A safer method would be to use a credentials file. As an example, create a file and
chmod 600 filename so only the owning user can read and write to it. It should contain the following information:
and the line in your fstab should look something like this:
//SERVER/SHARENAME /mnt/mountpoint cifs credentials=/path/to/credentials/sambacreds 0 0
If using systemd (modern installations), one can utilize the
comment=systemd.automount option, which speeds up service boot by a few seconds. Also, one can map current user and group to make life a bit easier, utilizing
gidoptions may cause input ouput errors in programs that try to fetch data from network drives.
//SERVER/SHARENAME /mnt/mountpoint cifs credentials=/path/to/smbcredentials,comment=systemd.automount,uid=username,gid=usergroup 0 0
\040(ASCII code for space in octal). For example,
//SERVER/share nameon the command line should be
//SERVER/SHARENAME /mnt/mountpoint cifs users,credentials=/path/to/smbcredentials,workgroup=workgroup,ip=serverip 0 0
This will allow users to mount it as long as the mount point resides in a directory controllable by the user; i.e. the user's home. For users to be allowed to mount and unmount the Samba shares with mount points that they do not own, use smbnetfs, or grant privileges using sudo.
WINS host names
Thepackage provides a driver to resolve host names using WINS. To enable it, add “wins” to the “hosts” line in /etc/nsswitch.conf.
There are several ways to easily browse shared resources:
First, check if you can see all the shares you are interested in mounting:
$ smbtree -U remote_user
If that does not work, find and modify the following line
domain master = auto
If everything works as expected, install from the official repositories.
Then, add the following line to
and load the
fuse kernel module:
# modprobe fuse
Now copy the directory
/etc/smbnetfs/.smb to your home directory:
$ cp -a /etc/smbnetfs/.smb ~
Then create a link to
$ ln -sf /etc/samba/smb.conf ~/.smb/smb.conf
If a username and a password are required to access some of the shared folders, edit
to include one or more entries like this:
auth "hostname" "username" "password"
It is also possible to add entries for specific hosts to be mounted by smbnetfs, if necessary.
More details can be found in
If you are using the Dolphin or Nautilus file managers, you may want to the following to
~/.smb/smbnetfs.conf to avoid "Disk full" errors as smbnetfs by default will report 0 bytes of free space:
When you are done with the configuration, you need to run
$ chmod 600 ~/.smb/smbnetfs.*
Otherwise, smbnetfs complains about 'insecure config file permissions'.
Finally, to mount your Samba network neighbourhood to a directory of your choice, call
$ smbnetfs mount_point
The Arch Linux package also maintains an additional system-wide operation mode for smbnetfs. To enable it, you need to make the
said modifications in the directoy
Then, you can start and/or enable the
smbnetfs daemon as usual. The system-wide mount point is at
See Autofs for information on the kernel-based automounter for Linux.
File manager configuration
GNOME Files, Nemo, Thunar and PCManFM
In order to access samba shares through GNOME Files, Nemo, Thunar or PCManFM, install the official repositories.package, available in the
Ctrl+l and enter
smb://servername/share in the location bar to access your share.
The mounted share is likely to be present at
/run/user/your_UID/gvfs in the filesystem.
KDE, has the ability to browse Samba shares built in. Therefore do not need any additional packages. However, for a GUI in the KDE System Settings, install thepackage from the official repositories.
If when navigating with Dolphin you get a "Time Out" Error, you should uncomment and edit this line in smb.conf:
name resolve order = lmhosts bcast host wins
as shown in this page.
Other graphical environments
There are a number of useful programs, but they may need to have packages created for them. This can be done with the Arch package build system. The good thing about these others is that they do not require a particular environment to be installed to support them, and so they bring along less baggage.
- is available in the official repositories.
- LinNeighborhood, RUmba, xffm-samba plugin for Xffm are not available in the official repositories or the AUR. As they are not officially (or even unofficially supported), they may be obsolete and may not work at all.