How to Share Files and Folders in Ubuntu 10.10 [GUEST POST]

By Dr. Muhammad Saleem, PhD

Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering

Sharing files and folders in Ubuntu is pretty simple. You not only can share the local folders with other Ubuntu machines but also the PCs running Windows OS.

1.            Sharing folders with Ubuntu & Windows Machines

·         Right click on the folder which you want to share and choose Sharing Options and then Share This Folder. In case, you are informed that the sharing services are not installed on your system, choose Install Service and let it finish.

·         After the installation of service is completed, it will take you to an options window. Choose Allow other people to write in this folder if you want to give both read and write access to network users. By default, it will be read-only folder. Another option is to check Guess access which will also allow the non-Ubuntu users – the ones who do not have any account on your Ubuntu PC – to access the shared folder.
Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0/2.0 Ultra Portable External Hard Drive (Black)·         Finally click on Create Share to conclude this process. This will allow the PCs running Ubuntu to access the shared folder. Browsing computers on Ubuntu is simple. Select Places – Network. You may be asked to fill in three fields: username, password and domain. Username/password is most probably an account on the PC you are trying to access. Domain is generally left blank but may sometimes be required. Contact your system administrator for this purpose.
·         You can set different properties of the shared folder by right-clicking on the folder and selecting Properties. For instance, you can give the folder a unique icon, set Permissions etc.
·         If you want to access this folder form a Windows machine, here is the recipe.
                                                              i.      Open the terminal window on Ubuntu PC and type “sudo smbpasswd –a smbuser”. Remember sudo in this command allows you to run smbpasswd with root privileges. It will ask you the root password. Type in the password and press enter.
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                                                            ii.      You will be prompted with New SMB password: asking you to enter the password for the SMB account – the so-called Samba account. Samba allows you to connect with the Windows machine. Type the password and it will ask you again - Retype new SMB password: - to repeat the same password one more time.
                                                          iii.      Go to the Windows machine and try to browse this folder on the specified host. You can find the hostname of Ubuntu PC through SystemAdministrationNetwork and then selecting the General tab. Hopefully, you will be able to access it from a Windows PC. If not, read the next section.

2.            Problems in accessing shared folder from Windows PC

Microsoft Windows 7 Home PremiumIf you are unable to browse the folder from Windows PC using the host name, try the IP address. Here is the way to do it.

  • First of all, you must know the IP address of the Ubuntu machine. An easy way is to type “ifconfig” on the terminal window. Alternatively, run Network Tools using System - Administration. Select the devices tab and then select the name of your network connection e.g. eth0. Note the IP address. Let us assume it is

  • Now, click Start – Run on your Windows PC and type: “\\” and press OK to access the shared folder.

  • If it still does not work, go to your Ubuntu PC and run System – Administration – Services. Make sure that the check box next to Folder Sharing Service is checked.

Editor's Note: Dr. Muhammad Saleem has a PhD from the Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering, Islamabad, Pakistan. He spends his spare time writing as a freelance writer. He is also the author/co-author of several research publications in the area of Ad Hoc networks.

The article above does not reflect the opinions, observations and recommendations of and are the sole views of the author. Always confirm information before you do something with your computer.