A Samba file server enables file sharing across different operating systems over a network. It lets you access your desktop files from a laptop and share files with Windows and macOS users.
This guide covers the installation and configuration of Samba on Ubuntu.
What you’ll learn
- How to set up a Samba file server
- How to share files across a local network
What you’ll need
- Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
- A Local Area Network (LAN) to share files over
If you have everything ready, let’s dive straight into the installation process on the next step!
To install Samba, we run:
sudo apt update sudo apt install samba
We can check if the installation was successful by running:
The following should be its output:
samba: /usr/sbin/samba /usr/lib/samba /etc/samba /usr/share/samba /usr/share/man/man7/samba.7.gz /usr/share/man/man8/samba.8.gz
Setting up Samba
Now that Samba is installed, we need to create a directory for it to share:
The command above creates a new folder
sambashare in our home directory which we will share later.
The configuration file for Samba is located at
/etc/samba/smb.conf. To add the new directory as a share, we edit the file by running:
sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf
At the bottom of the file, add the following lines:
[sambashare] comment = Samba on Ubuntu path = /home/username/sambashare read only = no browsable = yes
Ctrl-O to save and
Ctrl-X to exit from the nano text editor.
What we’ve just added
- comment: A brief description of the share.
path: The directory of our share.
read only: Permission to modify the contents of the share folder is only granted when the value of this directive is
browsable: When set to
yes, file managers such as Ubuntu’s default file manager will list this share under “Network” (it could also appear as browseable).
Now that we have our new share configured, save it and restart Samba for it to take effect:
sudo service smbd restart
Update the firewall rules to allow Samba traffic:
sudo ufw allow samba
Setting up User Accounts and Connecting to Share
Since Samba doesn’t use the system account password, we need to set up a Samba password for our user account:
sudo smbpasswd -a username
Username used must belong to a system account, else it won’t save.
Connecting to Share
On Ubuntu: Open up the default file manager and click Connect to Server then enter:
On macOS: In the Finder menu, click Go > Connect to Server then enter:
On Windows, open up File Manager and edit the file path to:
ip-address is the Samba server IP address and
sambashare is the name of the share.
You’ll be prompted for your credentials. Enter them to connect!