Nautilus-share, fixing or removing?

I have used it in the past and worked well. I will have to try it out in the latest install (a mix of 17.10 and testing of 18.04) and see if it works as it has for me in the past.

I use network sharing between desktops/laptops on occasion, particularly to take work home with me. Due to the nature of my digital work, the files are big, and using a LAN without the intermediary of a USB key is nice. In fact, I did last year use my laptop as a jumpdrive for several large files to move between a Mac laptop and Windows laptop (owned by two different people who couldn’t figure out how to move something >4Gibs).

Since migrating to 17.10 last november sometime I hadn’t made a share with nautilus, so for the sake of trying I just did so using the GUI prompt. Worked, with a single error that apparently “libpam-smbpass” couldn’t be found (just as in the launchpad bug). Logged out and then in again (as per the suggestion from the error), reshared the folder and everything works fine. Perhaps the error message (“Please restart your session”) could be more explicit about logging out and in again, as the question “What’s a session?” could be the first thing that comes to mind of a typical user, and the need to share the folder again by the user could be a source of frustration since it’s not explicitly suggested.


I don’t think this is a common enough use case. I’m not sure how helpful sharing via Samba is to Android/iPhone devices (which more people have today then Windows machines). Gnome-user-share/WebDav might be better for this long term, which is universe in case people want to try it (I couldn’t get it working quickly).

This is how it works now. I like this option.

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At home I use it for NAS and KODI entertainment centre. It seems to me use of NAS is more common in consumer homes judging by the amount of consumer facing NAS units available.

For example families with children often have a home lan with a file server for the entertainment centre. Kodi provides access via samba. So some data points to consider.

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nautilus-share is very useful feature for small-office-home-office (SOHO) and home users. For example, sshfs is not cross-platform alternative and is not alternative at all. Samba is standard file-share service for heterogeneous networks.

So nautilus-share should be fixed.
Nautilus loses functionality too fast. Without shares it will convert to glossy dumb program faster.


I’ve used it in the past, for example on LAN parties… :slight_smile: I would go for only allowing guest shares…

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I have tried using it on the home network. Between Windows and Ubuntu PCs. It didn’t work well for me with user password ON. If I give full access to a folder to anyone without a password, I was able to share files between Windows and Ubuntu.

I have even tried to access those shared folders from Android using VLC, LocalCast and ES File Explorer apps ( Kodi as well ). It didn’t go well with Android as well ( with username/password ).

If you can make it work, my vote is for keep ( if there are not other grave issues ).

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If it is kept, it should be moved where it belongs: in Settings > Sharing

The default File Sharing is done via WebDAV, which is in Settings. It shares the Public folder.
If Rygel (DLNA) is installed, it shows up as Media Sharing in Settings.
If Samba is installed, it should show up in Settings as well but it doesn’t. It’s only available from Nautilus.


To keep things consistent, a non default file sharing should not be available only in the Nautilus context menu (right click > Local network share).
It confuses new users.
I think SMB should only be available from Settings.

I don’t think there should be a Nautilus Share menu for SMB.


To summarize what I said In the topic about File and Media Sharing:
WebDAV is already integrated in Settings > Sharing.

Having 2 different sharing protocols enabled from 2 different places and with the same name (Sharing) is confusing.

If Samba is not installed , it should be removed from Nautilus folder properties and from the right click menu.
So it should show up only after samba is installed.
Eventually, it could be integrated in Sharing and removed entirely from Nautilus.


I don’t think we should enable insecure WebDAV file sharing instead of Samba.

AFAIK, WebDAV file sharing is in clear text, which is unacceptable in 2018. While most people now share files using some sort of cloud service, if we do allow sharing local folders, we should continue doing so using Samba.

libpam-smbpass has been replaced by libpam-winbind.


Some form of working resource sharing should be provided ‘out of the gate/box’ with any modern desktop operating system. Providing a message box that says “Sharing services are not installed” just does not cut it. I further agree that these options should not appear in either Caja or Nautilus unless sharing a sharing protocol is installed and working.

Getting SAMBA to actually work in Linux is a bloody nightmare. It REALLY needs to be fixed.

Darn right samba should be able to work out of the box. When I click to share a folder I expect it to be shared and I want to see it on my network and if my network is mostly PCs it should show up else the machine that won’t do that stands a chance of being replaced with a PC. There are lots of devices that just assume SMB is available. If you can’t play with the big boys you will end up on your own at the nerd table.

Most people just want to get something done, not poke about with config files and what not. If Ubuntu doesn’t do it in a couple of clicks then Ubunut will get replaced with something that does.
And because it’s not a really common use case it’s even more important for it to be simple and obvious to the user. No-one with any sense is going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out something they will only do once - and not being able to do what other platforms do - even if it’s stupid - means switching platforms.

Any of the supported sharing should be selectable and, if necessary, installable at a single click. I can chose to use WebDAV on this laptop if I want, but I can’t chose to use it on the network scanner that wants to write to a share on my machine!!


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You might remember that there is an installed base of Ubuntu users that already use SAMBA and have it working. This includes SOHO and businesses. It really hasn’t been a nightmare. And Ubuntu should be able to be upgraded and then not become a nightmare because something that might be daunting to a new user will become a nightmare to someone who depends on it and finds it missing. That’s microsoft’s way. Force users to use their way or no way.

I like this idea too.

Negative: Not everyone agrees. It only works after you fiddle with it and most people would rather not have go through the fiddling.

Agreed there is a base of linux users that have SAMBA it working but it is not a LARGE base compared to Microsoft’s share of the market. Microsoft was always a marketing company first and foremost. Their marketing people understand that Joe Plummer does not want to waste his/her time ‘fiddling’ with poorly documented configuration files to get his/her machine working.

I say poorly documented because every interaction introduces changes. Most of the linux samba tutorials and instructions are badly out of date. Many were questionable to begin with.

What Microsoft does or doesn’t do is irrelevant to a Linux user except when they have to interact with Windows. It doesn’t matter if what the size of the user base of SAMBA users is to Windows.

I don’t consider editing a configuration file fiddling until I have to work around something that a particular distribution did to make that software behave differently than it’s man pages suggest. It’s still easier than Windows gui way, at least in a corporate environment.

The reason I found this discussion was because on “upgrading” to 18.04 I discovered that sharing was going to take a lot of fiddling since the what the gui is doing is not what I want it to do. Hence, back to SAMBA and it’s config files. This “Joe Plumber” has spent too much time already trying to figure out how to get 18.04 Mate and 18.04 to share files. And that’s something that is part of the steep learning curve going from 16 to 18.

You really have to think about the effect these things have on experienced users versus newbies.

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Yeah I reported about problems with this back in 2016