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share a folder

This is a beginners’ step by step guide that shows how to share a folder in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS over local network.

1. To get started, right-click on the folder you want to share and choose the “Local Network Share” option.


If you don’t see this option, search for and install nautilus-share in Ubuntu Software Center and restart Nautilus by running nautilus -q or just log out and back in.

2. When the ‘File Sharing’ dialog opens, click the box to enable ‘Share this folder’ option. Click the “Install service” button if it asks.


Once the installation process finish, log out and back in.

3. Re-do step 1 to open the ‘File Sharing’ dialog for any folder. Depends on your need, enable write permission and/or guess access.


4. If you want client machines to access this share with a username and password, disable Guest access and do:

  • Search for and install system-config-samba in Ubuntu Software Center.
  • Start Samba (graphical tool) from the Dash or menu.
  • Navigate to menu Preferences -> Samba Users
  • Click ‘Add User’ in next window and then select your username, type in a Windows username and password.


Finally you can access this folder in a local network machine using the username (either handbook or ubuntu-laptop in picture) and password.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: File Sharing With Samba

Last updated: May 6, 2014

This tutorial will show you how to install and configure Samba, a free software that allows you to share files, printers and other common resources across a network, in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

1. Install Samba and the graphical configuration tool:

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open the terminal. When it opens, paste the command below and hit run:

sudo apt-get install samba samba-common system-config-samba python-glade2 gksu

2. Open Unity Dash, search for and open the samba configuration tool:

samba graphical configuration tool

3. When the tool opens, go to Preferences -> Server Settings.

Under Basic tab:

  • Workgroup. Same to your Windows Workgroup name (case-sensitive). In Windows 7, right-click Computer icon and go to Properties, there you’ll see Windows Workgroup name.
  • Description.This is the name of your computer as seen by Windows Users.

As it is not advisable to allow ‘Guests’ there should be no reason to change the ‘security’ settings tab unless you wish to do so.

Samba Server Settings

Finally click the OK button to save it.

(Optional) 4. Create a special user for network file sharing

Go to System Settings -> User Accounts -> Click unlock -> Click + (plus) icon -> Choose Standard account and type in names.


Remember to set a password to enable the new account.

5. Next go to Preferences -> Samba Users. Click Add User:

  • Unix Username: Select a user on this Ubuntu machine. You’ll access the shares from Windows machine with this user privilege. You can create a special user for file sharing by step 4
  • Windows Username: When accessing from Windows machine, you’ll be asked to type this username and the password below.
  • Samba password: When accessing from Windows machine, you’ll be asked to type the username above and this password.
  • Confirm Samba password.

Samba User Settings

Finally, restart Samba service and done!

sudo restart smbd && sudo restart nmbd

To share a folder, click the green + (plus) button in Samba Server Configuration tool and you can then easily set the directory, name, read/write permissions and access users.

Tips: If you set the Unix Username to current login user in step 5, you can easily share a folder by “Local Network Share” option in its context menu.