File Sharing Using Ubuntu 9.04 And Samba

In 2007 I did a video on how to share files/folders to Windows with Ubuntu. But since version 8 of that OS the way in which this is done has changed a bit. It is simplified somewhat, but the drawback now is that in order to change the Workgroup name you must edit a configuration file manually instead of having the ability to do it in the GUI like before.

In the video – and here on this post – I make the request that if anybody knows how to change the Workgroup name without manually editing the smb.conf file, please feel free to comment and explain how that’s done, because I couldn’t find it.

Granted, the command line is not a bad thing, but the point here is that you used to be able to edit the Workgroup name via the GUI and now that feature seems to be gone – unless it’s hiding somewhere where I can’t find it?

See video above for details.


  1. No problem change the workgroup without having to manually change the smb.conf
    You can simply installe thes amba server configuration tool.

    1. In Synaptic package manager install system-config-samb

    2. Open it under system->administration

    3. choose Preferences->server settings…

    4. change to the desired workgroup


    • Thanks. And I’m assuming you mean system-config-samba (with the ‘a’ at the end).

      Drop a note to the Ubuntu team: On Samba install, this should be installed right along with it instead of having it as a separate installation step. Keeping it in the GUI as much as possible is desirable.

  2. Steven Hammons says:

    As an alternative, there is also SWAT (The Samba Web Administration Tool). Here is a link to the web page on regarding SWAT:

    Here is a small quote from that page as well in direct relation to your question:

    “The purpose of the SWAT Wizard is to help the Microsoft-knowledgeable network administrator to configure Samba with a minimum of effort.

    The Wizard page provides a tool for rewriting the smb.conf file in fully optimized format.”

    There is no right or wrong way, just what is comfortable for the individual doing the work.

  3. Lespaul20 says:

    Another alternative is Webin. Web interface for a bunch of services/functions.

  4. i’m just curious on how to connect using xp. i followed the steps on my ubuntu machine but when i access it on xp it doesn’t work. i got the error message “\\\ubuntu is not accessible”. is there any other way to access the shared folder using xp besides typing \\ubuntuipaddress\shared_folder in run?

  5. It seems to me that you are not using a samba correct login name and/or password.
    Normally xp tries to login as nobody/anonymous

  6. Michael Pursel says:

    New to Ubutu had to use UNIX at school so I said what the heck and built a Ubutu box. I can see and get to the share on the Ubuntu machine but can not get to the shares on the window (XP) machine from Ubutu.

  7. Patrick Ng says:

    Thanks for the video. Very easy to follow. However, I’m having some problems with Ubuntu itself. After each restart, the file sharing icon besides the folder icon will disappear. And, the check mark for “Allow other people to write to this folder” will also disappear. Also, I can copy files to the shared folder, but they contain a lock icon and open in read-only.

    This is one big pain. I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, but file sharing in Windows is very easy.

  8. @Patrick Ng

    Hi I don’t know if I would be any help, but I also experience disappearing shared folders in my Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 so I just manually add my shared folder in my /etc/samba/smb.conf file

    path = /home/(username)/(folder)
    read only = no
    writeable = yes
    browsable = yes

    etc, etc…

  9. @Live
    I gave up. I just shared a folder on my Mac and access it from my Ubuntu machine. I have a shortcut pointing to the folder. Now instead of having to do “Go to…” I just click on the shortcut in Nautilus. So far, sharing printer is working with my Mac and another Unbuntu computer. Accessing the shared printer from Vista is more problematic. Everything will be fine after I map the printer as long as I don’t restart the Vista computer. If I do, the printer icon will be greyed out.

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