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It is possible to access a folder on a remote machine by installing a Samba server under Linux. This server lets you access a certain file folder from any machine connected to the same network.

Installing Samba

To install Samba,

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install samba -y

Check version

 smbd --version

Before configuration, check that the Samba service is disabled.

sudo systemctl stop smbd

Configuring Samba under Linux

To share a folder securely, you need to enter certain information in the configuration file

sudo mv /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.bak

To modify the configuration file, you can use a text editor or nano in the terminal.

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

The information to enter is the path, which is the address of the folder to be shared. Don’t forget to replace with the user’s name. To obtain the user name, enter the command whoami

comment= Folder Shared by Samba Server
path = /home/<USERNAME>/smbSharedFolder
public = yes
read only = no

Restart the Samba service

sudo systemctl restart smbd

To check the status of the service and that there are no errors in the configuration file

sudo systemctl status smbd

N.B.: Multiple shared folders can be created by adding a configuration block or section (starting with [sharefolder]) to the

Create and modify user rights

To access the Samba shared folder with your user account, you need to add it to the Samba group

sudo smbpasswd -a -a

The system then asks you to enter and confirm the user password.

Check user list

sudo pbdedit -L -v

Accessing the Samba folder from a remote machine

To access the folder from another computer, you need to know the IP address of the computer on which Samba is installed. To retrieve the IP address, enter the following command from a terminal

hostname -I

In Windows Explorer, enter the machine’s IP address, followed by the folder name \.


It is also possible to access the file using a web browser

Add a log file

It’s not necessary, but I advise you to add a log file so that you can monitor what’s happening with Samba, especially in the event of an error.

In the

Ajouter une section “global” au début du fichier et ajourer la ligne log file. Le paramètre “%m” spécifie de créer un fichier log pour chaque machine qui se connecte au dossier partagé Samba. Le paramètre log level à 1 permet d’activer le logging (defaut à 0).

    log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
    log level = 1

    comment= Folder Shared by Samba Server
    path = /home/<USERNAME>/smbSharedFolder
    public = yes
    read only = no

Use the Ctrl+X shortcut to save and close the file, then restart the service.

sudo systemctl restart smbd

To find the log file to view

ls /var/log/samba/

To read the log file

cat /var/log/samba/log.<IP_CLIENT>

Bonus: Access the folder using an Alias

Rather than using the IP address, it’s possible to define an alias for the machine. To do this, we’ll find the machine name and modify the file

To find the machine name


In the

sudo nano /etc/hosts localhost MyMachine MyMachine

To access the folder, enter the following command in Windows Explorer


Once the alias has been defined, you can create a network location on your computer

In the This PC folder, right-click and select Add network location

In the field specified the address of the shared folder


You can now access your shared folder directly from your Windows browser.

Samba installation and configuration file (Advanced users)

To make life easier, you can create a Samba installation file, which you can run on all your Linux installations.

Don’t forget to update the FOLDERNAME and USER names to match your needs.

sudo nano install_samba.sh
chmod +x install_samba.sh
sudo ./install_samba.sh
#folder user name

#install samba
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install samba -y
sudo systemctl stop smbd

#get machine info
IPADDR=$(hostname -I | cut -f1 -d' ')
SMBVER=$(smbd --version)

#create samba folder
#save conf file for later
sudo mv /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.bak

#write conf file
#echo > /etc/samba/smb.conf
printf "[global]
    #log file = /var/log/samba/log
    log level = 1

    comment= Folder Shared by Samba Server
    path = /home/$USER/$FOLDERNAME
    public = yes
    read only = no
" > /etc/samba/smb.conf

#create host alias (optional)
echo $IPADDR $HOSTNAME >> /etc/hosts

#add user
sudo smbpasswd -a $USER

#start service
sudo systemctl restart smbd

#display result
echo --------------------- SUCCESS -----------------------
echo SAMBA $SMBVER was installed correcly
echo you can access your folder with
echo or
echo with username $USER
echo ------------------------------------------------------

N.B.: If this file doesn’t run correctly after copying and pasting, you can try using dos2unix to convert the file into a


  • Access your files from anywhere with port forwarding
  • Upload files from one machine to another on the same network

For example, I use it to transfer files from my Windows PC to my Linux PC, which manages my laser engraver.


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