Mounting and mapping shares between Windows and Linux with Samba
In my previous article, Interoperability: Getting started with Samba, I covered installing and configuring Samba shares on a Linux server. The real power of Samba comes when Windows clients can communicate with Linux file servers. In this article, I will cover how you can access Samba shares from both Linux and Windows clients.
Install the Samba client packages
To access Samba share from Linux clients we need to install a few Samba client packages.
On the client machine, install the
# yum install samba-client samba-common -y
Check for available shares
Let's check if we can access our shares from the server. We can use either the
ip address of the server. If you use the
hostname, make sure DNS is working.
# smbclient -U user -L 192.168.1.122 Enter SAMBA\user's password: Sharename Type Comment --------- ---- ------- print$ Disk Printer Drivers myshare Disk my share IPC$ IPC IPC Service (Samba 4.9.1) user Disk Home Directories Reconnecting with SMB1 for workgroup listing. Server Comment --------- ------- Workgroup Master --------- ------- SAMBA SAMBA-SERVER
Create a directory that we can use as our mount point. I'm going to create a directory under
/mnt, but you can use any directory you would like to. You may need to configure
SELinux on that directory.
# mkdir /mnt/myshare
Now, mount the share.
# mount -t cifs -o username=user //192.168.1.122/myshare /mnt/share Password for user@//192.168.1.122/myshare: ********
Now that we’ve mounted our share, we can check the mounts with the following command:
# df -h
Let's make that directory mount persistently so it can withstand a reboot. Using the text editor of your choice, edit the
/etc/fstab file. You can do this in multiple ways, but I'm going to demonstrate two ways to mount the Samba share at boot in
# vim /etc/fstab
The first option provides a username and password for the Samba user in the
//192.168.1.122/myshare /mnt/share cifs username=user,password=password,_netdev 0 0
The other option is to create a credential file. You can call this file anything, but I would like to call it
cred. I would like to place credentials files in the home directory of the user. In our demonstration it will be
//192.168.1.122/myshare /mnt/share cifs credentials=/home/user/.cred,_netdev 0 0
_netdev option is important since we are mounting a network device. Clients may hang during the boot process if the system encounters any difficulties with the network.
Now create that
.cred file inside the user's home directory.
# vim /home/user/.cred
Next, add the Samba user's username and password.
Finally, mount all filesystems.
# mount -a
Access a share from a Windows client
I will be using Windows 10 as my client machine with a workgroup called
SAMBA. We need to create a local user account on the Windows machine that matches the username and password of the Samba user account we created in my previous article. Although account creation is not necessary, this will make things simpler when accessing the share.
Like I mentioned above, this step is optional and you can skip it completely. Although there are multiple approaches to adding a new local user on a Windows machine, for the simplicity of this article I will be using PowerShell. Launch PowerShell as an administrator and issue following commands:
PS > $password = Read-Host -AsSecureString PS > New-LocalUser -Name “user” -Password $password
Now that we have created a new local user account matching the Samba user account, we can log in to Windows with our newly created user account.
Access a share from Windows Explorer
To access the Samba share from Windows Explorer, start typing the IP address to our share in the search area. I am using the
hostname of the Samba server. In my case, it is
centos. You can also access the share by using the IP address of the Samba server.
You might be prompted to enter the username and password to access the share if you skipped the local user creation process. If you get prompted for credentials, enter the Samba username and password we created in the previous article.
You will need to enter the Samba share path every time you want to access the share. There is a better way to access the share by mapping a drive to Samba share in Windows.
Mapping a drive to a Samba share
To map a drive to the Samba share, open PowerShell and issue following command:
PS > NET USE M: \\centos\myshare
Accessing a Samba share on Linux and Windows is easy. With this basic setup, you will be able to access file shares from client machines in your network. With somewhat more configuration, you can deploy Samba shares in a domain environment. Samba can do more than file share. If you would like to learn more about Samba, read this article about Windows and Linux interoperability. This is a basic set up, but you can do so much more with Samba.
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