How to Share Windows Files with Ubuntu

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to enable file sharing on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04.

If you’re a student or new user looking for a Linux system to start learning on, the easiest place to start is Ubuntu Linux OS. It’s a great Linux operating system for beginners and folks looking for easier Linux distribution to use..

Ubuntu is an open source Linux operating systems that runs on desktops, laptops, server and other devices.

When using Ubuntu, you will find that Linux isn’t so different than Windows and other operating systems in so many ways, especially when it comes to using the system to get work done.

Both Ubuntu and Windows systems allow you to be productive, easy to use, reliable and enable you to install and run thousands of programs from gaming to productivity suite software for individuals and businesses..

This task can be easily accomplished with two desktop computers. In most situations, two VMs are created, one with Windows OS and the other Ubuntu.

These classwork are easy as long as you understand concepts and follow instructions. This brief tutorial is going to show you how to easily allow Ubuntu desktops to access Windows shares.

When you’re ready to learn how to share Ubuntu files with Windows 10 users, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Share Ubuntu Files | Folders

Sharing files with other computers requires that both machines are able to reach and talk to each other.. Without that connectivity, machines can not access or share resources with one another..

In a typical home environment where machines are connected to the same switch or router, they should automatically able to reach each other and communicate..

If both the Ubuntu and Windows machines are connected then all that is needed is to enable file sharing.

From your Ubuntu machine, open the File Explorer (Nautilus) and navigate to the folder you wish to share…  Right-click the folder and select Local Network Share as shown in the image below:

Ubuntu file network share

A pop-up dialog box should appear when you select to share the folder to install Windows networking sharing service… Click the button the says “Install service

Ubuntu network share with windows

You will be prompted to enter your password to continue with the installation..

After installing the Windows sharing service, return to the folder you’re sharing and choose the option to Share this folder

Accept the Share name and also check the boxes to allow others to create and delete files in this folder

To allow everyone, even those without accounts on the systems to access this shared folder, select to allow Guest access...

Ubuntu network share with windows

Finally, click Create Share

That should pop up a dialog box where you can add the permissions you selected above to automatically be applied to the shared folder… After that, users who are connecting from Windows machine should be able to access the shared folder over the network…

Ubuntu network share with windows

Step 2: Connect from Windows to Ubuntu Share

Now that you have created a shared folder for all users, including guest — even for those who don’t have accounts on the system, go and logon to your Windows machine and open File Explorer..

There, select Network from the left.. If you haven’t already enable or turn on network discovery and file sharing, you’ll receive a prompt with a message to Turn on network discovery and file sharing

During this will enable sharing sharing in Windows..

Ubuntu network share with windows

Next, click Yes, turn on network discovery and file sharing for all public networks..

Ubuntu network share with windows

After that, file sharing and network discovery should be enabled and ready to access shared resources…

From Windows File Explorer, in the resource locator box, type the IP address or hostname of the Ubuntu machine followed by the shared resource name:

In this example, our Ubuntu machine IP address is



Ubuntu network share with windows

Because we allowed all users, including guest, the will be no prompts for authentication.. Everyone who is able to reach the Ubuntu machine will be able to see the shared documents folder as shown above..

Step 3; Private Sharing on Ubuntu

If you want to restrict access to only those who have accounts on the system, then you’ll have to go back to the documents folder, and uncheck the box to NOT allow guest…

If you disallow guest access, only users who have accounts on the systems and given access will be able to access the shared folder…

Example: on the Public folder, select to Others access: to Create and delete files within the folder..

Then click the button to Change Permissions for Enclosed files to apply the permission settings..

Ubuntu network share with windows

Verify the settings for both Files and Folders within the Public folder and click Change..

Ubuntu network share with windows

When you do that, the ownership and group of the file changes to nobody.

Ubuntu network share with windows

Now, users with accounts on the system will be prompted to type in a username and password to logon..

Ubuntu network share with windows

To create sharing account for new and existing users on the Ubuntu machine, run the commands below:

Example, to allow a new user name John Doe with username jdoe access the shared folder, run the commands below to create a user account for John doe..

sudo useradd -s /usr/sbin/nologin jdoe

After, run the commands below to create a Samba password for the account and enable it..

sudo smbpasswd -a jdoe
sudo smbpasswd -e jdoe

After that, the user Joe Doe with username jdoe will be able to access the shared folder using the password you created above..

Ubuntu network share with windows

To automatically mount the shared folder, right-click Network from the list, and select Map Network Drive.

In the Folder, type in the same Ubuntu IP and share name and click Finish..

That will automatically map the Ubuntu shared documents on your Windows machine so you can access it anytime…

That’s it!

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