Howto – Kubuntu, WINS, and Windows Shared Folders and Drives…

I was able to access Windows network shared drives from Kubuntu today. I started by just trying to ping a machine name (without the FQDN). That didn’t work, so next I Googled for a solution and came across this – I followed the directions and installed the required packages:

  • sudo apt-get install smbfs smbclient winbind

I then edited the nsswitch.conf file to include WINS resolution:

  • sudo vi /etc/nsswitch.conf

I appended “wins” to the hosts line:

  • hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4

to this:

  • hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4 wins

After this was done, I was able to ping by machine name.

The next thing I did was to open “System Settings” from the K menu, and clicked on “Sharing” under ‘Network & Connectivity”. I got a pop-up stating that SMB and NFS servers were not installed, blah blah blah, and selected “Local Network Browsing”, where I then entered my domain/username and password.

The final step was opening Network Folders (I added the applet to the kicker bar) and added a Windows share. Name the share, put in the server name (no slashes, just the name), and the name of the share (no preceding slashes, append a dollar sign for hidden shares), and connected.

Works fine, allowing me to easily access and transfer files between the desktop and network. This is all client-side stuff. I am not interested in sharing out my Linux machine, so I do not need to install SMB server.

UPDATE:  Small problem with hidden shares – the initial session connects fine, but subsequent ones fail.  Apparently, the dollar sign is not retained, so share$/user becomes share/user.  Not sure what the fix is yet – maybe escaping the dollar sign?