Ubuntu 19.10: File Sharing to Windows and Mac

Setting up Samba under Ubuntu 19.10 is relatively easy. This guide will show how to install Samba itself, then configure both a public drive meant to be shared among multiple users, and a per-user drive.

NOTE: This guide assumes your linux machine is on your local network.

First, install both samba and smbclient:

sudo apt install samba smbclient

Next, create a directory that will be the shared public drive, and set its ownership:

sudo mkdir -p /srv/samba/public
sudo chown nobody:nogroup /srv/samba/public
sudo chmod 777 /srv/samba/public

Now it’s time to configure Samba. There’s two basic things that need to be configured: setting the user security, and adding the public drive.

To set the user security, set security = user in the [global] section of /etc/samba/smb.conf.

Enable the per-user drive in /etc/samba/smb.conf:

[homes]
    comment = Home Directories
    browseable = no

To add the public drive, add this section to the end of /etc/samba/smb.conf:

[public]
   comment = Public Files
   path = /srv/samba/public
   browsable = yes
   guest ok = yes
   read only = no
   create mask = 0755

Now, restart the Samba services to pick up these configuration changes:

sudo systemctl restart smbd.service nmbd.service

Since Samba doesn’t use the linux login credentials for a user, you must add each user that needs access to a shared drive using the smbpasswd command:

sudo smbpasswd -a <unix username>

Also, if you’re running a firewall on your linux machine, you’ll probably have to allow access for your local network. You can allow specific machines, or a subnet. I use ufw to control my firewall configuration, so for me I simply allowed all access for my internal network:

sudo ufw allow from 192.168.0.0/16

To connect to a drive from Windows, I right-click on the Network item in File Explorer and select Map network drive..., and use \\<hostname>\public or \\<hostname>\<unix username> as the Folder.

To connect to a drive from the Mac, I use Go -> Connect to Server... in the Finder, then use smb://<hostname>/public or smb://<hostname>/<unix username> as the address.

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