HELP!!!! - Sony Vaio Laptop Win 7 file sharing with my Ubuntu Linux Desktop

Asked by Joe

Hi guys,

I am extremely new to Linux and am even suprised I got Ubuntu installed properly with dual boot XP Pro.

I am extremely lost as to how to get my Sony Vaio Laptop running Win 7 to access the files on my Desktop running Ubuntu, and accessing my WD 1TB thats plugged into my desktop.

I got the Win XP to share files with the Vaio via wireless network without any problem but don't know what to do for Ubuntu.

The sooner I learn enough about Ubuntu, the faster i can stop using Windows as it really sux and there are too many problems.

Am also planning to do a new project building a new system running, Linux, Unix, Win 7, Win Xp, Mac OS and whatever else I can think of.

Please help me :)

Question information

English Edit question
Ubuntu samba Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
Last reply:
Revision history for this message
Eliah Kagan (degeneracypressure) said :

This answer describes the easiest and simplest way to share a folder on an Ubuntu system with Windows computers. My goal here is to provide a detailed walkthrough of the most basic way to do this. A more comprehensive treatment of this subject, including information for more advanced situations, is already available in the Ubuntu community documentation:

Find the folder you want to share. Right-click on it, and in the menu that comes up, click Share. A window titled "Folder Sharing" comes up. If the folder is not already shared, then the "Share this folder" checkbox is unchecked and the rest of the options are faded out. To share the folder, check the box "Share this folder."

If this is the first time you've shared a folder from your Ubuntu system, it's possible that the necessary service is not installed. (A service, also called a daemon, is a program that runs behind the scenes on your computer to perform some function. Some services/daemons run network servers, making your computer accessible to other computers.)

If the necessary service is not installed, then when you check the "Share this folder" checkbox, a dialog box comes up and says:

Sharing service is not installed
You need to install the Windows networks sharing service in order to share your folders.

When this happens, just click the "Install service" button. At this point, you might have to enter your password, since installing the service is an administrative task. Then a new window for the package manager comes up, and all the packages you need to share files across the network with your Windows computer are automatically downloaded and installed. When that's done, you're told you can close the window.

If the sharing service had to be installed, then once you that's done, a dialog box will probably come up, saying:

Restart your session
You need to restart your session in order to enable sharing.

(Even if you didn't have to install the sharing service, it's still possible that you might have to restart your session.) Restarting your session means logging out and back in. You might want to save your work in any running applications and close them. Then click the "Restart session" button. If you don't do that, you can restart the session manually at any time by logging out and back in (or by restarting the computer).

If you had to restart your session, then once you're logged back in, go back to the folder you want to share, right-click on it, and click Sharing Options. If "Share this folder" is still unchecked, check it. Set the "Share name" to whatever you want, and remember what you set it to.

There are two more checkboxes. You probably want to leave them both unchecked. If you "Allow others to create and delete files in this folder" then that means that anyone with a user account on your Ubuntu system, even if it's someone else you've created an account for, can change the contents of the folder. If you allow "guest access" then even people without any user account on your Ubuntu system can see the inside of the shared folder (which could be a serious privacy problem if you ever connect your computer to an unsecured or public network).

Now that you are sharing folders across the network, it is especially important that you keep your Ubuntu system protected, by promptly installing security updates when they become available. (That's a different topic though.)

To access the shared folder on your Ubuntu system from the Windows 7 system, click on the Start menu and type \\hostname\sharename into the textbox, and press enter. You must replace "hostname" with the name of the Ubuntu machine, and "sharename" with whatever you put in the "Share name" textbox on the Ubuntu machine when you shared the folder. If you don't know the name of your Ubuntu machine, there are a few ways to find it, but this one always works: On the Ubuntu machine, open up a Terminal, enter the command "hostname" (without the quotes), and press enter.

When you connect from Windows 7, you might have to type in a username and password. That's the username and password for your user account on the Ubuntu system (not the Windows system). If they are the same for both systems, then you might not have to be asked for your username and password.

There is nothing special about sharing folders contained on external hard drives--it works just the same way. You can even share the entire external hard drive, since the drive itself appears as a folder inside the folder called /media. However, if you are having trouble accessing the drive from the Ubuntu system that it is plugged into (rather than from the Windows 7 system across the network), then that is a separate issue (for which you can file a separate question in Launchpad Answers).

If these instructions don't work or you have any questions, please post a reply and I'll try to assist you further.

By the way, Ubuntu works great on my Sony Vaio laptop (I'm using it right now). Your mileage may vary, but if you like Ubuntu, I'd encourage you to install it on your laptop as well as your desktop!

Revision history for this message
Ralph (billcrawford323) said :

What happens when after doing what you say, You get an error message saying "Failed to execute child process "testparm""?
I used to be able to access my shared folders but after installing 10.10 I can't.. I also can see the other computers in Places/Network but "unable to mount location - Failed to retrieve share list from server" comes up.. Thanks for any assistance..

Revision history for this message
Eliah Kagan (degeneracypressure) said :

The "testparm" problem can usually be fixed by updating your system (System > Administration > Update Manager). If you update your system and you still have that problem, please post again.

Please also post again if your "unable to mount location - Failed to retrieve share list from server" error continues after you've fixed the "testparm" problem.

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Joe for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.