While what I got today is nothing serious, nothing that has not been extensively documented elsewhere, I thought I’d sum up all the necessary steps in one place to save somebody the trouble of looking into many different websites to accomplice a relatively simple task.
The Story: I have three external drives on my PC (now running Linux Mint 11) that I needed to be able to access from a Windows 7 machine, serving the role of my Media Center. You can read why I chose Win7 for Media Center here.
The problem: I could not activate File Sharing on Mint. The option under “Preferences”, “Personal File Sharing” was grayed out.
The Solution: For some reason, completely unknown to me, you need to install a couple of Apache packages first. Insane, I know, but that’s what Jeffrey Charles suggested over at Beyond Technically Correct and I had no reason to doubt him. So open a terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install apache2.2-bin libapache2-mod-dnssd
After installation was finished, I rebooted my machine (not sure whether I needed to do that or not) and finally I was able to enable Personal File sharing. I went to my three disks, I created the shares and then I went to my Windows machine and tried to add them as network drives. Guess what? No luck. Fortunately, I remembered that the last time I had set up a Samba server, I needed to make a couple of changes in a file somewhere. In case you are wondering, when you check the checkbox to enable file sharing, what you really do is set up a Samba server on your machine.
You need to edit the following file to reflect your own network: /etc/samba/smb.conf
Locate the line bellow and change WORKGROUP to the name of your workgroup. If you never changed that, you do not need to do anything here.
# Change this to the workgroup/NT-domain name your Samba server will part of workgroup = WORKGROUP
What I did next, was to scroll a bit down and locate the authentication section. Then, I uncommented the security = user line. Remember, if you do that, you need to make additional user accounts on your machine, for every other user you want to allow to access your shared folders.
# "security = user" is always a good idea. This will require a Unix account # in this server for every user accessing the server. See # /usr/share/doc/samba-doc/htmldocs/Samba3-HOWTO/ServerType.html # in the samba-doc package for details. security = user
The last step you need to take, is add the allowed users to Samba. Open a terminal and type:
sudo smbpasswd -a [username]
Please note that in case you enabled the security = user option above, you will have to provide a username that can also log on to your machine. I added myself for example.
Edit: I forgot to mention that after you change the configuration file you need to restart Samba, for the changes to take effect. you can do that by typing in a terminal “sudo service smbd restart” or by restarting your machine.
That’s it. I was then able to access my drives from Windows and mount them as Network drives.