Accessing Samba shares from Linux


Recent Linux Kernels contain the userspace filesystem FUSE. This allows you to use all sorts of new an inovative ways for mounting remote fileystems with normal user privileges. Samples are the "gnome userspace virtual filesystem" and "sshfs" based on SSH.

All graphical desktop file managers must use FUSE based solutions to access remote SMB/CIFS filesystems because they are running with normal user privileges.

In all cases, the share will be mounted in:


which can be used as

cd /run/user/$(id -u)/gvfs/

to change to the directory containing the mounts on the command line or

xdg-open /run/user/$(id -u)/gvfs

to open it in the desktop file manager.

As documented in Workstations/FindYourData the share //$USER is a good place to find all your accessible CIFS resources. Technical this share is an implementation of a "Distributed File System (DFS)" root for your account. Unfortunately not all desktop file managers can handle this special kind of a share. With the KDE file managers Konqueror and Dolphin you can't use this share (see Konqueror, Dolphin).

Protocol configuration

Recent Debian releases limit the maximum protocol version of Samba to a lower version than commonly offered by modern Windows servers. This is easily remedied by creating a minimal Samba configuration with the following string of commands:

mkdir ~/.smb && echo -e '[global]\nclient max protocol = SMB3' > ~/.smb/smb.conf

Command Line


You can also connect to a Samba share on the command line. After you run that command, you can browse the share in Nautilus.

pmuster@testclient:~> gvfs-mount smb://
Password required for share pmuster on
User [pmuster]: pmuster
Domain [WORKGROUP]: d
Password: ********

To unmount a share on the command line, just add the -u flag:

pmuster@testclient:~> gvfs-mount -u smb://


smbclient is something like an interactive shell to the file server and also a good troubleshooting tool for connection problems. To connect your personal DFS root share enter:

pmuster@testclient:~$ smbclient -W d //
Enter pmuster's password: 
Domain=[D] OS=[Windows 6.1] Server=[Samba 4.2.10-Debian]
smb: \>
smb: \> ls
  .                                   D        0  Thu Oct 13 15:27:09 2016
  ..                                  D        0  Thu Nov 24 04:55:59 2016
  home                                D        0  Thu Oct 13 15:27:09 2016
  project01                           D        0  Thu Oct 13 15.27:09 2016

                47929224 blocks of size 1024. 37295664 blocks available
smb: \> cd home
smb: \home\>
smb: \home\> ls
  .                                   D        0  Thu Nov 24 09:35:24 2016
  ..                                 DA        0  Thu Nov 24 08:17:38 2016
  public_html                         D        0  Wed Feb  3 15:34:27 2016
  Desktop                             D        0  Mon May 23 14:57:56 2016
  Downloads                           D        0  Mon May 23 14:50:26 2016

                1536000 blocks of size 1024. 1340637 blocks available
smb: \home\> exit

With the command help you get a list of all available commands inside the shell.

root mount

You can also mount your Samba home area with CIFS. This method is only available on computers where you have root access (i.e. this does not work on Linux workstations managed by us). If the command returns an error message saying "wrong fs type", make sure the packages "cifs-utils" and "keyutils" are installed.

$ sudo su
# mkdir /itet-stor
# mount -t cifs -o user=<nethz_login>,domain=d //<nethz_login>  /itet-stor

Desktop File Managers

Gnome Nautilus

Select on the left side Connect to network and enter the name of the share in the Server Address field, e.g. as smb://

Enter the details as given in the screenshot below.


Cinnamon Nemo

Open the Connect to Server application and enter the details similar to the screenshot below.


KDE Konqueror,Dolphin

As mentioned above Konqueror and Dolphin can't be used to access smb resources over \\itet-stor\username.

Open your Konqueror or Dolphin Filemanager/Webbrowser.

As location, use smb://server/share followed by <Enter>. Type your username and password in the following dialog box.

ID home share

Location:   smb://<?>-$/username
Username:   d\yourNethzUsername
Password:   yourPrivatePassword

The share-<?>-$ part of the location is dependant on the first character in your username. If your username is kpelle, this part of the location must be changed to share-k-$.

D-ITET home share

Location:   smb://nas-itet-01/itet_isg_homes_<nn>/username
Username:   d\username
Password:   yourPrivatePassword

The homes are distributed over multiple itet_isg_homes_<nn> shares, to see the number to use you can look at the NFS path of your home:

pmuster@testclient:~$ ssh "df ."'s password: 
Filesystem                                                  1K-blocks   Used Available Use% Mounted on   1536000 195072   1340928  13% /home/pmuster

So the location for pmuster's home is: smb://nas-itet-01/itet_isg_homes_03/pmuster.

D-ITET project share

Location:   smb://itetnas<nn>
Username:   d\username
Password:   yourPrivatePassword

Again the NFS path of the project home is needed:

pmuster@testclient:~$ ssh "df /home/mare"
Filesystem                                     1K-blocks      Used  Available Use% Mounted on
itetnas02:/usr/itetnas02/data-project-01/mare 3170549760 620497920 2539297792  20% /home/mare

So the location for the mare project home is: smb://


Depending on the way of accessing a Samba share, error messages similar to the following might appear:

This indicates a failed protocol negotiation between the Samba server and your client in case the protocol version offerd by the server is higher than the client accepts. To fix this apply the protocol configuration mentioned above.

smbclient accepts the parameter "-m" to set the protocol level directly without the need to apply the protocol configuration:

pmuster@testclient:~$ smbclient -W d -m SMB3 //


Services/FileAccess/CIFSLinux (last edited 2020-12-05 15:53:53 by bonaccos)