Sharing windows folders on unix hosts using samba filesystem (smbfs) using virtualbox

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent solution Gaurav. I wasted several hours with the same scenario.

  2. You have some great articles here but I think this one may be a little misleading. I am no Samba expert but I have spent more hours than I would care to admit tweaking Samba to try to get it to do what I want. (I’m getting there but there are still a few nagging problems). Looking at what you’ve posted here there are a couple points which I think merit comment.

    First, since you aren’t running the samba server, I doubt that your samba configuration file is doing anything. You could test this by getting your share mounted and working with it in place and then renaming it to something else, reboot, and do the same things you did before. If it is, in fact, being read, the netbios name parameter appears to be wrong. This would normally be the name of the samba server (i.e. the name of the machine the smb.conf file is on) and therefore would be the name the samba server (which you are not running) would broadcast via netbios to the rest of the workgroup and would respond to when a client on another machine attempted to access samba shares on the server. Since you are not running the server nor sharing anything with the rest of the network, using the same name your Windows machine would already be using via netbios is probably not an issue. It probably will be if you ever start the server, however.

    The whole “usershare” feature which your configuration file is configuring is about individual users (as opposed to root) being able to dynamically share folders with other machines on the network, and requires the server to be running to work. It doesn’t have anything to do with accessing shares on other machines so, again, I suspect that the smb.conf file is not playing any role in getting your mount to work.

    All in all, these are minor and inconsequential in your scenario but I thought it worth saying something since someone might look at your article and try to apply the principles to another scenario where they might not be so lucky.

    One more thing, a bit of speculation as to the reasons for your needing to ping the machine to get the reverse-ping (and sharing) working, I think one possibility is that it is due to you not running the server. Since the Samba server uses the same protocols as Windows to try and look like just another Windows machine on the network, smbfs may be relying on the server to negotiate the link. That seems unlikely, though, since I suspect that smbfs was meant to stand alone without the server. Another possibility is that it is due to the fact that smbfs has been deprecated in favor of the cifs protocol which is apparently, much the same thing but is the result of Microsoft expanding its smb protocol somewhat to work beyond Windows (so that it could be used over the web). Since Vista is, so far, the latest release of Windows, its possible that it doesn’t work as well with smbfs, the older protocol. Finally, it may just be due to Windows’ firewall — it may have ignored your unsolicited pings but accepted them once Windows had initiated a connection with the machine.

    Thanks for all the great articles.

    – Les

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