How to create a local network share in GNOME 3.34

If you need to create an SMB share on a Linux desktop, GNOME is there to help you.

How to create a local network share in GNOME 3.34
If you need to create an SMB share on a Linux desktop, GNOME is there to help you.

When you work on a network with other users who need access to specific folders on your desktop computer, what do you do when this desktop is of the GNOME type? You can easily distribute the folders. That’s right, thanks to the latest iterations from GNOME, creating a local network share is incredibly easy.

I’m going to guide you through the process of creating such a share on your desktop. Once cared for, those who are allowed to access the share will connect at will.

SEE: 10 free alternatives to Microsoft Word and Excel (TechRepublic download)

What you need

  • A Linux desktop machine with the latest version of GNOME
  • A folder to share
  • A user account with sudo rights

I will demonstrate on a Ubuntu 19.10 workstation with GNOME 3.34.

How to make the share

The first thing to do is make the share. To illustrate the process, I share a user’s ~ / Documents folder on the Linux system (especially / home / jack / Documents). To do this, log in as the user in question and open GNOME files. Navigate to the home folder and right click on Documents (Figure A).

Figure A

The right-click menu in GNOME files.

Select Local Network Share in the context menu with the right mouse button. In the resulting window (Figure B), click the check box for Share This Folder.

Figure B

Enable the map share for ~ / Documents.

There is a good chance that you have not installed the Windows network sharing service (Samba) on the system. That’s okay, because GNOME is there to help you. When prompted (Figure C), click Install Service.

Figure C

Install the necessary software.

You will then be asked to confirm the installation of Samba. To do this, click Install (Figure D).

Figure D

Confirmation of the installation.

When prompted (Figure E), type your user password and click Authorize.

Figure E

Authorization of the installation.

After the installation is complete, you will return to the Share Folder window, where you can name the share, add a comment, and specify the permissions for the share (Figure F).

Figure F

A word about permissions: if those with whom you share the folder only need read access, leave the first check box cleared. However, if these users need to be able to create and delete files in that folder, you must check that box. If you only want to allow users with system account access, ensure that the Guest access box is unchecked. If you choose that route, you must create users on your system for that.

If you select the Guest access check box, it means that everyone on the network who knows the location of your share has access to the data in it. For safety reasons you cannot use this function.

After you have configured the share, click Create Share.

Another warning appears (Figure G), this time asking GNOME to automatically set the necessary permissions for the share. Click Add permissions automatically to make this possible.

Figure G

Add the necessary permissions.

That is it. Your part is made.

How to add users

This is where we leave the GUI. Yes, you can create new users for your account from the GNOME Settings tool. Unfortunately, what you can’t do through a GNOME GUI is to add those new users to Samba. To do this, open a terminal window and execute the following commands (where USER is the user name to be added):

sudo smbpasswd -A USER

You will then be asked to type and verify a new password for that user (Figure H).

Figure H

Add a new user to Samba.

Finally, that new user must be enabled with the command:

sudo smbpasswd -e USER

That is it. The new user has been added and enabled. You should now have access to that newly created share from another machine in your network.

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Image: Jack Wallen

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