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In the last article I explained a little about how a user would see the (Ubuntu) Linux file system and where they'd expect certain files to be located. In this article I will talk about how to access files stored on network servers from an Ubuntu Linux machine.
I am not quite sure how to say this, so I will just come out and say it directly. Ubuntu 8.04 has a nasty little bug in it, that prevents you from browsing a "workgroup" and finding the shares on a remote (Windows based) server. You can access them quite happily and successfully, you just can't browse for them as can do from a Windows XP/Vista machine.

The following information is aimed at people who are at home or work but who are not using an Active Directory domain. I am assuming that you have a little workgroup setup or you have a nice little Network Attached Storage (NAS) device that functions as a Windows server and has shares on it. Ubuntu can connect to a Windows Active Directory setup, but I don't have one to try it out.

What follows is very much the same as "mapping a network drive" from XP or Vista. Just like in XP or Vista it's really quite easy to do.

Unfortunately, as you can't use the network browsing functionality (if you go to Places, Network Servers, Windows Network then nothing shows up), you will need to know the IP address of your server (which may well be an XP or Vista machine that has some shared folders on it) or your NAS device. If you didn't set it up yourself, then you might want to ask your network admin for this. You'd be expecting to see something like: 192.168.0.2 or 10.0.0.2. Don't worry if it is not exactly like that, it might be different numbers, that's OK.

You'll also need to know the names of the shares on the device to which you have access rights. For the sake of this exercise I am going to assume that the following shares exist: share1, music, applications.

If you want to make a one-off connection to a share, then go to Places, Home. In the Go menu, choose Location. In the Location bar you can directly type in: smb://serveripaddress/sharename. For example, smb://192.168.0.2/music. You'll get a usename and password prompt. Type those in and click OK. You might get a message that the share is not mounted. Go back to the Places menu and click on the name of the share on the left hand side, it will mount and you should be able to access the share.

Please read onto page 2 to find out how to make the connection permanent...

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