sharing files between Windows XP and Lubuntu

E James e_james at
Fri Mar 20 17:22:55 UTC 2015

On 20/03/2015 10:58, Marlon Ng wrote:
> Hi guys. I tried sharing files between two desktop computers, one of which is running Lubuntu LTS, the other is Windows XP.
> When I'm using Lubuntu on one desktop computer, I'm able to access the shared files in Windows XP on the other desktop computer, using this:
> sudo apt-get install cifs-utils
> For vice versa, I used this:
> sudo apt-get install samba
> Windows XP sees the shared folders on the Lubuntu Machine thru "My Network", but in order to access the files within those folders, I have to type a username and password. I assume this is the password that I use when running the sudo command in terminal, correct?
> The problem is even if I type in the username and password, I just can't get to the files. The username and password entry box keep coming up.
> Any suggestions?

I have a home network of about 8 PCs running Windows XP Pro SP2, Windows 7 Starter, Lubuntu 13.10 and Lubuntu 14.04 and others. Since I am the only user, I haven't put much effort into security precautions. I expect that other forum users may have comments about that.

For myself I have found that accessing Linux files from Windows is relatively uncomplicated. If you haven't already done so, I suggest you install the gui utility "system-config-samba". Using this I normally create a samba user with the same name and password as my lubuntu user and then I set the file access to "anyone" which probably makes the first setting irrelevant. It can take a short time or a samba restart before the changes take effect. After those steps my Windows PCs usually have no difficulty accessing the Linux files.

Going in the other direction is more problematic. More recent Linux releases seem to have increased the minimum level of security and different flavours of Linux and different file managers have slightly different requirements. I find that it's now necessary for me to mount the Windows partitions using fstab if I want consistent and reliable behaviour.

For my Netgear ReadyNas I use a line like this
//<sharename> /media/<mountpoint> cifs defaults,sec=ntlmv2,password=<password> 0 0

For XP I use this
//<sharename> /media/<mountpoint> cifs defaults,sec=ntlmv2,password=<password> 0 0

For Windows 7 I use this
//<sharename> /media/<mountpoint> cifs defaults,sec=ntlm,username=<username>,password=<password>,domain=<workgroup> 0 0

I also mount remote Linux shares with this
//<sharename> /media/<mountpoint> cifs defaults,sec=ntlmv2,username=<username>,password=<password>,domain=<workgroup> 0 0

I thought I had everything working well until about 2 days ago when I discovered that Linux seems to be limited to read-only access to my Windows files. I have yet to find a reason for this.

There is another problem you may not have noticed or maybe it's not important to you. When Linux copies or moves files between Linux and Windows filesystems it can make unexpected changes to some of the file properties - notably the modified date, the accessed date and the created date. This is one of the reasons why I have ntfs data partitions on my Linux PCs.

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