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Old 12-29-2011, 10:34 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2004
Posts: 49

Rep: Reputation: 15
File/print sharing not working


If there is one frustration I have with Linux, there is no comprehensive set of instructions for setting up file/printer sharing that works.

What I need is a simple, complete, and EASY set of instructions that will go through the process that will achieve the objectives.

I have Samba installed and have named the workgroup. I have attempted to set up private shares in smb.conf however, these are not visible in the file manager in the network section under the local machine name (or on any remote machine on the workgroup either for that matter). Going to the file and setting up the share there only works while the PC is on. Shut it down and it's lost - the whole setup must be restarted.

Therefore I need:

Permanently set up private shares that are immediately visible and accessible in the file manager in the network section under the local machine. I also need these to be visible and accessible on my other machines on the network in the workgroup (Linux or Windows). I can live with entering a password, so long that it works.

A printer setup that is visible/accessible without it asking for a password to print. The setup seemed to work except that when the remote machine found the printer, it was named differently that how it is on the machine it's connected to. I figured this was correct as it found it on its own. Not sure if that makes a difference.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Old 12-31-2011, 02:59 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Kentucky
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 794

Rep: Reputation: 56
I found this for sharing folders on Ubuntu with Windows systems, and it's a bit easier than manually editing smb.conf. Even though it appears to be kind of old, the methods still apply. If you want to continually edit smb.conf to manage samba, make sure that you restart the service after editing the file by running the following command as root.
/etc/init.d/samba restart
Walkthrough on Sharing Folders

Also, make sure you have the Samba ports open on the firewall of the machine hosting the folders. The ports are as follows.

I will write out a walkthrough on print sharing because around the internet I've seen overly convoluted methods of doing so, and here's how I do it with no issues at all.

Print Sharing
The print sharing is easier than some would make it out to be. Linux uses CUPS to host its printer shares. All you have to do is open up port 631 on the firewall of the machine hosting the printer, and then from any remote machine open a web browser and go to http://printserver:631. At the top click the "Printers" button, then right click the printer you want to connect to and click "Copy Link Location" or "Copy Shortcut" depending on your browser.


Adding your printer via an http address will vary depending on the version of Windows or Linux you are using, I will cover both Windows XP and Linux systems using Gnome, or at least the Gnome printer management utility. (This would apply to Ubuntu)

Server Setup
We're going to use the CUPS web interface to configure the server because it is Desktop environment independent. On any remote computer, point a web browser to https://printserver:631/admin . Click on the "Administration" tab, and make sure the checkbox "Share printers connected to this system" is checked. The options here are pretty self explanatory, I just wanted to show it to you. If at any point you are prompted for a username/password by this secure admin web page, enter your root username/password. These options are also available in the GUI printer management applet of the system hosting the printers by clicking the "Server" menu then clicking "Settings".


Windows XP
First, make sure you have downloaded a minimal set of Windows drivers for the printer, because it will ask for them later. If you have the option of not downloading a full suite of bloatware, I recommend that. Some manufacturers issue a "Driver Only" download.

Next, go bring up the "Add Printer Wizard" like you normally would. When it asks how the printer is connected, select "A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer."


Click "Next", then select the bottom bubble labeled, "Connect to a printer on the internet, or on a home or office network", and in the text entry box, paste the URL of the printer that you previously copied from the "Non-Secure" version of the CUPS web interface. (Begins with http, not https)


At this point you will have to select the make/model of the printer, or click "Have Disk" and point to the drivers you downloaded before starting. The rest is easy peasey. Just next next next through the dialogs and print a test page, you're g2g!

I am using Debian Linux with Gnome 2, so these instructions may be less accurate depending on your system setup. Click "System" -> "Administration" -> "Printing". Click the arrow next to "Add" and click "Printer".


If the automated "Find Network Printer" option fails to locate the network printer, then highlight the "Other" option at the top and paste the URL previously copied from the printer in the "Non-Secure" version of the CUPS web interface. (Begins with http, not https)


From here on, you continue as normal when adding any other printer; select the model of printer, name it, and print a test page.

Last edited by dudeman41465; 12-31-2011 at 03:02 AM.


file sharing, printer, samba

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