I have three shared folders in my local home directory- that is to say, on my Ubuntu desktop's /home/me/. All were set up using "Sharing Options" in Nautilus' right-click menu. The standard "Music" and "Videos" folders are configured identically: the "Guest Access" box is checked, but the "Allow others to create and delete" is not. The third folder, called "shared", is configured to not allow Guest access but to allow others to modify files. I have not altered
/etc/samba/smb.conf by hand, I have only used Sharing Options to create and modify these so-called "shares".
My roommates have two Windows 7 computers and one Ubuntu Netbook Remix netbook. I have the aforementioned desktop machine and laptop running 10.04. None of these machines can access any of the shares. Attempts to access the Guest shares result in the message
\\machine\directory is not accessible. The network name could not be found.
This is the error message generated by a VM running Windows 2000. The other Windows machines generate a similar error. The Ubuntu laptop gives the error
Unable to mount location: Failed to mount Windows share. Hurrah, once again, for informative error messages. That really helps a lot.
When attempting to browse the folder called "shared" from the laptop, I'm confronted with a password dialog. This behavior is the same will all machines I've tried in the situation. On entering my username and password for the account to which the shares belong, the password dialog briefly disappears and is replaced with an identical dialog. No error message, useful or not, appears.
When attempting to browse this folder with the VM, the outcome is the same except that the password dialog helpfully states "incorrect username or password". My assumption is that the username and password in question is that of the user which owns the shares. I have tried all other username and password combinations available in this context and the outcome is the same.
I would like to be able to share files. Sharing them with Windows machines is a nice feature, or would be if it was available. Really I consider sharing files between two machines with the same version of the same operating system kind of a minimum condition for network usability.
Samba last functioned reliably for me more than ten years ago. I have attempted to use it on and off since then with only intermittent success.
Oh, and "Personal File Sharing" from the Preferences menu does not result in an entry in Places → Network → my-server. In fact, the old entry "MY-SERVER" goes away and is replaced by "koanhead's public files on my-server", which when I attempt to open it from the laptop gives a "DBus.Error.NoReply: Message did not receive a reply."
I know I come here and gripe about Ubuntu a lot, but on the other hand I spend literally hours every day trying to fix things in Ubuntu. It's a good system which aspires to greatness, which is why things like this either
Need to work; or
Be adequately documented.
Ideally both would be the case. Anyway, rant over. Hopefully someone will have some insight on this issue. Thanks all who bother to read this wall o'text for your time.