I am lucky enough to be able to use an Ubuntu workstation at work, but I our company network is all Windows-based.

I can easily browse the network via the Nautilus file browser (by clicking 'Browse Network') in the sidebar. Of course, I have to authenticate myself using my Windows Domain password whenever I do so.

But every single time that I am challenged to provide authentication, I have to change the domain from WORKGROUP to my company's VERYLONGWINDOWSDOMAIN:

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Where is WORKGROUP coming from, and how can I change it?


Here is the answer I discovered with a bit of searching. Some answers on AskUbuntu mention the same steps, but in the context of more serious problems with samba connectivity.

  1. Back up the old Samba config file:

    $ sudo cp /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.orig

  2. Edit the config file:

    $ sudo vim /etc/samba/smb.conf

    (or $ sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf, if vim isn't your thing)

    • in the editor, look for a line which says workgroup = WORKGROUP (it was line 38 for me, with Ubuntu 12.04)
    • change WORKGROUP to your network's Windows Domain name
  3. Save the file and exit the editor
  4. Now, to make the change effective immediately, restart the NetBIOS name server:

    $ sudo service nmbd restart

  • 1
    sudoedit edits the file in your favourite $EDITOR, and it is also more secure then sudo vim (etc) May 9 '14 at 11:21

With 12.04, this worked for me without having to edit the smb.conf file :

dconf write "/system/smb/workgroup" "'YOUR_WORKGROUP'"

Watch the weird double-quoting! dconf wants to have actual single quotes as part of the value.

I still need to enter the username and password for every single share, but at least the workgroup stays right. And it is easy to change this way when moving to another location.

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