Is there any links/tutorials/videos that helps me share files between Ubuntu and Mac OSX?

  • This should be a site for questions and self-contained answers, not links. – Melebius Jul 3 '17 at 3:33

12 Answers 12

up vote 12 down vote accepted

A bit of Google-fu found a guide for Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and Mac OS X. I haven't got a Mac handy to test on, so haven't tested it I'm afraid - unless you want to buy me one... ;)

  • 1
    Bravo! Was looking for that info since October 20, 2004! – Ring Ø Jan 3 '11 at 15:59
  • @fluteflute hi, The link is broken, is there another one? – Luis Alvarado Jun 19 '13 at 16:33
  • 1
    @LuisAlvarado: have updated with a archived version of the page. Of course it's three years old so the method may no longer work. – 8128 Jun 20 '13 at 7:57
  • It still works with Ubuntu 15.05 – CharlesB Aug 5 '15 at 14:12
  • I recommend Samba instead. – Joshua K Jun 8 '17 at 2:58

Setup a Samba Server in Ubuntu

In OSX:

  • Open a finder window and hit cmd-K
  • Type 'smb://ipAddress' where 'ipAddress' is your ipaddress
  • Select the share you're connecting to (as per the samba setup)
  • Authenticate
  • It should mount the share the same as it mounts anything else

In Windows:

  • Configure your firewall to allow smb connections if it doesn't already
  • Open Start->Run
  • Type '\ipAddress' where 'ipAddress' is your ipaddress
  • Authenticate
  • Under the 'Network Places' folder the shared folders should appear

Here's a really long drawn-out explanation for windows including how to setup the server in *nix.

Samba is basically Windows NFS (Network File System) that is completely cross platform and easier to setup/use.

Note: There is a GUI tool for configuring Samba but I can't remember how to access it off the top of my head. Also, I think you can connect to Samba in OSX under connect-to (or something similar) from the top bar menu but I can't remember exactly what it's called since I haven't used a mac in over 6 years.

IMHO, this method is a lot easier and straight forward to use than FTP because it mounts the remote folder as if it's a local folder on your system. It doesn't get much more transparent than that.

  • 3
    uh... Windows? Question is about Mac and Ubuntu.. I don't know how, but I am pretty sure you doesn't need Samba to connect a Mac and a Linux box. If I am wrong, please point me out. – H_7 Feb 26 '12 at 21:44
  • What my experience is, is that AFP on Ubuntu using netatalk is way slower than Samba. – Koen. Sep 19 '12 at 10:34
  • 1
    Although this contains extra info re:Windows it simply solves the connection issue with a Mac by using smb://ipAddress No extra module installation required! AFP is fine, but then you have the reverse issue of getting Windows machines connected. – Duncanmoo Sep 27 '13 at 7:09
  • Don't forget about this solution: askubuntu.com/a/561391/306972 – Blairg23 Oct 17 '16 at 6:02
  • I agree with this being the easiest and most bulletproof implementation. – Joshua K Jun 8 '17 at 2:56

I accomplished this by doing the following:

I have a Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) on a G5 PowerPC and Ubuntu on an Acer Aspire One.

  1. In mac OS, go to system preferences>sharing and enable "Personal File Sharing"

  2. In Ubuntu open DashHome and open "Files" folder. (or however you know how to get to the files folder.)

  3. In the sidebar, choose "Browse Network"

  4. As long as the two machines are on the same network, your mac should be in there as a directory that you can mount within Ubuntu.

I had very little idea what do do, having only ready this page, and it turned out pretty easy. It works for me, sharing files within a home office. It wouldn't work if you need to work remotely because you would be off your own network.

Samba works well in my setup, a home network with three Macs and a server running Ubuntu (since 9.04, currently at 10.10). The Ubuntu machine automatically shows up in the Finder along with the other Macs.

I followed this install guide for the Samba setup. The guide is for Ubuntu server, but it's the same setup and it works the same for the desktop version.

The only change I made was to set the "create mask" to 0777 ("world writable") instead of 0755, otherwise creating folders on the Ubuntu machine from the Macs didn't work properly.

If you have a secure local network, it's really the easiest and most reliable, to use an ftp server, also accessible from almost any platform, if you happen to have visiting windows users etc.. https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/serverguide/C/ftp-server.html

Also most media devices will be able to use ftp if it ever comes to that.

To connect to an ftp server is really simple from a mac http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNP48LcNV0Y If you really need to write to the ftp from the mac (finder fails and mounts as read only) check. http://anoved.net/2008/03/macfuse-ftp-and-you/

Building on what's been said already, I was able to share files from Ubuntu to Mac just by right clicking the folder I want to share and enabling sharing.

I am on Ubuntu 14.04 My aim is to share all external device which registered under /media (e.g. external hdd, enternal optical drive) with my Mac OS X (yosemith)

On Ubuntu, Open a Terminal windows

$sudo nautilus

Enter your root password when prompt

A nautilus window will be opened, browse to system /media

Right click an choose Properties. Click Share. Click Guest Share. Apply changes.

On Mac Os X, Open Finder, Click Go to server Command + K Enter the Ubuntu IP and click Guest

  • This also works if you r-click on a folder and go to sharing options and choose the "Share this folder". The first time you do it, it will prompt you to install samba. When connecting from OS X, be sure to use the correct protocol: smb://[ip address] – Kyle Falconer May 4 '16 at 18:37

so many answers and none correct, using SAMBA is ridiculous, SAMBA is poor mans version of NFS, NFS is the way to go, it's native to almost all unix distributions and its faster and better then SAMBA which is only popular because windows doesn't talk NFS, if you want all three to share (win, ubu, mac) then yes, SAMBA, if just mac and ubuntu, their native share option is nfs.

Sometimes comes installed with the OS, if not sudo apt-get install nfs-kernel-server (or brew) for a full tutorial go here

  • 1
    Can you please expand on your answer? At the moment, it's primarily opinion based, and provides very little in the way of an answer. Providing a quick little step by step tutorial would be ideal :) – ThatGuy Nov 25 '16 at 0:36

If you want a simple type of sharing, you could use Teamviewer, Skype or Yahoo Messenger + gyache in both machines.

Then you could send the file you want. However, this method is relatively slow.

I figured out a simple way to connect Ubuntu 13.10 to my imac OS X.

  1. First, I disconnected Wi-Fi on both computers because I wanted to transfer masses on data on cable Ethernet.
  2. Then just plug the Ethernet cable directly between both computers. OS X automatically connects to Ethernet (light turns green in network preference pane on Ethernet). It automatically gives you the IP address and net mask.
  3. Then, in Ubuntu should appear an auto eth in network connections.
  4. Edit this connection by going to ipv4, put on manual, add address (enter IP address and net mask, leave gateway empty, just click in it and leave it to zero, I want to be able to save).
  5. Then check the "require ipv4 addressing...." at the bottom. I left everything else untouched in the connections edit.

Then it worked, both computers connected. But to access the folders on my mac, it didn't work immediately, I had to wait a bit. But then it all worked! and now I'm transferring files at 23 mb/sec.

have fun

  • 4
    Are you using an Ethernet crossover cable, or are the two computers connected by cable to a router? – user68186 Jan 2 '14 at 16:23
  • Wow... Disconnecting from the network and connecting a cable? This is a hassle. For large files, this might be a good idea, because it should be fast, but I'd probably choose a temporary medium like an external drive instead. – Joshua K Jun 8 '17 at 3:08

Very useful, and quite simple, for sharing files and directories between Mac and Linux (and many other platforms) is Syncthing. I use it to share folders from my Macbook Air to Linux Mint. If you want to do a one-way sync set your source folder as "Send Only" in advanced settings for that folder so that files deleted on the receiving computer's folder are not deleted from the source computer's folder.

HTTP server

HTTP is the protocol used to access regular websites, so every OS was forced to implement it!

Find your IP on the source computer, e.g. 192.168.0.10. On Ubuntu or Mac OS:

ifconfig

Create a server in a directory that contains the file you want to transfer:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8080

On the receiving computer, open a browser, and visit:

192.168.0.10:8080

Now you can navigate through directories to the file you want.

I'm not sure if this method is fast / robust, but it is one of the simplest to setup and portable.

Faster alternatives are discussed at: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12905426/what-is-a-faster-alternative-to-pythons-simplehttpserver

rsync

SSH works really easily on MacOS and Ubuntu, and so we can very easily use Rsync.

First make sure you can SSH from one computer to the other.

You can enable the MacOS SSH server from the CLI as explained at: http://osxdaily.com/2016/08/16/enable-ssh-mac-command-line/

sudo systemsetup -setremotelogin on

Now, from you Ubuntu make sure you can access the Mac:

ssh osx-username@192.168.0.10

You can create a new account for the user if you want to keep your password private.

Then, once you managed to login, to copy files from the server to client just do:

rsync -av server-username@192.168.0.10:/full/path/to/remote/directory .

Multiple directories can be copied in one go as explained at https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/308810/copying-multiple-files-using-rsync-over-ssh:

rsync -av 'server-username@192.168.0.10:/full/path/to/remote/directory "/full/path/to/remote/directory with space"' .

This is the lowest common denominator method: most robust, efficient, widely Linux available and security relies on well known file permissions + user schemes.

Tested between Ubuntu 18.04 and Mac OS 10.13: "High Sierra".

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