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How to configure a network shared folder on raspberry pi

One of the really great things about the Raspberry Pi is that it is a Linux based computer, so pretty much anything you can do with a Linux computer you can do with a Pi - within reason!

I have previously written a post about being able to remotely access the Raspberry Pi via SSH

In this post, I'll provide instructions on how to create a network shared folder on raspberry pi,  so you can easily move files back and forth to Pi to a Windows 8 computer or ubuntu desktop. I have connected my Raspberry Pi to my home network using Homeplug network.

For this post I will assume you already have connected your Pi via SSH, however you can still following along even if you haven't as all we really need is command line access to the Pi.

Equipment used in this tutorial

In order to configure a network share folder on your Raspberry Pi

What is Samba

"Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients." Samba is freely available, unlike other SMB/CIFS implementations, and allows for interoperability between Linux/Unix servers and Windows-based clients.

Essentially Samba is a little bit of open source goodness that enables linux and windows computers talk to each other.

Install Samba

Installing Samba is fairly trivial task and involves you only running 3 commands in the terminal window on your Raspberry Pi.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install samba # Answer Yes to DHCP 
sudo apt-get install samba-common-bin

After we've installed samba on our pi, we need to carry out 2 configuration steps.

Create a folder you will use to share and configure samba to share your folder.

Create Public folder to share

Creating a folder to share is really easy, we'll just create a folder and call it public. 

mkdir public


We are going to create a permissive share folder on our pi.
If security is a concern, then you may want to read up about the security considerations on Linux.

This how-to primarily about creating a share to enable easy access to your Pi over a network

Configure Samba

We now need to edit the samba configuration file, so we'll open the file in nano

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

We need to edit this file in a few locations.

Firstly, because we are going to access the Pi from a Windows 8 computer, we'll need to change

# Change the setting 
# Change this to the workgroup/NT-domain name your Samba server will part of 
workgroup = WORKGROUP
wins support = yes

Add the following section

 comment=Raspberry Pi Share
 only guest=no
 create mask=0777
 directory mask=0777

We now need to exit out of nano so Ctrl + X and save it.

We'll run a check on the config file to ensure we haven't broken anything


We should see something like this

Load smb config files from /etc/samba/smb.conf
rlimit_max: increasing rlimit_max (1024) to minimum Windows limit (16384)
Processing section "[homes]"
Processing section "[printers]"
Processing section "[print$]"
Processing section "[public]"
Loaded services file OK.
Press enter to see a dump of your service definitions

Your Pi should now be sharing files on the network!

Access PI Shared folder on Windows

You should now be able to access your Raspberry Pi shared folder from you windows machine by open files & folders and navigating to \\raspberrypi

windows shared on raspberry pi

Double clicking on the public folder you may be prompted for a username and password . The default username is pi and the default password is raspberry


Once you've entered these you are into the shared folder and you can now add, remove and update files as you wish.

Access Pi Shared Folder on Ubuntu

To Access the same folder from a Ubuntu machine  simply open files and folders and click on Connect to Server and enter the same credentials  as above, but use the IP address of the Pi

ubuntu share

A reminder again that this is a very permissive share and I would strongly advise against leaving it this open, if you plan to connect the Pi to the internet or you're going to store any particularly sensitive information.

Gary Woodfine
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