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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Workgroup Ubuntu - Windows

Windows 7 uses a feature called homegroup, which enhances the workgroup feature in order to make home networking easier for all Windows 7 computers. However, this feature doesn't work on Linux or older version of Windows. In order to connect your Linux computers to Windows 7 computers and share files and folders, you need to make a series of settings. First, it is to change the workgroup, so that all computers belong to one workgroup. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to configure and change the workgroup on an Ubuntu PC.
Step 1: Install Samba
Samba is a package for Unix systems that provides support for cross-platform files and printers sharing, and is needed for Ubuntu to access shared resources on a Windows network. In this case, you'll need to add your Ubuntu PC to a workgroup in order to connect to a Windows network. To install Samba, access your Terminal application from your main panel in 'Applications - Accessories - Terminal'.
In your terminal, you'll need to install the "samba" and "smbfs" packages, by typing the following command:
sudo apt-get install samba smbfs
Ubuntu WorkGroup
You may be asked for your administrator password, which will be the same password that you use to log into your PC. After typing it in, hit Y to confirm the installation.
Ubuntu WorkGroup
When the installation finishes, you will be returned to the command line prompt.
Ubuntu WorkGroup

Step 2: Configure the Samba Workgroup
Still in your terminal, open the Samba configuration file by using this command:
sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf
Ubuntu WorkGroup
In this file, find the workgroup setting and change the value to match the workgroup of your Windows 7 PC.
Ubuntu WorkGroup
You need to save the file, by clicking the Save (disk) icon near the top of the window.
Ubuntu WorkGroup
Now, restart Samba using the following command:
sudo service samba restart
sudo service smbd restart
Ubuntu WorkGroup
This will add your Ubuntu PC to the same workgroup as your Windows 7 computers. This will allow you to share files, folders, and printers between computers. Once your PC is part of the workgroup, it will show up in your list of workgroup computers, and allow you to see other computers already added to it.
You can configure an Ubuntu (or any Linux PC) to join a Windows workgroup in order to be visible on the same network and share files, folders, and printers. If you want to know more about setting up other PC's on a local network, or how to further utilize the networking features between Linux and Windows 7, check out the articles listed below.
Related articles:
How to Access Windows 7 Shared Folders from Ubuntu
How to Access Ubuntu Shared Folders from Windows 7
Accessing Shared Partitions from Ubuntu & Windows 7
How to Change the Workgroup in Windows 7
How to Customize Network Sharing Settings in Windows 7
Share Libraries or Folders Using the Sharing Wizard

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