Access Windows Shares from Linux

Q. How do I Access Windows share from Linux command prompt? I would like to be able to access shared folders on Windows machines from my Linux system.

A. There are two ways. Use command line tool called smbclient or you can mount windows shares the mount command. Another option is use GUI tools. Please refer previous articles about access windows share from Linux:

( a ) Mount Windows share using mount command

This is simple way to share data between windows and linux system. You would like to access MS-Windows share called //windowsserver/sharename by mounting to /mnt/win directory under Linux system. Type the following command (replace username, windows server name, share name and password with actual values):

# mkdir -p /mnt/win
# mount -t smbfs -o username=winntuser,password=mypassword //windowsserver/sharename /mnt/win
# cd /mnt/win
# ls -l

For the share //windowsserver/sharename to be automatically mounted at every system start (after reboot), insert an option in the file /etc/fstab:
# vi /etc/fstab
Append following line (written in a single line)
//windowserver/share /mnt/win smbfs
auto,gid=users,fmask=0664,dmask=0775,iocharset=iso8859-15, credentials=/etc/sambapasswords 0 0

Next create the password file /etc/sambapasswords:
# vi /etc/sambapasswords
Now add following content:
username = winntuser
password = mypassword

Save and close the file. Make sure only root can access your file:
# chown 0.0 /etc/sambapasswords
# chmod 600 /etc/sambapasswords

Other solutions

( b ) Browse a Samba or MS Windows share using smbclient

( c ) Browse a Samba or MS Windows share in Nautilus (GUI Option)

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🐧 24 comments so far... add one

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24 comments… add one
  • Dan Jun 17, 2008 @ 0:05

    Just to let you know – if you put a space with the equals sign in your credentials file, like this:

    username = someuser
    password = somepass

    it will error out ‘permission denied’

    You HAVE to have no spaces on each line like this:


  • carpii Jan 26, 2009 @ 11:49

    The ‘fmask’ and ‘dmask’ smbfs options are deprecated

    Use file_mode and dir_mode instead

  • homer Feb 23, 2009 @ 3:35

    Did the above, mount is there, I can acces it, but I can’t dump it to tape
    using the dump command.?


  • Alex D Jun 23, 2009 @ 21:34

    Would someone be so kind as to explain what the:


    part of the fstab is for.

    New to Linux, please assume I’m stupid.

    • 🐧 nixCraft Jun 24, 2009 @ 4:57

      read mount man page, it has all info.
      man mount

  • matt Oct 5, 2009 @ 4:24

    This helped out a lot. Thanks!

  • Chingson Oct 24, 2009 @ 10:52

    I’ve seen so many distributions, there is no one can browse share [though nautilus does, but .. open file in windows share with nautilus is .. nightmare ] or “create a share” like genuine Windows..Just by right mouse click..

  • Ben Jan 25, 2010 @ 3:23

    mount -t smbfs didn’t work for me on Fedora 7.
    The solution is to use: mount -t cifs

  • Andrzej May 5, 2010 @ 21:49

    Hello, I have a small problem with windows and linux in the same network. I want from linux see all PC in the network. How I can do that with samba?

  • Anonymous Jun 24, 2010 @ 14:52

    Why is there a tweets tab on the side of this page? It is very annoying.

  • newbie Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:31

    I’m newbie in LINUX
    The command ” # mkdir -p /mnt/win” destroyed the previous records under /mnt/win.
    I’m so sad…

  • Linux/Windows Newbie Jul 7, 2010 @ 1:10

    Does deleting the local mount point (rm -r) delete the remote Windows shared folder?

    • Rajgopal H.Gundgurti Jul 30, 2010 @ 11:05

      Before deleting any directory, we need to un mount it.
      type df -h see the mounted file systems.
      then unmount the perticular file system
      Example: umount /mnt/win
      Then, you need to delete the directory.
      If you dont unmount and give rm -rf everything in the mounted windows share will be lost.

  • bharath vn Oct 23, 2010 @ 15:56

    I’m seeing the same problem. I can get around it by using the -d argument, but that means I don’t get back the return code from the process I started remotely.

    It gives the workaround, but not ideal.

  • Robert Dec 23, 2010 @ 15:04

    Is it works for me as i am using windows server 2008 and solaris Sun 5.10
    Please help me.

  • PASHA Jun 14, 2011 @ 18:50

    Access Windows dir from Linux

    [root@localhost ~]# mount //ipaddress/test /wintest

    [ //ipaddress is a windows system ip and “test” is the windows shared folder name ]

    [ /wintest is the one of linux dir, given full permission ]

    [ “password” is the windows login password ]

    • Gordo May 11, 2012 @ 19:41

      thanks Pasha, that is awesome and simple

    • adil Jan 3, 2013 @ 10:23

      VMWARE-Vclient 5.0.0
      in which i have rhel images…………….

  • Raja Sep 12, 2011 @ 6:01

    Why my system is not supporting smbfs….?
    i’m getting the error as “mount: unknown filesystem type ‘smbfs’ “

    • Paul Sep 19, 2011 @ 14:55

      You probably don’t have the filesystem type installed… if you’re using a debian-based system (this should work for Ubuntu), do apt-get search smbfs to find the package name, then apt-get install

      That should fix your problem…

      • shivakalyan Sep 24, 2011 @ 10:59

        Raja replace smbfs to cifs. I had the same issue and it worked for me when i use cifs

  • Elangovan Oct 4, 2011 @ 12:07

    Use the following command to mount windows shared folder into Mac OS X

    To mount:
    mount -t smbfs //username@sharedIP/shared folder /target
    (i.e. mount -t smbfs //administrator@ /target/)

    To unmount:
    umount /target/

  • Ibrahim Jun 22, 2012 @ 14:20

    Hi, I think the best way is to use smb through nautilus
    it works with IP address:
    I turn off selinux/firewall.

  • Jordan Apr 6, 2013 @ 17:49


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