Configure a system to automount a Samba share with /etc/fstab

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How do I configure a Linux based system to automount a Samba share on a Linux?

As explained earlier you can use the mount command to mount a remote windows partition or a windows share under Linux.

The /etc/fstab file contains static information about the filesystems. The file fstab contains descriptive information about the various file systems. fstab is only read by programs, and not written; it is the duty of the system administrator to properly create and maintain this file.

To mount a Samba share to be mounted when a Linux system comes up after reboot edit the /etc/fstab file and put entry as follows for your Windows/Samba share:
//ntserver/share /mnt/samba smbfs username=username,password=password 0 0

For example, if you want to mount a share called //ntserver/docs then you need to write following entry in /etc/fstab file:
//ntserver/docs /mnt/samba smbfs username=docsadm,password=D1Y4x9sw 0 0

  • //ntserver/docs: Windows 2003/NT/Samba share name
  • /mnt/samba: Local mount point (you may need to create this directory first)
  • smbfs: File system type (samba file system)
  • username=docsadm,password=D1Y4x9sw: Share username and password

Open file /etc/fstab using vi text editor:
# vi /etc/fstabAppend line
//ntserver/docs /mnt/samba smbfs username=docsadm,password=D1Y4x9sw 0 0, at the end your file should read as follows:

proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/hdb1       /               ext3    defaults,errors=remount-ro 0       1
/dev/hdb2       none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/hdc        /media/cdrom0   iso9660 ro,user,noauto  0       0
//ntserver/docs /mnt/samba      smbfs   username=docsadm,password=D1Y4x9sw 0 0

Replace sharename, username and password with your actual parameters.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

36 comment

  1. Okay, but the use of the term “automount” here
    is misleading. I was looking for how to configure
    autofs to work with samba shares.

  2. first create the below in root home directory:

    echo username=mywindowsusername > .smbpasswd
    echo password=mywindowspassword >> .smbpasswd
    chmod 600 .smbpasswd

    Then the below line will be changed:
    //ntserver/docs /mnt/samba smbfs username=docsadm,password=D1Y4x9sw 0 0

    To :
    //servername/sharename /mountdirectory smbfs credentials=/home/myhomedirectory/.smbpasswd 0 0

  3. I’ve put the entry in fstab and put the credentials in another file. It works fine, thank you, but although I can write to the share as root, I can’t as a normal user. I’ve tried chmod on the mount point, but that didn’t work, any ideas?

  4. try this:
    //servername/sharename /mountdirectory smbfs credentials=/home/myhomedirectory/.smbpasswd,uid=user,gid=user 0 0

  5. Thanks for the feedback. This actually prompted me to do a little more research on the options and as this share is just a dumping ground I decided to use

    //servername/sharename /mountdirectory smbfs credentials=/home/myhomedirectory/.smbpasswd,fmask=666,dmask=777 0 0

    so that it’s writeable by everyone.

  6. I’d like to ask a question and I don’t think the solution is out there….I have a samba share setup that will only allow connections from my LAN IP addresses…therefore, I don’t need user/pass security setup on it.

    I have configured it as an open share writeable and readable by anyone connecting from MY LAN. This works through browsing local network in KDE/Gnome or even in Windows. This is nice for my friends who come by and want to connect to my music/movie/game share.

    However, I cannot configure a Linux /etc/fstab to mount the share because it keeps asking for a username and password. There IS NO USERNAME nor PASSWORD. So, how does one enter the information so that it can be processed and mounted by fstab?

    I think this would be a great ‘how-to’ for you to feature like this article…because there is NOTHING out there on how to do this.

  7. hai
    i want shared data from windows to linux system.. how can i share different way. plz any one mail to me.
    same time i want to modified my pdf file. any pdf writer in linux plz intimated me.


  8. hai
    i want shared data from windows to linux system.. how can i share different way. plz any one mail to me.
    same time i want to modified my pdf file. any pdf writer in linux plz intimated me.

    Manikandan KM

  9. loopo, I got excited at the NO USERNAME/NO PASSWORD discussion raised by John and curious mounter, and I appreciate your response that “the “guest”-option will do. -> man mount.cifs (line 85)”, but as I’m a growing newbie, I’m not sure how to apply your response (though I think I understood all the thread up to the point that you responded about the guest option and the arrow point). Currently, Dolphin has no problem accessing my DLink NAS (well, at first it stumbles and doesn’t recognize it, but after I go to Network and work my way to it, it appears with my bookmark, though sometimes it doesn’t even appear under Network until I go to Firefox and use the call, then it “suddenly” appears when I return to Network — I guess it’s one of those mounting things).

    I note that Konqueror seems unable to work with to configure the NAS, but Firefox always has no trouble with this.

    Maybe this is a different problem (or maybe it’s related to the fstab needing to be done first), but what I MOST want to do is have programs (VLC, K9, etc.) to be able to access my DLink NAS, but they seem blind to it through their file access dialog boxes. For example, VLC plays DVD iso’s just fine if it is on a local drive and I drag-&-drop it from Dolphin, but if it is on my NAS, VLC does not recognize the file unless I first copy it with Dolphin to a local drive, then after a drag-&-drop from the local drive, it plays just fine (again, it’s a DVD iso). I’d also like to use K9 to put DVD iso’s directly on the NAS (instead of running them to a local drive from K9 and then later copying them to the NAS for storage), but K9 just doesn’t seem to acknowledge that the NAS exists through its dialog boxes (though Dolphin shows it’s there plain as day after it’s mounted).

    If I do the fstab trick in this thread (well, once I understand how to apply your solution), will it solve my problem with VLC & K9, etc.? I have NO NAME & NO PASSWORD like the previous writers mentioned on my NAS so everyone in the house can use it (all the dual-boot Windows based computers on the network have no difficulty whatsoever with the NAS with VLC etc., it’s just the dual-boot Linux systems that stumble from their dialog boxes in a variety of Linux-based programs that are very important to us — we’re trying to get away from Windows completely but we haven’t learned how to do some things with Linux yet).

  10. I am also using the “ip instead of password” idea.

    If I am reading this right, user “guest” as the username and leave off the password.

    specifies the CIFS password. If this option is not given then the environment variable PASSWD is used. If the password is not specified directly or indirectly via an argument to mount mount.cifs will prompt for a password, unless the guest option is specified.

    and guest described…
    don’t prompt for a password </cite

  11. Beware that if you add an option like “user” to fstab then a simple user can do:
    mount –verbose /xxx and he will eventually see the username/password even if you used the credentials=… approach

  12. People who want to automount specific shares for specific users when they log in should investigate the pam_mount library. It is secure and more appropriate on an untrusted network environment.

    It’s a bit more complicated to set up than this, though. There are various tutorials out there and it can vary a little between the distros.

  13. Wow, this tutorial is simple and easy for a beginner like me, the comments are especially helpful, although I use the parameter of rw,exec, user

  14. I have mounted a windows share before, however had a problem when the linux box was rebooted, the operating system would hang because the network had not connected in order to mount the windows share.

    So my question is this, how do you have the automount happen after the network connection?

    Here’s my fstab entry:

    //windowsshare/dir /mnt/point cifs rw,domain=DOMAIN,credentials=/path/filename,fmask=0664,dmask=0775


  15. Please also update or have a note that new linux systems might use CIFS file system.. then the conf would change to
    //ntserver/docs /mnt/samba cifs username=docsadm,password=D1Y4x9sw 0 0

  16. Is is possible to use an ip address for share as well – for example:
    // /mnt/samba smbfs username=username,password=password 0 0

  17. guys, please I need help.
    I am not that expert in NFS, but what happened that I am runnning calculation on a pc cluster which is connected to NFS server called “//bourbon/home10” through another computer “hoppy”(the japanese people in my lab call it name server).
    what happened is this client computer”hoppy” gave an error and tried to automount old servers which were removed pretty while ago. it gives mounting error.
    and when I try to go to bourbon/home10 it doesnt show any subdirctories.
    any idea about what is happening here?


  18. All,

    What I noticed is that the “fstab” runs at the beginning of the boot cycle to link the local hard drives and set up the needed filesystems, for the Linux to load, so eth0 has not run yet and therefore a network share, especially a windows share will not load, since networking is not yet established.

    I also noticed that since the SAMBA daemon runs later, after eth0 has run, then if the shares are correctly declared there, the windows network shares will link in, what I find missing is a good definition of how to set/call the a.) domain, b.) windowsusername, c.) windowsuserpwd within the smb.conf file.

    Since my flavor of Linux is Ubuntu I opened a thread on this at:

    Though I mentioned a script there, not stuck on that, if I can do it in the smb.conf file.



  19. Trying to auto-mount a Windows share with /etc/fstab but it’s not mounting.

    Format I am using includes a “space” in the share name, so I enclosed the windows share name in quotes, which works if I manually mount the share, but does not work with the fstab file. Any ideas how to accomplish this?

    1. I have the same situation, and then I tried to run following command after the fstab change:

      mount -a

      And then I can find the disk get mounted automatically, even reboot the system.

      1. You must alter every space in name by \040 charracter. By example:

        \\\My Share Folder

  20. besides the topic ( which gave me alot of insights on the matter )
    its great to find such threads on the web 2006-2011 and still helpful.

    my problem was a bit different but thanks to various comments in this thread
    i got my stuff running and i just felt like thanking everyone for the insights

    keep up the good work


  21. What about mount two shared folders?
    I have tried this in /etc/fstab:
    // /mnt/folder1 cifs rw,user=guest,password=,uid=1000 0 0
    // /mnt/folder2 cifs rw,user=guest,password=,uid=1000 0 0

    After reboot, if I access the first folder “cd /mnt/folder1” and list files “ls”, my shared files are listed. If I try access folder2, nothing is listed. I reboot and tried again, but this time accessing “folder2” first, and then the files are listed. After, accessing “folder1” nothing is listed.

    In other words, it mount just the first accessed folder. Mounting it manually, “mount -all”, the two folders are mounted, but I need it to be mounted automatically at boot because these folders are used in services.

    How to mount more than one shared folder using fstab at boot?

  22. What option do you include in fstab to prevent the server from handing if the cifs share is not available after reboot?


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