Viewing and Connecting to an SMB Samba Share on Windows/Linux/Unix

This will give you the basic info needed to browse and connect to Samba shares from the command line.  From the GUI of Gnome or KDE etc, it is pretty standard and straight forward.  However, I've found very little guides on how to do it from the command line and if you're like me, a nerd who prefers command line for its simplicity and for remote use, this is the way to go.

First get a list of all the Samba/SMB shares on the target.

smbclient -L hostname (or IP address).

If you need to specify a specific username you would use:

smbclient -U username -L hostname 

If you are prompted for a password and you know one is not required, just hit enter (in this kind of case it doesn't matter what username you authenticate as).

The list of SMB Samba shares has been returned

Domain=[OURHOUSE] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.0.28-0.el4.9]

        Sharename       Type      Comment
        ---------       ----      -------
        DVDROMExternal  Disk
        dump            Disk
        driveshare      Disk

Connect to the chosen SMB Samba Share

smbclient \\\\hostname\\sharename

Yes, you read it right.  The first part before the hostname contains 4 backslashes \\\\

And the part before share name contains two backslashes \\

smb: \> ls
  .                                   D        0  Fri Feb 27 08:50:50 2009
  ..                                  D        0  Thu Jan  8 14:32:19 2009
  New Folder                          D        0  Sat Jan 26 16:24:54 2008
  test                                D        0  Sun Sep  7 18:29:26 2008
  fdsfd                               D        0  Sun Jan 27 11:37:55 2008

You'll be prompted with something like the above.  Note that I did type "ls" to get the list of folders.

The rest is pretty normal and straight forward for anyone who has ever used command line ftp.

An SMB share retrieval example:

If you want to download a file called "test" just type:

mget test

If you want to recursively get a bunch of directories just do this:

mget *

The recurse is obvious, it means to get a directory and recursively so that means everything inside.

The prompt takes away the annoying prompt, that means for each transfer you wont' be prompted to manually confirm.

An alternate and preferred way using SMB over CIFS

If that annoys you, you can simply mount the share on your local system and then browse, retrieve and make/write files as you like (assuming your permissions on the SMB server allow for it).

Others may have had different experiences but I can only get mounting with CIFS working by using the IP and not the hostname.

mount -t cifs // /mnt/cifs -o user=guest,pass=bla

If you try with the hostname dmesg will produce this message:

CIFS VFS: cifs_mount failed w/return code = -22

 Mounting SAMBA SMB CIFS shares at boot time by using /etc/fstab

Just add a line like this to /etc/fstab

// /mnt/cifs cifs        user=guest,pass=bla 0 0

Be sure to modify the user and pass options if you require a specific user and password to connect to the share.



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