Folder sharing allows access to files and folders from other machines in a local area network. It is made possible by the implementation of SMB/CIFS protocol.

The Samba package provides SMB/CIFS folder sharing for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. You can create shared folder directly from the Files file manager application by GNOME on Ubuntu.

Steps to share folders via Samba/SMB on Ubuntu:

  1. Open Files.
  2. Right-click on the folder you want to share and click on Local Network Share.
  3. Click on the Share this folder checkbox in the folder sharing window.
  4. Click on Install service button on the Sharing service is not installed alert window if you never installed the required service before.

    This will install Samba and other related packages.

  5. Click on the Install button on the Install additional software? window.

    Click on the Description to view more details about the packages to be installed

  6. Enter your password and click on the Authenticate button on the Authentication Required window.

    Your account must have administrator privilege to be able to proceed.

  7. Wait for the installation to finish.
  8. Select other options if necessary and click on Create Share.
  9. Shared folder will now have a sharing icon.

  10. Allow network ports for Samba at the terminal.

    $ sudo ufw allow samba [sudo] password for user:  Rules updated Rules updated (v6)

    This is only required if you've enabled firewall. It is disabled by default.

  11. Test network folder access from a remote machine.

Guide compatibility:

Operating System
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus)
Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak)
Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus)
Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark)
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)
Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish)
Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo)