How to Share a Folder on the Local Network With Ubuntu

It is not difficult to share a folder in Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system and access it over the network in other operating systems, such as Windows. The necessary packages are not enabled by default in Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system. However, you can use the Install Wizard to get the necessary software installed automatically to share a folder.  For network sharing, Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system needs a network connection. Verify that your Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system is linked to the router and that it can communicate with other computers on the network. Other computers won’t be able to view or interact with the network shares you establish on Ubuntu if you don’t have a network connection.

Method to Share a Folder on the Local Network With Ubuntu 20.04 Linux System

To share a folder on the local network with Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system, first, you have to install Samba on your system. You have to launch the command line shell in the Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system. Before downloading any new package or software, you need to update your system’s apt packages repository. To upgrade the apt repository, use the following affixed command:

$ sudo apt update

After the update, install Samba by running the following affixed command shown in the screenshot below:

Tap “y” and afterward hit “Enter” to continue with the installation process. The installation of Samba on your machine will take some time.

Once it is installed, type the following cited command to check the status of the Samba operating service:

The output display indicates it is in “Active” (running) status. Now, we will change the firewall access guidelines to permit the “Samba” profile.

$ sudo ufw allow 'Samba'

Rules will be updated after the execution of the command displayed above.

After installing Samba, we can now use the default Ubuntu file management application “Nautilus” to exchange folders or directories. Let’s take a look at how to use the Nautilus file manager to exchange directories. We have created a folder titled “kalsoom”.  We will share this folder and use it in our complete guide. Navigate to the file manager and select a folder to share over your local network. Next, choose the “Local Network Share” selection from the displayed list items:

The screen shall show the following folder sharing dialogue. To share the folder, you must check the boxes displayed in the following attached screenshot and then click on the “Create Share” button:

The following dialogue will appear on your system. After, tap the “Add the permissions automatically” button.

If you are a guest user, no user account authentication is required to access Samba shared folders. Everybody on the network can access the sharing folder by using guest shares. However, to grant permitted access to Samba shares, you will need a Samba user account. We have created a user titled “kalsoom”, as shown in the screenshot.

$ sudo smbpasswd -a kalsoom

Tap “Enter” after entering a new password for a user. Rewrite the new password and press the “Enter” key once more. The new Samba user has been established successfully, and a new password has been set for the freshly created user, as shown in the attached image:

Now, it is time to access the Samba folder share on the Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system. In the other location section, type the address of Samba shares as seen in the following screenshot:

On your system, the following dialogue will appear, which is displayed in the screenshot below. You have the option of connecting as an “Anonymous” user or even as a “Registered user” in the image below. Type all the required fields, and tap on the “Connect” button.

Tap on the hostname or server. Again, you will be required to enter the following details displayed in the attached screenshot:

You could see that all of Samba’s folders are shared here in the attached screenshot:

The basic method can be utilized by Windows users to connect to Samba shares. Right-click on the “This PC” option in the File Explorer and pick the “Add a Network Location” option from your Windows 10 system.

On the Windows 10 system, the following wizard will pop up. Hit the “Next” button to proceed further.

After that, another new window will pop up on Windows 10 system. Simply select the “Choose a custom network location” option.

Now, you have to write the IP and the user-created for Samba shares in the same pattern shown in the following image. That’s how you can view all shared folders.

Now, in Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system, you can also enable a user by executing the following affixed command displayed in the attached screenshot:

The user will be activated.


We learned how to install Samba on an Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system in this article. We have demonstrated how to use Samba shares to share folders over a local network. I hope you have gained insights from this article to assist in your relevant work.

About the author

Kalsoom Bibi

Hello, I am a freelance writer and usually write for Linux and other technology related content