I have a small home network consisting of two computers. One is running Windows 7 and the other Ubuntu 10.04. Neither computer is permanently on.

I am trying to set up file sharing between the two. Ideally the Windows files will be mounted whenever the Windows machine is on, and unmounted when it is not.

Currently I have added an entry to /etc/fstab to mount the share. This appears to vaguely work. However, I have noticed that it takes considerably longer to login to the Ubuntu computer if the Windows computer is not turned on. It exhibits bizarre behaviours if the Windows machine is not turned on, including not being able to interact with the desktop.

Is there a way to remove this delay, or should I set up the share in a different way?

3 Answers 3


You could use autofs to mount the share only when it's needed. There is even some documentation for Ubuntu about this.


In the Gnome file manager Nautilus you can directly access windows shares like this: Hit Ctrl+L so that the Location buttons turn into an edit filed. There you write smb:// and hit enter. (Replace with IP or hostname of your Windows computer.) It should ask for your windows Password and then show all shares.

For accessing your Linux files from Windows, you can use WinSCP.


Isn't simpler to mount-as-needed? Most applications does not deal with appearing/disappearing mountpoints and mounting in Gnome/Ubuntu/... Windows Share is as easy as filling several fields in dialog box.

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