I want to access a directory

ON a computer with Linux Ubuntu 14.04 installed as OS,

FROM a computer with Windows 7 installed as OS,

IN Windows Explorer.

In case both computers have Linux Ubuntu 14.04 installed, this is as easy setting up a SSH public-private key pair connection and running the command

nautilus ssh://user@WAN_ip_address:port_number/directory_to_access

, but how is this done with one computer running Windows 7?

  • Not sure why I'm getting down votes for this question :S. Anyone care to elaborate?
    – Adriaan
    Jan 13, 2016 at 9:53

4 Answers 4


Seems to me a xy problem

IF you can change your mind about using only Windows Explorer to browse your files, i would suggest you to download WinSCP, and access the files through ssh/scp protocol

It´s safer than using any file or block related protocol on the internet, with no cryptography, and if you have a openssh-server running you don´t need to bother with seting up a VPN to ensure data security.

  • It's only a xy problem in case I can I change my mind over using only Windows Explorer ;). Either way, your proposed WinSCP seems to work just fine. It even offers a file synchronization option I believe.
    – Adriaan
    Jan 13, 2016 at 9:52

In order to access a Windows machine from a Linux machine (from Terminal):

  1. Install packages ntfs-3g and cifs-utils (sudo apt-get install or yum install).
  2. Create a local mount directory, for example /shared .
  3. Edit your /etc/fstab and add to it something like so: \\WIN-IP\share$ /shared cifs rw,noauth,suid,username=computer_name\user_name 0 0
  4. Save the file and run: mount -a
  5. Browse to /shared and run ls

In order to access a windows machine from an Ubuntu machine (from GUI):

  1. From your Ubuntu machine, open Nautilus.
  2. On the left panel click "Connect to server".
  3. Under "Server Address" type: smb://WIN-IP/share

Connect to Server smb://computer_name/share_name

In order to access a Linux machine from windows (from Terminal):

Follow this official Ubuntu guide.

One more thing to take into consideration is that over WAN you'll have to open TCP ports 139 and 445 and UDP ports 137-138 in order to allow Samba access.

  • 1
    No cryptography on internet could be a problem...
    – user34720
    Dec 29, 2015 at 9:47
  • I think I have to agree with nwildner. The proposed solutions seem just fine to me over a LAN, but not over the WAN, since Samba is not secure, right?
    – Adriaan
    Jan 13, 2016 at 9:43

My first suggestion is to use WinSCP (https://winscp.net/eng/index.php) which supports sftp, scp and other protocols.

Another suggestion is to use Swish SFTP (http://www.swish-sftp.org/) which integrates into Windows Explorer


Another possibility I'd advertise, although I'm not usually keen to, is cloud storage. In this case, advantages of could storage are (though not limited to)

  • platform-agnostic
  • multi-host synchronisation
  • documents are accessed through local copies
  • limited impact due to offline hosts.

I'd recommend, of course, open source and free software such as Seafile or Owncloud, both of which can be implemented either at home or on a dedicated server if you wish. Certain cloud services limit the storage space depending upon what you pay for.

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