I tried the option browseable=no in my /etc/samba/smb.conf file. But after it was mounted, that share was still visible to other users through the mount point. But as from what I have learnt, setting directive browseable=yes will make it publicly visible and setting it to no will not make it publicly visible. But why is it visible to other users thorugh the mount point even when I have set that directive to no? Am I missing some concepts here? Please clarify. Many thanks.

2 Answers 2


From the man page:


This controls whether this share is seen in the list of available shares in a net view and in the browse list.

Consider, do you also have "guest ok"?

guest ok

If this parameter is yes for a service, then no password is required to connect to the service. Privileges will be those of the guest account.

This parameter nullifies the benefits of setting restrict anonymous = 2

See the section below on security for more information about this option.

Default: guest ok = no

If guest ok=yes then unauthenticated users would have the guest account privileges, which might include viewing.

  • I didn't include the guest ok directive. And I think it is set to "no" by default. Jul 10, 2017 at 17:05
  • So how do I restrict the mounted share so that it is not visible to other users? Jul 10, 2017 at 17:06
  • That's probably dependent on the permissions of your mount point. If you mount on a directory that is world readable I expect all users on that system would be able to read it.
    – Centimane
    Jul 10, 2017 at 17:14
  • @AyushGoyal what are the permissions on your samba mount point?
    – Centimane
    Jul 10, 2017 at 17:20
  • It was created by root user, so using the defaults umask value 0022, the permission on my samba mount point is 0755. Jul 10, 2017 at 17:26
#        map to guest = Bad User
#                       'Bad User' is not a valid linux account,
#                       this option will NOT have windows prompt user
#                       if windows account name does not match a valid
#                       linux account.  Windows will respond with cannot
#                       access... their might be a problem with your network
#                       contact your administrator.
#                       will make it look like samba share is not there
#                       can be used as extra layer of security to force
#                       someone to know valid usernames on linux samba server

#        map to guest = nobody
#                       nobody is a valid but locked linux account,
#                       When the given Windows user account name does not
#                       match any valid linux account then a prompt will
#                       pop up in Windows to give user chance to enter
#                       a valid linux username/password.
#                       useful if logged in as Administrator in Windows
#                       and need to access samba shares
#                       Warning: anyone on network can go \\yourlinuxserver
#                                and will get the popup and get a chance
#                                to enter your samba shares.

    comment = Home Directories
    valid users = %S, %D%w%S
    browseable = No
    inherit acls = Yes

    create mask = 660
    directory mask = 770
    inherit acls = Yes
    path = /scratch
    read only = No
    browseable = Yes

    create mask = 660
    directory mask = 770
    inherit acls = Yes
    path = /data_private
    read only = No
    browseable = No

under the global section once you have chosen a choice for map to guest as the first level of authentication, then browseable yes/no becomes useful if you want to hide a share such that users must know the name of it. For example if the name of my linux server on the network is linuxserver123 then if someone goes

\\linuxserver123 in microsoft windows they will either get prompted or rejected based on map to guest then allowed in if their username/password matches.

At this point the given user will see only their home account folder and not the homes folder because browseable = no for [homes].

And all authenticated users can see scratch but they will NOT see the dataX folder because of the browseable setting.

For a user to get to dataX or the folder /data_private they must do \\linuxserver123\dataX. If when you do just \\linuxserver123 in Windows and you want to see a dataX folder in addition to scratch and the one home account folder then set browseable=yes for [dataX].

Once authenticated via Samba in linux as some given local linux account and with inherit acls = yes for a given share, then that local linux account must have read/write/execute permissions to access the given shared folder(s) and files.

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