Sharing a folder on Windows is a trivial matter. Sharing a folder on linux appears to be done only using Sambashare. At least, every guide I've found is using this approach. It's quite terrible, requiring config files, user groups, additional packages etc. Is there a way to share a local folder without this program? Right now, it seems to be easier to upload things to the cloud to transfer files between two linux computers on a LAN.

  • personally, to simply copy files between *nix machines, I use scp ... to share, I use nfs (the latter does requires a certain amount of fuxoring with config files though, so probably not for you) another candidate is sshfs - though, I've never looked at that Jan 9 at 8:20

3 Answers 3


Sharing between linux machines is also trivial an arguably easier and more secure than on windows.

Samba is an implementation of native windows sharing under linux to provide interoperability between the two OS's.

If you simply want to download files from the server on say windows you can connect to it over SSH and use something like filezilla to download/upload files from the machine. This won't require any further software, is secure and relatively fast.

  • Good point. I forgot about this method. Jan 11 at 16:08

Samba is the standard Windows interoperability suite of programs for Linux and Unix. Since 1992, Samba has provided secure, stable and fast file and print services for all clients using the SMB/CIFS protocol, such as all versions of DOS and Windows, OS/2, Linux and many others.

Samba is the name of the linux software, what you refer to as sambashare, and not to be confused with SMB which does not mean samba but rather Server Message Block which is a protocol.

To share a local linux folder on a network, such that it is mountable between systems on the network and shows up as D: in windows then you have to use the SMB (service message block protocol) because that's what Windows knows. To go between two linus systems you would use NFS.

every guide I've found is using this approach. It's quite terrible, requiring config files, user groups, additional packages etc.

you're listening/reading from the wrong people. Samba is very easy, and in RHEL/CentOS 7, 8, or 9, the default /etc/samba/smb.conf file (one file) is already pre set up such that all you need to do is systemctl enable smb and your /home/<username folder is already shared out, provided you already have done yum install samba. Know that it does not share out your home folder, or any, such that it is then world readable/writeable to the world via SMB, it's as simple as having your linux username the same as your windows username and your windows login password the same as your linux login password and you get unprompted access.

note: stupid SELINUX (secure linux) requires doing an additional setsebool -P samba_enable_home_dirs on so I could see how not knowing that could piss one off and hate samba.

  • Here's a typical guide I tried. zdnet.com/article/… Config file, users, usergroups. There were some errors along the way, I had to solve too. Also had to restart my machine in the end. By no means easy. Jan 11 at 16:12

The answer by proxx is good, i.e., that one can just use ssh and scp/rsync for the transfer. However, a better method that works across platforms is Syncthing. Setup was trivial, and this has the benefit of working over LAN, and over the internet working over the internet without having to deal with port forwarding in the router.

For Windows to Linux via Syncthing, there's also SyncTrazor which is just a GUI wrapper.

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