Install Samba on Ubuntu, Transfer File From Windows to Linux

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Samba on Ubuntu. Samba is open-source software that allows you to configure your Ubuntu Server as a file server to share files with Microsoft Windows via SMB Protocol.

After completing this tutorial, you should be able to configure an Ubuntu Server/Desktop as a file server to transfer files from Windows to Linux.

Setting Up a Samba Server

We can install Samba on Ubuntu 20.04 using the apt-get install command. First, update the apt source list, then install the samba package.

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install samba

Starting, Stopping, and Restarting Samba

Samba server should start automatically after the installation has finished. To check samba status, we can execute the following command:

sudo systemctl status smbd.service

You can stop, start and restart Samba on Ubuntu with the systemctl command:

sudo systemctl stop smbd
sudo systemctl start smbd
sudo systemctl restart smbd

You can also run the ss command to make sure that the Ubuntu Samba Server is listening on ports 139 and 445.

sudo ss -tlnp | grep smbd
Install Samba on Ubuntu

Samba Configuration File

The main configuration file of the Samba Server is /etc/samba/smb.conf.

Samba Configuration File

One important parameter of the main configuration file is the workgroup. The name of the workgroup should be the workgroup used in your Windows computer (most of the time, it is workgroup = WORKGROUP).

Samba workgroup

Create a Samba User and a Password

We need a username and a password to access a Samba share from a remote computer. We will create a new user called smbuser to access our Samba share from Windows 10/11.

sudo adduser smbuser

After creating the user, set up the samba password for the user using the smbpasswd command (we can't use the standard Linux password to access a Samba share).

sudo smbpasswd -a smbuser

Configuring a Basic Samba Share

Now let's see how to share files on our Ubuntu Server with Windows using the Samba Server.

In this example, I'm gonna create a new folder called winshare inside the /var directory. You can use any existing folder if you want.

First, create the winshare directory using the mkdir command:

sudo mkdir /var/winshare

After that, set the file permission and make smbuser the owner of the /var/winshare directory using the chown command:

sudo chmod 755 /var/winshare/
sudo chown smbuser /var/winshare

Then add the following configuration block to the /etc/samba/smb.conf file:

browseable = yes
read only = no
valid user=smbuser

Save the smb.conf and reload the Samba Server with the systemctl command:

sudo systemctl reload smbd.service

Accessing the Samba Share From Windows

To mount the Samba share on Windows 10, go to My Computer (This PC) and click on the Computer tab, then Map network drive.

Map network drive windows

Then, select a Drive letter and type \\linux-server-ip\share-name in the folder path. For example, if the server IP is and the share name is winshare, you will type \\\winshare.

mount samba share on windows

You will be prompted for the username and password. Use the Samba user and password we created and click ok to mount the Samba share.


So that is how we set up a basic samba share on Ubuntu Linux. You can refer to the man page of the smb.conf file for more advanced samba configuration options.

man 5 smb.conf

Once you know the basics, you can move on to do more advanced Samba configurations.