Problems Accessing Linux Folders and Servers from Windows

A short posting on dealing with accessing shared directories from remote Windows machines. When trying to access a shared folder stored on a Linux server from (say) a remote Windows XP machine you may have come across the following error message in much the same way as I did:

What made this initially confusing was that everyone’s backup folders were created in the same way, by adding new entries to the smb.conf file, setting the samba password etc. So being able to access folders but not others was puzzling. After scouring Google for information, much of it barking up the wrong tree, the solution was all rather mundane – a simple matter of ensuring adequate permissions to use the network resource – as the error message above clearly states.

When logging into to the Linux server, opening a command prompt and cd’ing to the directory where everyone’s backup folders are kept, it would appear everything was in order:

It was only after cd’ing into the offending folder itself that I could see straight away what the problem was – a distinct lack of permissions in the Documents folder. Other folders had adequate file permissions, this and a few others didn’t. Evidently this permission-setting stage was skipped when setting up some of the new employee backup drives:

The remedy was a simple change mode command to let the system know how much or how little access it should give to a file or folder:

$chmod 755 Documents

Problem sorted. Moral: before you mess around with smbusers, smbpasswd, smp.conf, setting LAN Manager authentication levels, or anything else on the Web, check the basic stuff like file permissions first.

Just like the error message says.

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