June 2008 - Tested on Ubuntu 8.04  DRAFT v1


How to Integrate a (wired) Ubuntu 8.04 (Heron) pc into a Windows Home Network


Objectives of this Guide


To have a Ubuntu PC fully integrated with a pre-existing home network of Windows pc's, & capable of two-way file transfers, and media streaming.


Who is this guide intended for?


It is intended to be a practical basic guide for interested PC users, as opposed to technically trained people.


The guide assumes a reasonable 'experienced user' knowledge of:


- Windows File & Folder usage


- Setting up a small home network of Windows pc's that can share files, an internet connection, & printer.


Some rudimentary user knowledge of Ubuntu: installation, files & folders.


Pre-conditions for Success using this guide


A pre-existing peer-to-peer home Windows network with a broadband modem/router & a basic hub, using wired network connections, that can already share files, connect to the internet, & print.


It is assumed that the Windows pc's 'Obtain their IP Addresses Automatically' from the modem/router.


The use of Ubuntu 8.04.


Provenance of this Guide


This guide is distilled from my notes of around 40 installations of  various Ubuntu releases over 2 years on various pc's, as I learned how to 'transparently' integrate Ubuntu based pc's into my home network of 6 Windows pc's


The notes & settings in this guide are the actual ones used to configure Ubuntu pc's that are fully integrated on my network right now, and doing useful work. I tested this guide by following it exactly as it is written on fresh installations.


I am certain that there is room for improvement in the process, but for now it is reasonably straightforward, repeatable, and lets me get on with using, learning about & evaluating Ubuntu Linux in a practical situation.



Overview of the Process


Step 1 - Install Ubuntu, update the installation, check basic functionality & internet connection


Step 2 - Create a folder in Ubuntu to become visible on the network.


Step 3 - Prepare the folder for sharing on the network (which installs SAMBA)


Step 4 - Access the Ubuntu pc from a Windows pc on your network,




Step 1 - Install Ubuntu 8.04


After a basic install while connected to your pre-existing Windows network, internet access from the Ubuntu PC should work straight away.


Internet access by the Ubuntu PC is essential to this process. Do not proceed unless it is working.


By default, a lot of networking capability on the Ubuntu machine is already working:


In Places > Network,  you will see the 'Windows Network' icon.


D/clicking on it will take you to [the name of your windows network], in my case mshome


D/clicking on mshome will display all the pc's currently on your network within the mshome workgroup.


D/clicking on the icon of a pc will display it’s shared folders.


D/clicking on a Windows shared folder will cause an ‘Enter Password’ dialog to appear.

Just click on ‘Cancel’, and the dialog will close, and the contents of the folder will be displayed anyway.


Also, a shortcut to the Windows shared folder will appear on the Ubuntu desktop.

This shortcut will be removed automatically at the next reboot, or it can removed by right-clicking on it & selecting ‘Unmount Volume’



So, by default,  from your Ubuntu PC you can transfer files between the Ubuntu Desktop (and other folders) & Windows Shared folders


However, the Ubuntu pc cannot be seen from the Windows pc's.


The rest of this guide shows how to make the Ubuntu pc visible to & accessible by the Windows pc’s on your home network.




Step 2 - Create a folder in Ubuntu to become visible (later) on the network


You could think of this new folder becoming your Ubuntu equivalent of the 'Shared Documents' folder in Windows.


Right-click on the Ubuntu desktop & create the new folder called, say, 804Shared


Step 3 - Prepare the folder for sharing on the network


Right-click on the 804Shared folder, and select Sharing Options


A dialog saying Folder Sharing will appear. Select the Share this Folder’ box


After a short delay, a dialog saying' Sharing Service is not installed' will appear.



Click on Install Service     Ubuntu will ask for your login password


This will cause a program called Samba to be downloaded from the internet & installed


Wait for the installation to complete with the message Changes Applied, then close the dialog.


NOW REBOOT THE UBUNTU PC – I know you shouldn’t have to, but I have found this to be essential on some installations, so why not….


Right-click on the 804Shared folder, and select Sharing Options


The dialog saying Folder Sharing will re-appear, with more options now available:


Select the ‘Allow other people to write in this folder’ box


Click on Create Share.


A dialog ‘Nautilus needs to add some permissions…..’ appears. 

Click on ‘Add the permissions automatically’    



The icon for the shared folder will now change to indicate sharing by displaying a double arrow:

At this point, the Ubuntu PC will become visible to Windows PCs on the network:


Step 4 - Access the Ubuntu pc from a Windows pc.

On a Windows XP PC, go to 'My Network Places' > 'View Workgroup Computers'

The Ubuntu PC icon will be shown, and when clicking on it a password is requested.


Enter the login name & password of the Ubuntu PC you are connecting to:



You can then see & access the Ubuntu shared folder you created in step 2.        Job done!




NB: Depending on how your windows network is configured, you may want to make changes to the Windows workgroup names in use by the pc’s on the network, to keep the entire network in the same workgroup – see the ‘About Windows Workgroups’ guide via the home page…



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