Networking

How to access SMB shares from Ubuntu Touch

Your Ubuntu Touch device will not connect to SMB shares out of the box. Fear not, as Jack Wallen shows how easy it is to add that feature to the platform.

touchhero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

You want to make the most of your shiny new Ubuntu phone or tablet. Since it's powered by Linux, it makes sense to assume you can do all things Linux with this device. In many cases that assumption is correct; however, some of those tasks aren't available out of the box.

One such task is the ability to connect to SMB shares; fortunately, with the File Manager app, in just a few minutes, you can connect to all your shares with ease.

SEE: Mobile Device Computing Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Installing the necessary app

The first thing you must do is install the File Manager app. Why this app isn't installed by default, I cannot figure out, but you can add it with these simple steps.
  1. Open Scopes.
  2. Swipe to the left until you see the Apps Scope.
  3. Locate and tap the Ubuntu Store icon.
  4. Search for file manager.
  5. Locate and tap the entry by Ubuntu Core App Developers.
  6. Tap Install.
  7. Allow the installation to complete.

Once installed, you'll find the launcher in Scopes | Apps. Tap the File Manager icon to launch the app and get ready to connect to your SMB shares.

Connecting to SMB shares

Depending upon how your network is set up, you'll most likely need to know the IP address of the machine hosting the share you need to connect with. With that information in hand, here's how you connect.

  1. Open the File Manager app.
  2. Tap Network in the left navigation.
  3. Tap the Menu button in the top right corner.
  4. Tap Go To.
  5. When prompted, enter the IP address (after smb:// - Figure A).
  6. Tap the Return key on the keyboard (for some odd reason the Go button doesn't work with networked shares at the moment).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Connecting the bq M10 Aquarius tablet to an SMB share.

Your share should show up in the File Manager main window (Figure B). Depending upon how the share was configured, you'll now be able to work with the folder on Ubuntu Touch.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen

The File Manager main window with a network share ready to use.

At this early stage of development, the File Manager app has no means of adding bookmarks, so any time you want to go to the SMB share, you'll have to repeat this process. I hope future releases will add the ability to bookmark locations (including network shares). Until then, get used to this process.

Get connected

I am certain Ubuntu Touch will continue to expand and add new features with each update. This is an exciting platform, and I believe we'll see more of it in the coming months.

Get your Ubuntu Touch device and start connecting with information, with data, and with SMB shares right away.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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