How to make your Linux machines visible to other Linux machines

Jack Wallen shows you how to make your Linux machine see the other Linux machines on your network.

You have a number of Linux machines in your data center, and they need to be visible to one another on the network. However, no matter what you do, they never appear in your Linux desktop file managers. This might happen even when Samba is running and correctly configured. No matter what you do, those Linux servers and desktops do not show up in the Networks section of your file manager. What's going on? What did you do wrong?


You simply forgot to install a crucial component, one that allows Linux-to-Linux visibility-by-hostname.

I'll show you what you need to do to make this work properly. The task is so simple that you might find yourself smacking your forehead to your desk when you realize what you missed.

SEE: Network security policy (Tech Pro Research)


Before we install the necessary package, take a look at the Linux machines listed in a Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop file manager (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure B

Our current listing of visible servers/desktops on Ubuntu 18.04.

As you can see, we have HIVE4 listed. I have another Linux, named HIVE5 that also needs to be seen by the other Linux machines on the network. To make that happen, I must install a specific package on HIVE5.

Are you ready? Open a terminal window on the machine that isn't currently visible to the network (in my case, the server with the hostname HIVE5) and issue the command:

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon

Allow that installation to complete. Once the avahi daemon is installed, it will start, and the machine will appear on your network. Open the file manager on another Linux machine and click Other Locations (Figure B) or Entire Network, or just Network, depending upon your file manager.

Figure B

Figure B

HIVE5 is now alive.

That's all you need to do to make your Linux machines visible to one another on your network. There's nothing more to configure and no other service is needed. Without the avahi daemon installed, you have to find those Linux servers by way of IP address, whereas with it installed, those hostnames will happily pop up in your Linux desktop file managers.

Also see

Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

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

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