Kubuntu Samba Share Fail

(Samba rides the fail bus – The Story Continues.)

Sharing a file or folder on a network should be a nice, simple procedure on any modern Desktop these days. And it is on some, but not Kubuntu. Their policy in the past has been to not ship this functionality in the default install, and instead, assume an end user will have the know how to enable this for themselves. For the more experienced Linux users out there this stuff will be pretty basic, but for someone out there giving Linux a bit of a go, they well find this situation a little frustrating, and they'll likely be a bit surprised it's now just a few mouse clicks away like it is for other systems.

Now for Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 and Karmic Koala 9.10 this involves installing the right packages and executing a shell command to make KDE's file sharing functionality work. Even once enabled, it's still not perfect, but kind of works well enough. This is one area that still needs some work, but at least the distros could ship what is available in a functioning state.

For Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 and Karmic Koala 9.10 you can follow this how-to.  It'll guide you on what to do, and should work for Karmic Koala (fingers crossed.)

Now that the next version of Kubuntu, “Karmic Koala” has been shipped, I was curious, was this stuff fixed yet? And I'm afraid the answer to that is a disappointing no. So what does happen straight out of the box? Here it is in pictorial form.

So here were are again, our favourite desktop, KDE.

Start the Dolphin file manager from the 'K Menu.'


Here we are. Lets pick a nice folder to share on the network. I choose Videos by right clicking on it.

Once the menu appears, click 'Properties.'


Here we are at the folder Properties dialogue box.

Click the Share tab.


And here we are. The file sharing tab in all its glory. There's nothing else to do but to click the "Configure File Sharing" button.

Now we're asked for a password. If you have admin privileges then enter your own password.


It's at this point you'll be greeted with lashings of fail. There's no mention of what did or didn't go wrong and you're just left to guess and ponder. It would be natural for a user to think that it's something they've done wrong themselves, but they'd be wrong. This is where any uncommitted user testing out Kubuntu to see what all the fuss is about will either try to find a solution, or more worryingly, just give up and go back to Windows or MacOS.

This needs to be fixed for a default installation. Perhaps adding it as a request in the Ubuntu Brainstorm would be helpful. It's on my to-do list.

Copyright (c) 2009 Greg Newsome all rights reserved.