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why are the administrative shares of windows XP and Windows 7 OS c$, d$ , E$ etc...all visible from linux!

i used ubuntu to see the shares!...

isnt that a security breach!

i can limit its access only by setting a password to my account.

but is it ok?

please guide.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 2 '10 at 18:22

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They are visible from, e.g. Total Commander as well. It's been ten years they are visible. –  modosansreves Jul 11 '12 at 11:49

4 Answers 4

Those shares are always available since it's the target machine (running Windows) that provides them, not your OS (Ubuntu, in this case).

You don't see them when using Windows Explorer to view remote shares because it hides them from you. They are still there.

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When you say "visible" do you mean you're able to get to them, or they're shown next to your other shares in the browser window? If it's the first, as far as I know that's normal.
If it's the second, it may be because Windows is programmed to not display them whereas Linux just asks what shares there are and puts them up there. I've not dealt much with accessing Windows shares from Linux so I can't say for sure. Either way if you authenticate to your Windows computers from your Linux computer as a user without administrative rights they shouldn't show up.

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I'm not what I would call a programmer, but I suspect that rather than the server service of Windows "hiding" shares with $ at the end, it is the workstation service that hides them on the client viewing the sharing system. So, if the client OS doesn't respect that $ means to hide a share, your end result is that you see the shares. As for being a security risk... perhaps... but it's not like people don't know they are there... and they only permit local administrators access to them... so whether you see them or not, it doesn't really matter, at least in my opinion.

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The story which I heard a few years ago (when win98 was still new) was that a bug in the windows clients prevented them from showing shares ending in a $.

Not just administrative shares, any shares.

Later this got changed into 'not a bug. A feature'. Or 'all windows clients will hide shares whose name end with a $. Not that this is done at the clients. Not at the sharing side. Thus they are not truly hidden at all. They are merely not shown (by default) on windows clients.

As with all things, take the old story with a grain of salt. The only reason why I believe it might be true is that no sane person would implement the security/hiding at the client side.

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