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I was wondering if it is possible to see all the local windows shares on linux. Under windows I used to be able to see the public files of everyone "near me", is there anyway to replicate this under ubuntu?

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Yes, you have to use Samba though.

Her'es a tutorial on how to connect to windows shares. http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/access-windows-shares-from-linux/ from command line.

Here's the Samba documentation which shows how to view shares near you in Ubuntu depending on your windowing system. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SettingUpSamba

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