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I want to let my Windows coworkers on our domain access some public files on my Mac without entering any credentials. The Mac is on the network, but not on the domain (at least I believe so, I have never understood what a domain is).

I managed to share files but Windows users are asked for a login/password to access them.

Here is what I did:

  • I activated file sharing, including the SMB option for my account.
  • I added the directory ("common_files") to be shared in the "Shared folders" pane
  • I made sure "everybody" has read access to that directory
  • I made sure Guest file sharing is activated in the "Sharing" system preference pane.
  • I made sure guest login is activated in the "accounts" system preference pane.

I checked that when entering my Mac account login/password, I can access the said directory. No issue. To do so, from Windows, I type the "URI":


So everything works, except the guest-access part.

Any idea?



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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It seems like this is a bug in Apple's SMB implementation since Lion (so for Lion and Mountain Lion, but not for Snow Leopard). So there is no easy way around it. I've been having the same problem myself and it appears other people have been too:

The workarounds that I see are (I haven't tried these myself though):

  1. Set up a new user account on the mac (is simply "Guest" allowed? Instead of "Guest User" which is the normal Guest account). Don't give it a password. Then other people can enter these "credentials" when prompted. One of the disadvantages is that you'll have to tell people what username to use.
  2. Set up your own SMB server and use it instead of the one one built into OSX. Someone at the above link says that they got this to work using MacPorts (which lets you run Linux software on a Mac).

For myself, I'm just sharing between my computer (Windows 8), and my GF's (OSX Lion). So I set up an account for myself on her computer and am authenticating using that.

I hope this helps. It's my first StackOverflow/StackExchange/SuperUser answer.

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Thanks for the testimony. Indeed, I ended up creating an account simply for file sharing purposes. I use MacPorts myself, but I didn't want to go all the way and replace the full OS X SMB stack. Note that "guest" is not allowed for an account name, because it's the name of the OS X guest account ("Guest User" is its long name). – jdmuys Dec 28 '12 at 8:27

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