I run a Windows 7 Pro SP1 laptop as my home machine, and my housemate runs an Ubuntu 12.04.1.05 desktop. We share a WLAN. I would like to make certain locations and files available for him to read and maybe write. How can I go about this?
Bearing in mind I have very little recent experience with modern Linux, and Ubuntu in particular. My first idea is to share a Windows folder with my Ubuntu VM under VMWare Player, then his Ubuntu machine can connect to my Unbuntu VM, and the two can use whatever magic Ubuntu uses to achieve file sharing. This requires my Ubuntu VM to be always running though, and that may not always be possible.
I have also heard that Samba may have a feature to help here, but I know nothing about that.
How can I share my Windows files with my mate's Ubuntu machine, preferably with a 1 to 1 connection, i.e. rather not using shim VM's