We have two computers at home - one Windows XP, one Ubuntu Linux.

What's the easiest way to let them share files and a printer?

(Specifically, I've got XP SP3 and Ubuntu 9.04.)


To share files and printers on your Ubuntu box, setting up Samba would be my best suggestion. There's a good explanation and tutorial here.

From the documentation:

The Samba project was started in 1992 by Andrew Tridgell. Samba is a set of tools to share files and printers with computers running Microsoft Windows. It implements the SMB network protocol, which is the heart of Windows networking.

To share files from your Windows box, you'll want to set up the client version of Samba, smbfs.

For the printer, if it is on the Ubuntu box, it's probably just easier to configure CUPS to make it available on the network. If it's on the Windows, box, you should be able to add the printer without too much trouble.

  • The printer is hooked up to the Windows box - is Samba still needed? – Nathan Long Jul 16 '09 at 12:23
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    In that case you'll want the smbfs package, not the samba package. Keep in mind if you want to share files on the Ubuntu box, you'll need the Samba server as well. – lc. Jul 16 '09 at 17:46
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    Note that I assume you mean the files are also on the Windows box. I edited my post, so take a look again. If you just need print functionality, you should be able to add it as a "Windows Printer (SMB)" in gnome-cups-manager without specifically installing anything else. – lc. Jul 16 '09 at 17:57

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