This one uses Samba:

 $ ls smb://
 ls: cannot access smb:// No such file or directory

I somehow managed to do it by;

  1. Browsing to the remote directory. (pcmanfm 0.9.9)
  2. Opening the current folder in a terminal.
  3. Executing pwd to get /home/myuser/.gvfs/wdtvlivehub on
  4. Doing ls /home/myuser/.gvfs/wdtvlivehub on worked.

..What would be a more elegant way?

  • Is mounting the remote filesystem an option?
    – beatgammit
    Sep 18, 2011 at 21:05
  • Yep, it can be. Sep 18, 2011 at 21:15

2 Answers 2


Your current method of using ~/.gvfs/ is fine, but you don't need pcmanfm for that – you can use gvfs-mount to connect to the share. Additionally, tools such as gvfs-ls and gvfs-cp will accept your smb:// URI.

$ gvfs-mount smb://HOST/SHARE/

$ gvfs-ls smb://HOST/SHARE/

In recent gvfs versions the location is $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/gvfs/ (aka /run/user/$UID/gvfs/), and the subdirectory names have become more machine-readable:

$ ls /run/user/$UID/gvfs/smb-share:server=HOST,share=SHARE/

In older versions:

$ ls ~/.gvfs/"SHARE on HOST"/

(Remember to quote spaces within path names.)

Specifically for Samba, you can use the smbclient program, or mount the share on the VFS layer by using mount -t cifs. (The latter is, unfortunately, limited to root.)

$ smbclient //host/share

# mount -t cifs //host/share /mnt

(For other kinds of filesystems, such as SFTP and FTP, sshfs and curlftpfs exist respectively.)

  • I mentioned pcmanfm because that is most probably how I will get to the folder before executing it with the script. gv-ls seems to be exactly what I was looking for, though. Looks like it could even replace ls for local directories for the sake of consistency. Sep 18, 2011 at 21:28
  • It's worth clarifying that "gvfs-ls smb://host/share/" works as described without the need to mount the drive using gvfs-mount first. In other words, the commands in the first code block don’t all need to be used to achieve your desired outcome.
    – John T
    Feb 18, 2016 at 6:50
  • @JohnT: Must have been a coincidence. I usually get The specified location is not mounted.
    – user1686
    Feb 18, 2016 at 11:47
  • @grawity - I've usually already browsed to the location in Nautilus or similar and authenticated that way, that might have something to do with it.
    – John T
    Feb 18, 2016 at 11:50
  • @JohnT: Yes, Nautilus uses the same GVFS, and GTK automatically mounts gvfs locations you're trying to access. If the share shows up in Nautilus' side pane, then it is 'mounted' right now.
    – user1686
    Feb 18, 2016 at 11:55

You can use the command smbclient, e.g.:

smbclient -N // -c ls
  • 5
    Great, but how can I achieve the same output as with regular ls (no columns nor formatting, just a list of files)? It's important because I want to pipe the output to another command. Sep 18, 2011 at 21:20

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