Generally used to share a resource over a network, including files and folders as well as printers or other physical devices
Some common examples of network file sharing protocols are
- Server Message Block smb
- Samba samba
- Apple File Protocol afp
- Network File System nfs
- Common Internet File System cifs
Questions regarding network permissions, issues configuring, and other general questions related to sharing files over a common network are examples of questions that should be tagged with the network-shares tag.
Network shares are accessed via a client application which is usually a standard part of most modern Operating Systems.
For example, computers running Microsoft Windows can access a network shares using a variety of protocols via the windows-explorer application. Mac users can access network shares using a variety of protocols using finder (Mac equivalent of Windows Explorer). Linux users have a wide variety of tools available for browsing network file systems such as smb4k, smbclient as well as other tools commonly found on most modern Linux distributions.
Network shares allow access to users based on permissions set in an Access Control List acl that will grant the ability to read, write, delete, create directories within the shared folder, etc. Configuration of permissions on network shares can vary greatly depending on which network file sharing protocol you are using.