We got a desktop running Windows 7 over the Christmas holidays. I hadn’t been faced with the prospect of sharing files with it up until I wanted to play an MP3 file located on my laptop — which is running Ubuntu — from the desktop, which is connected to a better speaker system. As it turns out, sharing files with Windows from Ubuntu has gotten a lot easier with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.
Open Nautilus and navigate to the parent directory of the one you’d like to share. Right-click on that directory and select the option “Sharing Options.” In the window that appears, check “Share this folder.” If Samba is not already installed on your system, this will prompt you to install it. The nice thing is that it handles all the interaction with APT and configuration of user accounts and shares for you versus the manual approach that’s been required in the past.
Once the service is installed, if you’d like to share the directory with users without requiring them to enter user credentials, check the box “Guest access.” Finally, click the “Create Share” button. You’ll receive a prompt to restart your session so the setting changes can take effect; go ahead and do this.
When I tried to access the directory from the Windows 7 desktop at this point, I still got prompted for credentials. I tried manually rebooting my laptop and at that point was able to access the files anonymously without further issue. I don’t know if a manual restart is always required, but it did the trick for me.
Hope this helps someone!