Mounting Samba Shares on Linux

If you have installed a recent version of Linux, chances are that you have also installed the two utilities called smbclient and mount.cifs, which can be used to access samba shares. If they are not installed, a quick search on the web will tell you how to install them.

For what it is worth, we recommend using mount.cifs instead of smbclient. The reason is that mount.cifs can be used to actually mount your home so that it appears to be a locally mounted filesystem.


Create a new sub-directory in your Linux file-system.

(For the sake of these instructions I shall create: /mnt/cslabhome)

mkdir /mnt/cslabhome

Now use this new directory as a mount point for mounting your home directory.

(I shall use the CSLab username: jerry)

mount.cifs // /mnt/cslabhome -o username=jerry

You will be prompted for your CSLab password. Please only supply the first eight characters.

At this point your home directory is now mounted. You can check this by running these two commands:

cd /mnt/cslabhome


Smbclient is rather less useful than mount.cifs but it does enable you to copy files between your Linux laptop and your home directory. It is somewhat similar to ftp in terms of functionality and ease of use.

Run the command:

smbclient // -U username

So, if the CSLab user called Jerry wants to access his home dir, he would type:

smbclient // -U jerry

Once authenticated, you will see the smbclient prompt:


A good starting point on learning how to use smbclient is the command "?":

    smb:\> ?

Known Problem

If your login fails, there may be a problem with your password. Try resyncing your password with our samba password file. The easiest way to do this is to reset your password via passwd. Wait 30 minutes and try again.