FYI - Accessing SMB/CIFS/MSWindows Network Shares from a Linux machine

Hello everyone,
Just posting this comment about accessing CIFS/SMB network shares from a Linux machine.

The best reference I’ve found is the following

Although there is also good alternative documentation at the following highly authoritative “go to” sites on the Internet, The Linux Documentation Project and the SAMBA website.

With smbclient installed, you have a client application that functions nearly exactly like an FTP client and functions very much like the netsh command.

More info:

man smbclient

Although I didn’t look up the documentation before, this all pretty much works intuitively on Linux and particularly on openSUSE which installs the SAMBA utilities by default in most installations… In other words, on openSUSE makes things really easy, everything you need to connect to SAMBA or Windows network shares are installed and ready for you to use out of the box without installing anything new.

You’ll find in the referenced documentation that using the smbclient utility is like any FTP client accessing a FTP server. You can connect to the server, access, query information and transfer files without mounting anything. Although I haven’t looked deeply into how graphical File Managers work beyond simply providing the connection string, I assume this is all the functionality that’s needed and used in File Managers.

As for actually mounting and unmounting SMB network shares, that’s an **optional **configuration, recommended if you want to configure automatic setup during boot, or if you want to set up pervasive access, similar to mapping a drive in Windows. It’s not a requirement for SMB access so for instance if you need to suddenly access an SMB share, you can simply access the share immediately without any mounting.