I usually keep my computers instead of selling them. Because of that, I have a need to network them all together. If you only use one computer then you can skip this article. If you need to share files between two or more computers then you are in for a treat.
When I bought a Dell workstation in late 2018, I brought it home, completed the Windows install to activate the license and shortly after, reformatted the hard drive and installed Manjaro KDE which run awesome on it. It’s been a while since I have used Linux although the iMac was UNIX based, it’s not the same as running Linux. After a few days, it all came back and I enjoyed moving from OS X to Linux. My old iMac become slow which is normal given the age so the new Dell machine felt like a race car. Manjaro is a solid distribution and in no-time, I configured my WACOM tablet, audio interfaces, web cams and some other toys which I have hanging around.
Then I wanted to network the Dell computer to the iMac so that I wouldn’t have to use USB sticks. I assumed that I could go to their forum and ask in the Newbie section which I did. Amazingly, no one had a tutorial that was up-to-date, their WIKI page displayed a banner stating that the SAMBA section is out of date. No problem. Surely, someone on the forum would have figured this out and had written about it. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Arco Linux YouTube Channel
One day, while searching YouTube for something, I came across a video by a guy named Eric Dubois and watching that video fixed my biggest problem. If I installed Arco Linux and followed his instructions, I would have a working network by just running two scripts he provides. Could it be that simple? Long story short, it was.
Originally, I was hesitant to move from Manjaro to ArcoLinux because back then, Manjaro had an amazing reputation and they were number one on distrowatch.org for a long time. After Manjaro broke during an update, I thought why not and installed ArcoLinux. If I didn’t like it, I could revert to Manjaro a few minutes later with the help of Timeshift.
I loved what I saw and soon after, I dug out that YouTube tutorial which showed how to set up SAMBA in Arco Linux. Everything worked as Eric explained it and after months of struggling which a network that worked some days and not others, I finally got what I was after.
How to set up a SAMBA server on your comupter
Press ctrl+h inside your home directory to reveal the hidden folders. Then go to .bin > main. Maybe you remember there we already been there before when I installed the 000 script to make Arco Linux use all of the processors cores when installing new software?
Well, now we do the same thing again except that we run the 140 script. This is done by opening a terminal window by right-clicking inside the main directory and selecting “open terminal here”.
If you want to, you can issue this command to see the scripts. ls – l
Anytime you want to see the contents of a directory, you can use ls – l or ls – al. OK, since we at the right place, we execute the 140 script by typing: ./14 and hit the tab key. This will auto-complete the full script name and upon pressing ENTER, you enter your password and install it.
Next, the install script will ask you for a login name. Two choices. You can make a new name or use your existing name. Using your existing name is much easier then remembering two names.
After you provide a user name, you have to provide a password. Here too you can reuse your existing password. It’s bet to keep things simple.
If you are on a network with co-workers, then it’s not a good idea to reuse an existing name but for home use, it’s easier and faster to do it all with once account and one password.
Just so you know, you have to enter the pw twice.
Edit the SAMBA configuration file
Next, point Thunar to File System > etc > samba and open the samba directory. You should see a few files in there. The one you need to edit is smb.conf
Right-click on that file and chose to open it with SublimeText3. Open it and scroll all the way to the bottom. There, you should see a block of text that begins with ;[SHARED]
Before you continue, use Thunar to go back to your home directory. In there, create a new directory (right-click > Create Folder) and name it SHARED.
For the sake of this tutorial, stick with that name. Later, when you know how it all works, you can rename it if that name bugs you. OK, back to the smb.conf file which you just opened with SublilmeText3.
Remove all the ; semi colons from all six lines.
Edit the path so that it points to /home/YourName/SHARED
Leave the rest alone. Just make sure that you use your user name after the /home/ path or it won’t work because SAMBA won’t know where the SHARED directory is.
Example. Let’s say that your user name is sam. The path would then be:
path = /home/sam/SHARED
Safe the SublimeText file file by pressing ctrl+s which is the shortcut for saving a file.
Last step. Point Thunar back to your home directory and navigate once more to .bin/main. Inside the main directory, execute the 150 script. The process is the same as executing the 140 script.
./150 press tab and Enter. Enter your password to finish. Reboot to let Linux catch the new network settings.
Test the network
From another computer, open the file browser and go to network places and wait a bit. In a few seconds, you should see SHARED. To open the SHARED directory, you will need to provide the user name you entered as well as the password. If you listened to me and recycled your account name and password then you won’t have to remember two names and passwords
Did it work? Let me know. IF not, I recommend that you watch Eric’s video which helped me a lot. Next, we’ll test everything and if it all works as expected, we’ll do our first major backup. This backup will serve as a restore point in case something goes wrong in the future. With that out of the way, now it’s time to back up