Diary and notebook of whatever tech problems are irritating me at the moment.


SMB browsing in Xubuntu/Thunar

The biggest usability problem in Xubuntu is that the file manager, Thunar, doesn't have integrated SMB browsing for Windows networks. This solution works but doesn't scale well beyond a single user because of the network directory location and permissions. I came up with a configuration that works better by locating it in each user's home directory instead. Optionally it can be auto-configured for new users when they are added. First you need to create a script to mount the network directory with fusesmb for the current user:

#! /bin/sh
fusesmb $HOME/network

Save to /usr/local/bin/auto-fusesmb, owned by root, and set execute permissions for everyone. Then create a xdg menu file to launch it:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=SMB network browsing

Save this to ~/.config/autostart/fusesmb.desktop so it will lauch the script at login. This will show up in the Applications > Settings > Autostarted Applications dialog. Obviously you can create this using the dialog but now you know where it is stored. Then create the directory "network" in the user's home folder. Only the user needs any access permissions to it.

To create this setup automatically for newly added users, copy the .config/autostart/fusesmb.desktop file and network directory to /etc/skel and set the permissions the same as for the existing files (.profile, etc.) but change the owner and group for everything to root. When a new user is added, this skeleton directory will be the initial default so the ~/network directory will exist and the fusesmb.desktop file will cause auto-fusesmb to mount it whenever the user logs in.

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About Me

Omnifarious Implementer = I do just about everything. With my usual occupations this means anything an electrical engineer does not feel like doing including PCB design, electronic troubleshooting and repair, part sourcing, inventory control, enclosure machining, label design, PC support, network administration, plant maintenance, janitorial, etc. Non-occupational includes residential plumbing, heating, electrical, farming, automotive and small engine repair. There is plenty more but you get the idea.