[Samba] Access Windows network shares from an external Windows PC using an ubuntu server as 'gateway'

Koen Lekkerkerker koenlekkerkerker at gmail.com
Sat Jan 17 23:10:51 GMT 2009

Hi everybody.

I live with 10 good friends in a student house. We have a network containing
lots of stuff like movies, presentations, documents etc. Each one of us use
Windows as the primary OS (I am the only one using linux too) and so our
network exists out of Windows network shares. We use these network shares
very much.

We would like to be able to access these files remotely too (when being not
inside the house). So I am looking for a way to make the network shares
accesible remotely.
I can't find a clear way how to do this. There are two potential 'gateways'
to access it: 1. An Ubuntu Server (Specs are at the end of the mail) hosting
our own website. 2. A Windows XP computer in the living room that is always
turned on.(these 'gateways' of course will be reached using a port forward
in the router)
Of course, I would like to go for option 1. But how? Using Samba of course,
but do I need to combine it with VPN or something?
Is it a good idea to make one samba share that 'mounts' all the avialable
shares (or computers) in the local network in one folder and share that
folder to the 'world' using (s)ftp or something? It would be best when a
normal windows pc can access this share without any extra software (just by
adding a network drive in Windows Explorer). 
In other words: is it possible to share the overview you get in Gnome (when
being on the desktop edition of ubuntu) when clicking on "network" in the
'places' menu?

So shortly said: How do I make my windows local network shares accessible
from outside the network? or: How do i connect externally to a local windows
network? What is the best way to do that?

I hope my question is a bit clear. Hopefully some of you can give help me a
hand so I can get this to work.

Thanks in advance, Koen

p.s. Of course I want the local network to ask for a password when the
external pc wants to connect to it.
p.p.s Remote Login to a computer in a sense of 'taking over the desktop' is
not what I mean. I don't want to acces the computer I just want to acces the
local network shares. So VNC, MS Remote Desktop are as far as I know no


About the server:

Samba: 3.0.28a (If needed I can upgrade it maybe)

OS: Ubuntu Server 8.04



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