Someone please fix sharing!

Been at this for 3 months. I have 2 UB Mate 16.04.1 laptops , sitting side by side, both fresh installs, updated exactly the same, one HP, one DEll (although I have used 2 Dells, same issue). I install samba, install Caja,do shares, it matters not, my Win7 PC can see & open everything on the Mate machines, that’s where it ends!
The Mate laptops can’t even see each other, let alone the Win PC, 2nd layer windows network icon shows up, never able to mount, this used to work in 14.04, it was cumbersome but it freakin worked.
For a while i was able to get the 16.04 Mate machines to work by dropping the .smb folder (hidden folder) in home directory from a working 14.04 mate machine onto a 16.04 install, that folder is absent on this 16.04 release? but that now seems to have stopped working also (no idea why it worked in the first place).
Some claim Caja-share breaks Samba, mostly it seems as if Samba is just a POS, going over years of forum posts its always been an issue. Now i understand (a little) why the issues mixing Linux & Win but effective sharing is not exactly working Linux to Linux, or not consistently.
I now i sound frustrated, and believe me I am! I am not a novice on computers, i have been at this since the 16.04 releases, I sadly have to have Win in the mix, i desperately want to move to a Linux based set up but no sharing, no can do, and that will go for many Windows transplants, they have a Homegroup that works, this will send them running.
I see tutorial after tutorial on samba, very little consistency between them, it’s a wing & a prayer, what works for one, does not for another.
I am wondering if i am overlooking something? Is it my router/modem but I’ve had zero issue on Win network, issues started with my quest for Linux freedom.
SOOOO…spare me the haters, shove any of your “go back to Windows” BS, I am genuinely trying to make a go of this, I am not singling out UB Mate, as this is inherent in any UB derivative, tried Peppermint, Linux lite, Unity, all Ubuntu’s, Elementary, all of them, this is a major gaff, a show stopper for Windows converts, everything media is shared.
Any higher power, someone with the knowledge to point me in the direction of a fix, please help…
This is a first rate community, Steve Cook (Cheers), tried his damnedest to assist but even he was having the same issues, someone among us has the juju to fix what ails us.
I have turned so many folks on to Mate, they all come asking for sharing help, all Windows refugees, don’t force us back to Win10, I don’t have enough tin foil to wrap around my paranoid melon.

Thanks in advance…

Rob

Can you post me the output of these commands :

sudo systemctl status smbd.service
sudo systemctl status nmbd.service

alsa post :

cat /etc/samba/smb.conf

Caja does not break samba . I use caja with samba and no problem .

smbd.service - LSB: start Samba SMB/CIFS daemon (smbd)
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/smbd; bad; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2016-09-14 05:40:04 MDT; 4min 44s ago
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
  Process: 2818 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/smbd start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   CGroup: /system.slice/smbd.service
           ├─2834 /usr/sbin/smbd -D
           ├─2855 /usr/sbin/smbd -D
           └─2880 /usr/sbin/smbd -D

Sep 14 05:40:03 rob-HPNotebook systemd[1]: Starting LSB: start Samba SMB/CIFS daemon (smbd)...
Sep 14 05:40:04 rob-HPNotebook smbd[2818]:  * Starting SMB/CIFS daemon smbd
Sep 14 05:40:04 rob-HPNotebook smbd[2818]:    ...done.
Sep 14 05:40:04 rob-HPNotebook systemd[1]: Started LSB: start Samba SMB/CIFS daemon (smbd).
Sep 14 05:42:59 rob-HPNotebook smbd[4014]: pam_unix(samba:session): session closed for user nobody

[email protected]:~$ sudo systemctl status nmbd.service
[sudo] password for rob: 
● nmbd.service - LSB: start Samba NetBIOS nameserver (nmbd)
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/nmbd; bad; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2016-09-14 05:40:03 MDT; 6min ago
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
  Process: 2757 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/nmbd start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   CGroup: /system.slice/nmbd.service
           └─2817 /usr/sbin/nmbd -D

Sep 14 05:40:01 rob-HPNotebook systemd[1]: Starting LSB: start Samba NetBIOS nam
Sep 14 05:40:03 rob-HPNotebook nmbd[2757]:  * Starting NetBIOS name server nmbd
Sep 14 05:40:03 rob-HPNotebook nmbd[2757]:    ...done.
Sep 14 05:40:03 rob-HPNotebook systemd[1]: Started LSB: start Samba NetBIOS name
lines 1-12/12 (END)

cat /etc/samba/smb.conf will post later, thanks for the help, have to get to work

# You may need to replace 'lpadmin' with the name of the group your
# admin users are members of.
# Please note that you also need to set appropriate Unix permissions
# to the drivers directory for these users to have write rights in it
;   write list = root, @lpadmin

[Music]
    path = /home/rob/Music
;    writeable = No
;    browseable = yes
    guest ok = yes

[Videos]
    path = /home/rob/Videos
;    writeable = No
;    browseable = yes
    guest ok = yes

[Pictures]
    path = /home/rob/Pictures
;    writeable = no
;    browseable = yes
    guest ok = yes
[email protected]:~$

So in your share difinitions "browseable = yes" are commented out . First try tu uncomment the lines "browseable=yes" couse i think the default value of it is "no" and restart smbd and nmbd service (with sudo systemctl restart *). Then see if the files are visible on the other computer . If not I suggest to create "usershares"
It is easier to share folders via caja . Follow this guide on the ArchWiki. To share a folder when you finish the guide : right click it and then click sharing preferences . Then tadam your files are shared via samba :

Went in to etc, removed ; from all browesable
Pasted this systemctl restart *, got failed to restart
so i rebooted, browse network,

Error could not display network

Looked at ArchWiki but I’m afraid I do not quite understand that,
someone needs to map out, clearly, the process, I’m sorry I just don’t know where to start with that Wiki, it all seems very Samba based, I see no reference to Caja?

Thanks for your help, I must be missing something, as nobody else seems to have a sharing issue?

The usershare category is for caja . It allows you to share folders via caja as a user .
see my config for example :
note that lines starting with “;” are comented lines

#======================= Global Settings =====================================
[global]
  usershare path = /var/lib/samba/usershare
  usershare max shares = 100
  usershare allow guests = yes
  usershare owner only = no

# workgroup = NT-Domain-Name or Workgroup-Name
   workgroup = WORKGROUP

# server string is the equivalent of the NT Description field
   server string = I-Laptop SAMBA Server

# This option is important for security. It allows you to restrict
# connections to machines which are on your local network. The
# following example restricts access to two C class networks and
# the "loopback" interface. For more examples of the syntax see
# the smb.conf man page
;   hosts allow = 192.168.1. 192.168.2. 127.

# if you want to automatically load your printer list rather
# than setting them up individually then you'll need this
   printcap name = /etc/printcap
   load printers = yes

# It should not be necessary to spell out the print system type unless
# yours is non-standard. Currently supported print systems include:
# bsd, sysv, plp, lprng, aix, hpux, qnx
;   printing = bsd

# Uncomment this if you want a guest account, you must add this to /etc/passwd
# otherwise the user "nobody" is used
;  guest account = pcguest

# this tells Samba to use a separate log file for each machine
# that connects
   log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log

# Put a capping on the size of the log files (in Kb).
   max log size = 50

# Security mode. Most people will want user level security. See
# security_level.txt for details.
   security = user
# Use password server option only with security = server
;   password server = <NT-Server-Name>

# Password Level allows matching of _n_ characters of the password for
# all combinations of upper and lower case.
;  username level = 8

# You may wish to use password encryption. Please read
# ENCRYPTION.txt, Win95.txt and WinNT.txt in the Samba documentation.
# Do not enable this option unless you have read those documents
;  encrypt passwords = yes
;  smb passwd file = /etc/samba/smbpasswd

# The following are needed to allow password changing from Windows to
# update the Linux sytsem password also.
# NOTE: Use these with 'encrypt passwords' and 'smb passwd file' above.
# NOTE2: You do NOT need these to allow workstations to change only
#        the encrypted SMB passwords. They allow the Unix password
#        to be kept in sync with the SMB password.
;  unix password sync = Yes
;  passwd program = /usr/bin/passwd %u
;  passwd chat = *New*UNIX*password* %n\n *ReType*new*UNIX*password* %n\n *passwd:*all*authentication*tokens*updated*successfully*

# Unix users can map to different SMB User names
;  username map = /etc/samba/smbusers

# Using the following line enables you to customise your configuration
# on a per machine basis. The %m gets replaced with the netbios name
# of the machine that is connecting
;   include = /etc/samba/smb.conf.%m

# Configure Samba to use multiple interfaces
# If you have multiple network interfaces then you must list them
# here. See the man page for details.
;   interfaces = 192.168.12.2/24 192.168.13.2/24 

# Configure remote browse list synchronisation here
#  request announcement to, or browse list sync from:
#    a specific host or from / to a whole subnet (see below)
;   remote browse sync = 192.168.3.25 192.168.5.255
# Cause this host to announce itself to local subnets here
;   remote announce = 192.168.1.255 192.168.2.44

# Browser Control Options:
# set local master to no if you don't want Samba to become a master
# browser on your network. Otherwise the normal election rules apply
;   local master = no

# OS Level determines the precedence of this server in master browser
# elections. The default value should be reasonable
;   os level = 33

# Domain Master specifies Samba to be the Domain Master Browser. This
# allows Samba to collate browse lists between subnets. Don't use this
# if you already have a Windows NT domain controller doing this job
;   domain master = yes 

# Preferred Master causes Samba to force a local browser election on startup
# and gives it a slightly higher chance of winning the election
;   preferred master = yes

# Use only if you have an NT server on your network that has been
# configured at install time to be a primary domain controller.
;   domain controller = <NT-Domain-Controller-SMBName>

# Enable this if you want Samba to be a domain logon server for 
# Windows95 workstations. 
;   domain logons = yes

# if you enable domain logons then you may want a per-machine or
# per user logon script
# run a specific logon batch file per workstation (machine)
;   logon script = %m.bat
# run a specific logon batch file per username
;   logon script = %U.bat

# Where to store roving profiles (only for Win95 and WinNT)
#        %L substitutes for this servers netbios name, %U is username
#        You must uncomment the [Profiles] share below
;   logon path = \\%L\Profiles\%U

# All NetBIOS names must be resolved to IP Addresses
# 'Name Resolve Order' allows the named resolution mechanism to be specified
# the default order is "host lmhosts wins bcast". "host" means use the unix
# system gethostbyname() function call that will use either /etc/hosts OR
# DNS or NIS depending on the settings of /etc/host.config, /etc/nsswitch.conf
# and the /etc/resolv.conf file. "host" therefore is system configuration
# dependant. This parameter is most often of use to prevent DNS lookups
# in order to resolve NetBIOS names to IP Addresses. Use with care!
# The example below excludes use of name resolution for machines that are NOT
# on the local network segment
# - OR - are not deliberately to be known via lmhosts or via WINS.
; name resolve order = wins lmhosts bcast

# Windows Internet Name Serving Support Section:
# WINS Support - Tells the NMBD component of Samba to enable it's WINS Server
;   wins support = yes

# WINS Server - Tells the NMBD components of Samba to be a WINS Client
#    Note: Samba can be either a WINS Server, or a WINS Client, but NOT both
;   wins server = w.x.y.z

# WINS Proxy - Tells Samba to answer name resolution queries on
# behalf of a non WINS capable client, for this to work there must be
# at least one    WINS Server on the network. The default is NO.
;   wins proxy = yes

# DNS Proxy - tells Samba whether or not to try to resolve NetBIOS names
# via DNS nslookups. The built-in default for versions 1.9.17 is yes,
# this has been changed in version 1.9.18 to no.
   dns proxy = no 

# Case Preservation can be handy - system default is _no_
# NOTE: These can be set on a per share basis
;  preserve case = no
;  short preserve case = no
# Default case is normally upper case for all DOS files
;  default case = lower
# Be very careful with case sensitivity - it can break things!
;  case sensitive = no

#============================ Share Definitions ==============================
[homes]
   comment = Home Directories
   browseable = yes
   writable = no

# Un-comment the following and create the netlogon directory for Domain Logons
; [netlogon]
;   comment = Network Logon Service
;   path = /home/netlogon
;   guest ok = yes
;   writable = no
;   share modes = no


# Un-comment the following to provide a specific roving profile share
# the default is to use the user's home directory
;[Profiles]
;    path = /home/profiles
;    browseable = no
;    guest ok = yes


# NOTE: If you have a BSD-style print system there is no need to 
# specifically define each individual printer
[printers]
   comment = All Printers
   path = /var/spool/samba
   browseable = no
# Set public = yes to allow user 'guest account' to print
   guest ok = no
   writable = no
   printable = yes

# This one is useful for people to share files
;[tmp]
;   comment = Temporary file space
;   path = /tmp
;   read only = no
;   public = yes

# A publicly accessible directory, but read only, except for people in
# the "staff" group
;[public]
;   comment = Public Stuff
;   path = /home/samba
;   public = yes
;   read only = yes
;   write list = @staff

# Other examples. 
#
# A private printer, usable only by fred. Spool data will be placed in fred's
# home directory. Note that fred must have write access to the spool directory,
# wherever it is.
;[fredsprn]
;   comment = Fred's Printer
;   valid users = fred
;   path = /homes/fred
;   printer = freds_printer
;   public = no
;   writable = no
;   printable = yes

# A private directory, usable only by fred. Note that fred requires write
# access to the directory.
;[fredsdir]
;   comment = Fred's Service
;   path = /usr/somewhere/private
;   valid users = fred
;   public = no
;   writable = yes
;   printable = no

# a service which has a different directory for each machine that connects
# this allows you to tailor configurations to incoming machines. You could
# also use the %u option to tailor it by user name.
# The %m gets replaced with the machine name that is connecting.
;[pchome]
;  comment = PC Directories
;  path = /usr/pc/%m
;  public = no
;  writable = yes

# A publicly accessible directory, read/write to all users. Note that all files
# created in the directory by users will be owned by the default user, so
# any user with access can delete any other user's files. Obviously this
# directory must be writable by the default user. Another user could of course
# be specified, in which case all files would be owned by that user instead.
;[public]
;   path = /usr/somewhere/else/public
;   public = yes
;   only guest = yes
;   writable = yes
;   printable = no

# The following two entries demonstrate how to share a directory so that two
# users can place files there that will be owned by the specific users. In this
# setup, the directory should be writable by both users and should have the
# sticky bit set on it to prevent abuse. Obviously this could be extended to
# as many users as required.
;[myshare]
;   comment = Mary's and Fred's stuff
;   path = /usr/somewhere/shared
;   valid users = mary fred
;   public = no
;   writable = yes
;   printable = no
;   create mask = 0765

I’ve been using samba for many years and have really never had any luck with guest shares.Samba seems to work better knowing what user is allowed to access files.I’m using samba with ubuntu mate fedora mate and centos 7 and they all work well together.I keep mine as simple as possible i use the same group and user on all the computers.system-config-samba is a fast way to set sharing up.Make sure samba is installed along with smbclient then on each linux system.in a terminal you can type testparm to see a dump of sambas status. also you can use smbclient -L hostmane -U user to check if the computers can see each other.smbpasswd -a user will also add a user to the linux computers your wanting to share with.I hope this helps as i know it gets frustrating not being able to get things to work like we want them to.

Wow, that’s involved, I’ve some learning to do, i shall work through this, Thank you for the help, I’m not sure i totally understand but I’ll get it eventually. When you set up your sharing, do you “sudo apt install samba” or just install Caja-share and no Samba, sorry to be so low level, your expertise level is better than mine, I just want o make sure i am not installing something that impedes the final solution

Tim, firstly thanks…I will try the password approach, did not really consider it, as i wanted easy! I am also up against adding Win boxes ans I’m starting to think this is giving me more trouble than its worth. I may switch all my sharing network to Linux, that might help the situation, although I have been having issues just sharing the Linux machines, really all started with the 16.04 releases, it was pretty doable prior, the changes in samba really screwed things up!
I have been installing samba “sudo apt install samba” then " sudo apt install system-config-samba" to get the gui, then i share out the music, videos etc. I have been install Caja to right click share the corresponding folders (not sure if i have to).
I have not been assigning a group?
I am able to fix this most of the time by dropping the .smb folder from a working 14.04 install into home, view, show hidden folders, paste, this folder seems to be missing in 16.04 release, now why that would work I have no idea but I tell you it does (also works on other 16.04 releases, mint etc), I just was hoping to find the right way of doing things rather than this.
Hope this all makes sense…
Also, if i get it to see the network, it then asks me for a password for the win computer, when none are in use but i guess i may just have to give Windows one and be done with it.
On-ward’s, it’s a worthy battle, although flipping frustrating, have to unlearn Win logic, and get into the Linux head, I have thrown in the towel a few times but it only lasts a week and I’m back, really like what Mate has on offer, fabulous distro, shame about the damn Samba!

Cheers!

Rob