back to article Chromebooks gain faff-free access to Windows file shares via Samba

Google’s Chrome OS tanks crept a little further onto Microsoft’s manicured enterprise lawns with hints that Windows file-share support will arrive out-of-the-box in an upcoming version of Chrome OS. Those brave enough to be on the Canary version of Chrome 70 already have the functionality, assuming the preview software stays …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    I trust it's SMB 1.0 that it supports, just to leverage all the available exploits onto a new platform?

    1. Jeremy Allison

      Nope, SMB2-only.

  2. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Marvellous: The Google Trojan Grows.

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge

    I don't know why...

    Google just don't put out a full 'Linux distro at this point.

    I know 'Linux isn't a brand name to inspire self-confidence in the non-techie (if they actually recognised it) but they don't have to call it that.

    All this dropping features in one at a time is like chinese water torture.

    Just piss in the pot and get it over with, this drip by drip is just irritating.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: I don't know why...

      They would, but no-one has come up with a good name for it yet. Goonix? Chronix? Dreadful names.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: I don't know why...



      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't know why...

        "Goonix? Chronix? Dreadful names."

        Yeah, why don't they just call it Gentoo, that starts with a "G"....

      4. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: I don't know why...

        Android Desktop Edition?

      5. PNGuinn

        Re: I don't know why...

        "They would, but no-one has come up with a good name for it yet. "

        How about Goolie - as in a kick in the Googles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't know why...

          "How about Goolie - as in a kick in the Googles."

          SpyNix? GooSlurp?

      6. Fungus Bob

        Re: Dreadful names


    2. knottedhandkerchief

      Re: I don't know why...

      Google engineers (as they call devs there) used Goobuntu from 2012 to earlier this year. It's recently been replaced with gLinux, based more directly on Debian.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I don't know why...

        gLinux? Sounds like an oven cleaner. With ingredient 'X' for enhanced, scientific, grease-cutting power.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: I don't know why...

      Because it doesn't match its data hoarding objectives. Local data and local applications are bad, unless the latter store data in the cloud and are full of "telemetry" (Windows 10 may have shown a solution...).

  4. Sixtysix

    Not going to make a lot of difference?

    Until everything is in the Cloud...

    ...and I suspect by then the MicroSoft CAL/licencing regime will have caught up to ensure they'll get a large slice of the savings that using a Chromebook would accrue.

    1. ratfox

      Re: Not going to make a lot of difference?

      Yeah, I was thinking it's almost a decade since I accessed a file share. But then, I guess that a lot of companies and governments have been using file shares since forever, so those are probably not going away any time soon.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Not going to make a lot of difference?

        It is almost a minute since I last accessed a file share, running FreeBSD + Samba. Where do you keep your files if not on a file share?

    2. Jeremy Allison

      Re: Not going to make a lot of difference?

      You could always use it with Samba-AD:

      We're just about to release version 4.9, with lots of improvements. Chromebooks should work well with it (no Active Directory CALs needed).

  5. sweh


    Hopefully it'll also work with Microsoft's Distributed File System (DFS) which makes a share look like \\domain\sharename and the service resolves to the best server to handle it (DR, regional replicas, etc). This is something Linux sometimes struggles with.

    1. a pressbutton

      Re: DFS

      Will it always be in a half price sale?

      Will it get a bit shabby quite quickly?

    2. Steve Graham

      Re: DFS

      Linux (and other Unix-like OSs) don't fundamentally have the concept of a "share". Everything which is mounted is part of a single file heirarchy and files should work the same no matter what's happening under the surface.

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: DFS

      I've never had a problem with DFS on Linux.

      The \\domain part just resolves to a server within the AD heirarchy, which handles the request (even if it's not serving that share itself).

      Googling around, people have been doing that just fine since at least 2012, and it doesn't involve Samba at all, just the CIFS filesystem modules, the kernel keystore using "keyutils" and a WINS server setting. Certainly none of those are doing any clever interrogation or whatever.

      Literally set up your system properly, connect to DFS shares the same as you would any SMB share.

      It's about setting up the system to trust that one machine is capable of giving you Kerberos tickets valid for a share where you may have to use another server in a little while. Nothing to do with the SMB protocol, really.

    4. Jeremy Allison

      Re: DFS

      It should do. That code is built into libsmbclient (in the function cli_resolve_path()) and so should follow DFS redirects. Please test it out and report.

  6. Jeremy Allison

    "Sans Samba ?" It's uses Samba you muppet !

    You guys should really reach out and check your sources before posting drivel :-).

    This is based on libsmbclient (aka Samba) integrated into ChromeOS.

    It's not like we're hard to get in touch with..

  7. Alistair

    people keep forgetting that Server Message Block is a communication protocol. That there was at one time a number of stupid uses of this communications protocol is the problem.

    Common internet file system is slowly and quietly catching up to networked file system.

    Samba was a suite of tools that (at the time) made using and connecting to the stupid services run out over Server Message Block somewhat doable. Sometimes. When MS wasn't playing hide the pickle.

    <and if you get that last line, a) you're old enough to know better and b) I can tell you where you were in May of 2002>

    1. Jeremy Allison

      "Livin' in the 80's... you're livin' in the 80's" (with apologies to "The Killing Joke" :-).

      Things have long since changed. Microsoft are a *big* Samba backer these days. I'll be up in Redmond next week working on SMB3 interop with Microsoft engineers.

      1. Hans 1

        "Livin' in the 80's... you're livin' in the 80's" (with apologies to "The Killing Joke" :-).

        Things have long since changed.

        Seeing as Linux was cancer up until 2014, I guess one can safely say that MS have changed tactics only very recently. I would not trust them if I were you, but that is your business, not mine ... thanks for the great stuff you guyz have done! I remember with fun humiliating a bunch of MCSE's beating their multi-CPU server grade kit running Windows NT Server and later Windows 2000 Advanced Server at SMB with an outdated desktop class system running Debian headless in 2000-2001, ok, I had a good network card, but still. Sweet memories.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use a Chrome book to access a Windows share? Why not just run Windows and be done with it?

    1. Stuart 22

      "Use a Chrome book to access a Windows share? Why not just run Windows and be done with it?"

      One of the reasons we are now a Linux shop was it was a lot easier to get Kubuntu working with Windows Shares than the new fangled (at that time) Vista. Has anything changed?

      Yep, lack of Samba support, is a major limiting hole on my Chromebook so this is great news. Could end up with ChromeOS eating into the thin Linux client market as well as Windows.

      But the TL:DR on the road answer is probably 'boot time'. Who needs it?

  9. GBE

    Linux has had CIFS support w/o Samba for ages.

    I don't get it. The Linux kernel had native CIFS support without using Samba for many, many years. Why would ChromeOS still be using Samba?

    1. Jeremy Allison

      Re: Linux has had CIFS support w/o Samba for ages.

      It's a security issue for ChromeOS. If the kernel code gets used and there's a bug allowing compromise, the whole system is compromised. If it's just libsmbclient it can (and is) sandboxed so there's less overall damage.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Linux has had CIFS support w/o Samba for ages.

      CIFS is an obsolete name Microsoft no longer uses (especially since it was never able to establish it as an "internet file system). Today it's only SMB.

  10. herman Silver badge

    Marvellous. Konqueror could do that 15 to 20 years ago already.

  11. Teawain


    Perpetual furniture sales? (reaches for coat).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy access to docx files that render incorrectly

    Great news this is being included, hope it becomes manageable soon.

    Pity governments and councils still persist with docx, maintaining Microsoft's os dictatorship. Microsoft office Docx files still default transitional file format, 10 years after they promised to move to docx strict format, Alex Brown? of iso to blaim, an idiot or corrupt.

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