Setting up a Windows shared drive

This post is about setting up a Windows share for OMV. This should be a straight forward exercise but there are a few gotchas that mean it doesn’t always work the first time.

This post describes the process pretty much from the start because as with other things if you don’t do things correctly right at the start you have problems later on.

Note that shared folders, permissions and ACL are complex issues with multiple ways to solve problems. What I am describing in this post is the solutions that work for me, I don’t need a complicated system, I need my family to be able to access files along with other systems. It’s not an office environment with a lot of users and permissions.

SMB – this is the Server Message Block, for Linux it is synonymous with “Samba” the Linux replacement for Windows file/folder sharing. So when we talk about SMB we are really talking Windows shares. CIFS is the Microsoft implementation of SMB.

Steps

1. Create a RAID array from “Storage | RAID Management”. I called mine “RAID1Mirror”
2. Create a file system from “Storage | File Systems”. Mine looked:

File System

Often it is hard to decide which “File system” to select. I use ext4 its not perfect but a good choice.

3. Still in File Systems and after the file system has been created you should again select the device and click on “Mount”
4. Now you can create a shared folder by going to “Access Rights Management | Shared Folders” and click on “Add”:

OMV Create Shared Folder

+ Click to enlarge

The important thing is to set “Permissions” to “Everyone: read/write”. This will set the base permissions, this doesn’t mean everyone will be able to access this, that level of access will be controlled at the SMB layer.

Obviously the other choices are there for a reason, but if you want an uncomplicated solution and are not too concerned about security then “Everyone: read/write” is an easy choice.

5. Got to “Services | SMB/CIFS” and select “Enable”, give it a workgroup name, set “Local Browse Master”, “Time Server” and most importantly.

Click on “Save” and wait for the “The configuration has changed” message to appear and then click on “Apply”

6. Now go to “Shares” folder while still in “Services | SMB/CIFS”. Click on “+ Add”:

Add Windows Share

7. Now add the share using the shared folder you created earlier. Mine looked like:

Windows share settings

+ Click to enlarge

Pay special attention to selecting the shared folder you created earlier, selecting “Browsable”, untick “Hide dot files”.

8. Now click on save and again wait for the “The configuration has changed” message so you can click “Apply”

Your share drive should now be visible to Windows PCs