Home Networking: File Transfer

Many of us have two or more computers at our home and like to share files between these PCs. If you don’t have a huge PenDrive or portable HDD or a DVD writer, then you might have problem to transfer large files from one PC to another. You can easily create a Local Area Network (LAN) among the computers for sharing files among the PCs.

This article shows how to connect two PCs using a cross-over LAN cable for file sharing purposes.

Here are the descriptions of the PCs

PC1: Ubuntu 8.04 with a Tenda 10/100Mbps LAN card
PC2: Windows XP Profesional with Built-in 10/100Mbps LAN card


  • Install these packages either from synaptic or command line
  1. samba
  2. smbfs
  • Click the System > Administration > Network
  • “Unlock” using administrator password
  • Click “Wired Connection” and then select “Properties”
  • Select “Static IP Address” and give an IP address upto your wish
  • Then click on “Subnet Mask” field. It will automatically set a value
  • Click OK
  • Click Close
  • Now in the Windows PC, select Start > Settings > Network Connections

  • Select TCP/IP settings properties
  • Give a manual IP address which differs only in the last number of the previous given IP address to the Ubuntu PC
  • Now, connect the LAN RJ-45 connectors on both the machines
  • You should note on the windows PC that 100Mbps network cable is connected
  • Now, Go to My Network Places
  • Click “Set up a home or small office network”
  • Give a computer name to identify it from other PCs
  • Give a workgroup name and REMEMBER IT
  • Restart your Windows PC, if necessary
  • In your Ubuntu PC, search for ‘smb.conf’ file on your file-system
  • As root, open each of them and set the ‘workgroup’ entity as the workgroup name that you have given on the Windows PC
  • Save the file
  • You are done now. try to ‘ping’ one PC from another. It should work
  • To browse the files of Windows PC from Ubuntu PC, press ALT + F2
  • Then type ‘smb://windows.pc.ip.address/’ and hit ENTER. This will bring the shared folders of the Windows pc to your Ubuntu desktop
  • To see the shared folders of Ubuntu PC from Windows PC, go to My Network Places. Then click ‘View Workgroup Computers’. It should show the Ubuntu PC name. Double click to open it. Now here are the shared directories of the Ubuntu PC right on your Windows PC desktop!!

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