Mount A Network Share On Linux / Ubuntu

In this tutorial I will go over the steps need to mount a network share in Linux. The cifs-util suite is required in order to mount a network share, if the system you are working with lacks the suite this tutorial also covers the installation of the same. Like always the tutorial assumes you have root access or similar.

Create Mount Point

For every network share you wish to mount you need to specify a mount point just like we do with hard drives and USB drives. I would recommend creating the mount point in the /mnt directory.

mkdir /mnt/shares/share1

Install Cifs-util Suite

If the system you are working with lacks the cifs-util it can be installed using the package manager for your distribution.

Ubuntu and Debian users can use apt-get.

apt-get install cifs-utils

Scientific Linux and CentOS users can use yum.

yum install cifs-utils

Mount Network Share With Credentials

The basic command below will attempt to mount a network share with credentials, in this case the file server is a Windows Server 2003 and the client is a Ubuntu 12.04 server.

mount.cifs //  /mnt/shares/share1/ -o user=user1,pass=user1password


  • mount.cifs – Mount using the CIFS
  • // – IP address or name of file server followed by the share name
  • /mnt/shares/share1/ – This is the mount point where our network share will reside
  • -o users=user1,password=user1 – This means options and in my case I am specifying the username and password to the share

Mount Public Share

To mount a public share or one that doesn’t require a password is even easier. All you are required to specify is the server IP address, share and mount point.

mount.cifs //  /mnt/shares/share1/
  • mount.cifs – Mount using the CIFS
  • // – IP address or name of file server followed by share name
  • /mnt/shares/share1/ – This is the mount point where our network share will reside

Mount Share At Boot

Now that was easy, keep in mind that using the commands above will only result in the network shares being temporarily mounted, if the system were to be rebooted all mounted shares will be unmounted. If you would like to keep the network shares mounted even after a reboot you can acomplish this with the help of the fstab configuration file.

Add the following line to the bottom of your fstab configuration file. Modify to fit your needs.

//  /mnt/shares/share1  cifs  username=user1,password=user1password  0  0


Mount a network share in Linux doesn’t have to be a nightmare, as you saw above we are able to follow an organized process. I like it when there is minimal configuration files changes involved and the commands are easy to understand, as it was in the case for this tutorial.

Thank you for reading, if you have any input or comments use the comment section below.

  • A-Friend

    Thanks a lot for your tutorial. I noticed one mistake: When you first mount with this command:

    mount.cifs // /mnt/shares/share1/ -o users=user1,password=user1]

    you begin the authentication with “users=”. This needs to be “usersname=”
    For any other newbie that might struggle on that command.

    • luisventura

      Thank you for taking the time to point out the error, it’s been fixed.

  • Dan K

    Excellent guide. Works like a charm.

  • The_Old_Crab

    Minor nit: in your fstab entry, “//” should be ”
    // share1″ in order to be consistent with your earlier example.

    • luisventura

      Haaa!, you got me. Thanks for pointing out the error.

  • LetsgovaGiants!

    Hey any way to hide the password?

  • supercore

    I followed all the instructions but I can’t write to the network share. I checked the permissions for /shares/share1/ and the owner and group are set to root.

    The owner and group for /shares/ is set the the main user.

    Is this normal? Is there any way to get read/write functionality or change the ownership of /shares/share1/ to the main user?

  • supercore

    I figured out what the problem was. Adding in a “noperm” to the /etc/fstab/ made it work. I used the following example:

    //server/share /home/mountdirectory cifs username=smbusername,password=smbpassword,nocase,noperm,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777 0 0

  • gk84

    its apt-get install cifs-utils

  • 180181

    Worked like a charm. Many thanks

  • Rick Robey

    Thank you VERY much. I have struggled with this needlessly, especially when I see how easy it really is. I especially appreciated the section about adding the shares to boot time.